PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – The holiday is the busiest travel time of the year and with Thanksgiving just two days away, people are preparing to hit the road.
Gas prices are falling across the country, some to less than $4 a gallon. The national average for regular gasoline is $3.64 per gallon. The average in Oregon is $4.60, up almost a dollar from this time last year. However, there are some gas stations that have dropped significantly. Regular gasoline is $3.99 a gallon at Fred Meyer in Beaverton and $3.89 at Costco.
“We’re going to the coast this weekend,” says Jamie McGuire of Oregon. “It’s always nice to see that holidays and birthdays are coming up, so having a little extra cash in your pocket is an added bonus.”
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The roads may be busy, but so is the airport. United Airlines says Thanksgiving travel is up 12% nationwide this year, reaching similar numbers to pre-COVID 2019.
According to PDX, their vacation trips begin the weekend before Thanksgiving because the kids are getting out of school early.
“There’s about a 10-day period. We call it Thanksgiving Holiday Travel. Half a million people in that time,” says Kama Simonds, spokeswoman for PDX.
It’s important to get to the airport early, as finding parking, checking in a bag, and getting through the TSA can take additional time.
“It was easy because you do everything online,” says Traveler Andrew Pollin. “Luckily I expedited TSA so usually just go through it and it’s not really a problem.”
And if your flight takes off early in the morning, you might see the longest lines at security and at the gate. Simonds recommends getting you to the airport two hours in advance if your flight is between 5am and 9am.
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Fox 12 used the My TSA app to see how long it took to get through security. On Tuesday, the TSA wait time at 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. was approximately 25 minutes. On Wednesday, expected TSA wait times increased to about 40 minutes at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
Fox 12 also used the PDX Parking Shuttle app, which provides up-to-date airport shuttle wait times in one app. On Tuesday, the longest wait time for a shuttle at midday was 33 minutes. And the self parking lot is about half full.
“It was hectic. Lots of people out there, lots of cars. We did a few laps around the block but finally found one,” says traveler Michael Lloid.
According to PDX, the busiest travel day will be Sunday when people return home.
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