83.6 million Americans plan to drive this Christmas and New Year

American Automobile Association (AAA) predicted on Thursday that about 83.6 million Americans plan to drive this Christmas and New Year, up 2.1 percent from last year.

“Since the recession in 2008, we have actually seen a decrease in travelers and this year they are finally saying we have had enough of staying home,” said AAA spokesperson Tara Hanley.

“Even though times are still tight, we are going to travel, we are going to spend Christmas with our family and friends, so that is the kind of shift in attitude this year,” she added.

Meanwhile, Airlines for America, the U.S. airline industry’s trade group, is forecasting about 43.3 million air travelers during the 21 days surrounding Christmas and New Year, a 1 percent drop from the same period last year.

It would be the smallest number of air travelers since the organization started collecting holiday sample data seven years ago.

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