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Sour Economy Changes US Holiday Travel

The lingering effects of the U.S. recession are changing the plans of many of the 38 million Americans expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Traffic on the SW Freeway for the Thanksgiving Holiday in Washington, D.C., 25 Nov 2009
Traffic on the SW Freeway for the Thanksgiving Holiday in Washington, D.C., 25 Nov 2009

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  • VOA's Dave Byrd's interview with Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA

The lingering effects of the U.S. recession are changing the plans of many of the 38 million Americans expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is a traditional time to gather with family and friends.  The AAA travel organization says, this year, fewer Americans will be flying and more will be taking cars and buses.

The decline in airline travel comes as high unemployment and other problems strain family budgets, putting planes out of reach for many.  Passengers also complain airlines are adding extra fees to travel during the busy holiday period, as well as additional charges for baggage.

U.S. passenger train company Amtrak says it will carry nearly double its normal number of riders during this period.  Major bus companies are adding staff and equipment to handle the crush of customers.

The increasing number of budget-minded travelers is also helping launch a flurry of new bus companies serving inter-city routes.

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