RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The holidays are approaching and the excitement to travel is growing.
“People seem to be enjoying travel again and that seems like a nice change of pace,” said Harold Linder who was returning home after a flight from New York.
Linder, who lives in Winston-Salem, said he’s noticed more people eager to fly since the pandemic.
According to a recent travel outlook report from Hopper, an online travel agency that assesses flight information including prices, about 70% of Americans plan to travel during the holidays.
Travel experts say 25 million seats are scheduled to depart on flights from U.S. airports during the Thanksgiving week — a 6% increase from 2019.
According to the report, nearly half of people expected to travel say it will be the first time traveling during the holiday season since the pandemic.
People traveling at Raleigh-Durham International Airport said they’ve already noticed the higher prices while booking flights.
Hopper reports domestic airfare during Thanksgiving increased about 17% compared to last year, but says higher prices have not deterred people from booking a flight.
Linder, who also plans to travel with his family during the holidays, said he was able to find some reasonable airline tickets after searching.
“We have great airports with Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. If you shop around a little bit you can find some good deals,” he said.
Even with the possibility of crowds, delays and higher prices, Linder said there’s a reason people choose to still travel during the holidays.
“None of us have money to throw away but I do think a lot of us want to get away from that routine,” he added. “And of course holiday time. You want to be with the people you love so I think we all just make the sacrifices we need to make to be with who we need to be with.”
Hopper anticipates the busiest day for departures during the holiday week will be the Sunday before Thanksgiving (estimated 3.3 million).
According to the recent report, people traveling through Atlanta, Dallas Fort-Worth and Denver may want to arrive to the airport earlier because of higher passenger traffic and possible lines and delays.