AAA expects more than 600,000 fewer people to travel this year, the first decrease in 6 years. Nearly 150,000 people are expected to fly to their Thanksgiving destination, and Wednesday at ILM travelers were coming and going. For the airlines and passengers the day got off to a smooth start. Few lines at the ticket counter, a quick trip through security, and nothing but visions of turkey and pumpkin pie. Airport officials said smaller crowds and a new family friendly security line helped keep wait times under eight minutes. Airport director, Jon Rosborough said, “This time of year we have a lot of families traveling, a lot of people that are not used to flying a lot and so they'll take and require more time so we made one lane a family lane.” It was a similar scene at the greyhound station, where representatives say there were more bus tickets still unsold than in past years, but those who decided to take the bus said it came down to money. Elizabeth Crawford, who is traveling by bus, said, “I am only going 2 days and it's $97.” As for those using their own cars to travel, AAA expects nearly 20,000 fewer North Carolinians on the road to their Thanksgiving destination this year. Vicki Sewell, AAA general manager said, “It's a little strange that our gas prices have come down so drastically in the past few weeks, but I think it's still the perception of our economy.” The National Safety Council still expects almost 500 traveling related deaths this year. While this number is down, North Carolina is one of only fourteen states expected to see an increase in that number. So, if you are traveling, leave yourself plenty of time to do it safely. While travel numbers are down across the country, our area has seen less of a decrease than expected. ILM business is only down four percent, while other airports have seen a much as a twenty-two percent decline.
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