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Holiday travel expected to be up in Missouri this Thanksgiving

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Lambert International Airport is expecting more travelers this holiday season.

Roadways and airports are expected to be busier than usual this Thanksgiving holiday.

The AAA Club of Missouri anticipate more than 1.1 million residents to travel over a 10-day period covering Thanksgiving. That’s an increase of roughly 5 percent from last year.

Mike Right, the vice president of public affairs with AAA, said a strong economy, low unemployment and consumer confidence are behind the travel boost across the country this year.

“Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday that you just don’t miss,” Right said. “Even if you planned this back in August and if you had a wildfire or you had some flooding in the area doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to cancel the trip, because most of the trips go back to the family homes.”

Nationwide, travel numbers also are expected to go up by 5 percent from last year. Roughly 49 million Americans are expected to  hit the roads.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport will also see a rise in passengers. Airport officials say more than 182,000 travelers will come through the airport. That’s roughly 8,000 passengers more than last year.

Jessica Black, a spokeswoman with the airport, said the addition of checkpoint scanner in the C Concourse should make getting carry-on bags through TSA faster.

“It allows the screener to actually rotate the bag it screens and kind of take a three- dimensional look inside the bag,” Black said. “So it lessens the amount of bag checks, the manual bag checks, that TSA officers have to do.”

The new CT checkpoint scanner — the only one at the airport — will enable passengers to leave their liquids and laptops in their carry-on bags.

Travel is expected to peak on Wednesday, with about 22,100 passengers and Sunday with about 24,000. The airport recommends travelers arrive two hours before their boarding time.

Follow Marissanne on Twitter: @Marissanne2011

Marissanne is the afternoon newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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