Thanksgiving travel surge underway at Sacramento International Airport

Home for the Holidays

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It’s Thanksgiving eve, and the travel rush is on.

Experts say Wednesday could be one of the busiest travel days in years.

AAA expects 53.4 million Americans to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from last year.

This brings travel volumes within 5% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with air travel almost completely recovering from its dramatic fall during the pandemic, up 80% over last year. As restrictions continue to lift and consumer confidence builds, AAA urges travelers to be proactive when making their travel plans this holiday season.


Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal A was host to many travelers early Wednesday.

Sacramentans taking to the skies told FOX40 they’re ready for the crowds and long lines. All of it, they say, will be worth it come Thanksgiving.

“I’ll be patient as ever,” Ray De Leon said. “But it’s the holiday, so it’s to be expected.”

“I’m watching my watch. Yes sir. I’m excited,” Adrian Henry told FOX40. “It’s been a while since we’ve been back home, so I’m excited to take my kids back, and yeah, we’ll see.”

Airport officials urge fliers to arrive at least two hours before boarding time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

In addition to air travelers, 6.1 million Californians are expected to hit the roads Wednesday.

AAA says the worst time to travel is between noon and 9 p.m.

The best time to get behind the wheel is any time after 9 p.m. Wednesday, but if that’s too late for you, experts say another good time is on Thanksgiving before 11 a.m.

And, drivers should be prepared to pay at the pump.

As of Wednesday morning, gas in Sacramento averaged about $4.69 per gallon. That is one cent lower than the state average but about 70 cents more expensive than the national average.

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