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Thanksgiving travel could set records

 

Thanksgiving weekend travel at Bay Area airports is expected to be busier than last year, and among Californians holiday weekend travel will be the busiest in the last nine years, airport and AAA officials said.

A record number of Californians will travel more than 50 miles over the Thanksgiving holiday, with area airports expecting passenger traffic to increase anywhere from 5.7 to 15 percent.

More than 5.8 million Californians will be on the roads, in the air or on boats and trains to visit family and friends, according to AAA officials. That's an increase of 3.1 percent from last year.

"People are feeling very confident about the economy," AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said. "They have more discretionary income to afford a trip."

Median household income across the U.S. rose 5.2 percent last year compared with 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's the first annual increase since 2007.

Employment has been growing nationwide. In the Bay Area, unemployment in more than one county is below 4 percent.

Officials with San Francisco International Airport are expecting passenger traffic to increase 5.7 percent this year compared with last year as an expected 6.5 million people pass through airline gates between today and Jan 2.

Passenger traffic at San Jose Mineta International Airport is expected to increase as much as 15 percent this Thanksgiving weekend. At Oakland International Airport, passenger traffic is expected to rise by 10 percent over the Thanksgiving holiday, airport spokeswoman Keonnis Taylor said.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest day this weekend for travel at airports in Oakland and San Francisco. San Jose airport officials said Thanksgiving travel will be the busiest on Wednesday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the following day.

The expected surge in travel across California on the upcoming holiday has Amtrak officials planning to add seats and expand schedules for people traveling in the state.

Crews will be adding seats on Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin routes.

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