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Thanksgiving travel tips, forecast

By: WAYNE HEILMAN
November 23, 2009
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photo - People wait in the check-in and ticketing lines at the Colorado Springs Airport on Feb. 2, 2005. Photo by Gazette file photo/Jerilee Bennett
People wait in the check-in and ticketing lines at the Colorado Springs Airport on Feb. 2, 2005. Photo by Gazette file photo/Jerilee Bennett 

The Thanksgiving travel week is here. AAA forecasts a 0.3 percent increase in travel by residents of the eight mountain states, which includes Colorado, from Wednesday through Sunday with 84 percent traveling by car, 8 percent by air and 8 percent by trains, buses and other forms of transportation.

Thanksgiving travelers in the mountain states are expected to spend $677 per household, including one third on transportation, 30 percent on shopping and entertainment, 22 percent on food and beverage and 14 percent on lodging. Travelers will benefit from a 4 percent decline in air fares, a 3 percent drop in car rental rates and an 11 percent to 13 percent drop in hotel room rates, depending on the quality. The average traveler will take a round trip of 661 miles.

Both the Colorado Springs Airport and Denver International Airport are expecting big crowds this week, with Sunday as the busiest day. Nearly 930,000 passengers used DIA during the Thanksgiving week last year; the airport warned that planes could be more full this year because airlines serving DIA have cut capacity. The Colorado Springs Airport does not provide weekly numbers. Both airports recommend that passengers:

• Check with your airline on the day of travel for status of your flight. Check in online if possible.

• Arrive at the ticket two hours before the scheduled departure time at the Springs airport and two hours at DIA.

• Follow carry-on rules. Passengers are allowed one personal item (purse or laptop computer) and one carry-on bag that can fit in the aircraft’s overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Liquids, gels and aerosol containers in carry-on bags must be 3 ounces or smaller and be placed in a one-quart bag (one per passenger)

• Not wrap gifts, as security screeners may open wrapped packages to inspect the contents.

• Have their identification and boarding pass out before screening, take off their shoes and jackets during screening and take laptop computers out of their case.

For more information, contact the Colorado Springs Airport at 550-1972 or www.flycos.com; contact DIA at 800-247-2336 or www.flydenver.com.

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