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Holiday Traveling

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Folks have been coming in this week interested in seeing if there is any real good deals available for the Christmas or New Years weeks. You gotta be kidding!!!! If there were any space available at all, it wouldn't be a “good deal”!!

Take Thanksgiving for example. The Sunday after Thanksgiving has always been the busiest day of the year for airline travel. This year was no exception. It just so happened that this year set a record day for U. S. air travel. The Transportation Security Administration announced that they processed 2,729,770 passengers and crew on Nov. 25, beating last year's 2.61 million. By comparison, on a typical day, 2.1 million passengers pass through government security before they board.

One government official credited the booming economy for the increase in travel, and because of that, there has been a growing increase in the airline passenger business. Higher wages and lower taxes equals more disposable income to spend on travel.

Of course, with more people traveling means that the Transportation Security Administration will have to add additional support. In anticipation of the surge in passengers, they planned to deploy an additional 80 canine officers and 1,200 TSA officers across the country's 440 federalized airports. Currently the agency is comprised of 43,000 officers.

The TSA Administrator, David Pekoske said that more than 17 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the threats to the aviation industry have not lessened. He said, “the threats to aviation security are persistent. They are no less than they were in the 2002-03 time frame”. He also gave some interesting statistics on their work; TSA screened 771.5 million passengers in 2017 which was 30 million more than in 2016. The work in 2018 has not been totaled as yet, but you can bet that the numbers will be record-breaking.

Interestingly, all airlines are adding additional service to many of their destinations. For example, Alaska Air is adding larger facilities to some of their locations on the West Coast. American, United, and Air Canada have announced additional air service to St. Kitts and several other Caribbean islands. Southwest has also announced additional service to other locations here in the United States....Abilene was not one of them!! 

How about some hints about airline travel:

  • Wearing flip flops is not a good idea.
  • Leave that pocket knife that's been in your pocket for the past 25 years at home
  • Keep your mouth shut unless asked to respond.
  • Don't get in the same line at security with kids in it
  • Choose the vegetarian meal (if they are serving), less grease and carbs
  • For long flights bring noise-cancelling headphones to tune out the crying babies, snoring neighbor, or noisy other travelers.
  • The real important one: Pack Less!!

The experienced travel agents at The Travel Factory will be glad to help with any vacation plan you might desire, so give us a call at 698-1421 or come by our office at 4150 Southwest Drive. An interesting visit also awaits you at our website: www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com. Think Vacation!!!!

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