Holiday travel is down, but many still plan to see loved ones for the holidays

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Holiday travel across the board is down this year. AAA Mid-Atlantic projects in Philadelphia's five-county region, a roughly 35% drop in holiday travel when compared to last year, with a 62% drop in air travel.

"Car travel is down about 25%," said Jana Tidwell with AAA. "There will be more people traveling this year between Christmas and New Year's (Day), but it's for an extended period of time."

Philadelphia International Airport officials tell Action News they are expecting more than 316,000 passengers to pass through the airport between December 21-28, with peak days being Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

"Yes, I'm taking the risk, but if I have one more holiday with my family that I might not have in the future I'm going to take it," said Rebecca Popky of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

As far as driving, AAA says road travel is down 25% this year.

Stephen Parnell of West Philadelphia normally gets in the car to visit family but not this year.

"Let's not take any risks now, let's wait until we get the vaccine and next year will be a better Christmas," he said.

Suzy Savoy drove from Manhattan to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania just to visit her sister through the window and have a little gift exchange.

"The Jersey Turnpike was actually really pretty good. We're going to converge on my older sister and we're going to knock on the window of her bedroom. She's going to pass out some meat pies that she made us for Christmas," said Savoy.

Frank Barba of Drexel Hill says he did stay put for Thanksgiving but he regrets that now.

"I did for Thanksgiving, not for Christmas. I want to see my grandkids," he said.

At 30th Street Station on Wednesday, the crowds were slim. Ridership was also down on the rails for Thanksgiving.

Mary Moore of Sicklerville said she is coming back from her Thanksgiving trip to Fayetteville and is done traveling for now.

"God bless the family is ok, the ride was good, everything went well. (I want to) go home get in my bed and look at the Christmas tree down the hallway," she said.
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