Holiday Travel Underway in Mobile Area

Holiday Travel Underway in Mobile Area

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Today began a busy weekend at the Mobile Regional Airport.

“Today is one of the heaviest days,” said Buddy Rice, Marketing Director for the Mobile Airport Authority. “ Interestingly, Christmas is falling midweek so we’re going to see heavy traffic today and through the weekend and it will lighten up during the first part of the week and then pickup Thursday and Friday as people start returning.”

Trip Advisor says 53% of travelers this year are driving this Christmas - up 5% from 2012. Flyers have dropped from 46% to 42%.

But most at the airport today say flying is the only way to go.

“I would never drive,” said Valerie Cash of Dauphin Island.

“I don’t mind flying at all. I love flying,” said Judy Tran of Mobile.

“Flying takes a lot of the hassle out of it,” said Michael Hudson of Mobile.

Sarah Heidelburg of Dallas traveled by air today to go see relatives in Pascagoula.

“If you plan it right, it’s not that much more expensive and time is more precious to me than the money,” Heidelburg said.

Drivers, though, say they’re happy to avoid crowded airports. Alton Boyd was half way from home in San Antonio and his daughter’s house in Virginia when he stopped for gas today in Theodore. He says he much prefers driving to flying.

“I prefer to be on the ground,” he laughed.

Behzad Shah, driving from Tallahassee to Houston, was glad to leave the airlines and their expanding fee structures behind.

“We can put whatever luggage we want and then bring back what we want,” he said referring to the airline’s baggage fees. “That’s a hassle to pay $25, $50.”

Those on the roads this holiday says they like what they see when it comes to gas prices.

Regular unleaded was just $3.02 a gallon at the Pilot Station on Interstate-10 and Theodore-Dawes Road.

Gas prices nationwide are down this year while airfares are up.

The average airfare this month is $436 – up about 9-percent from last December.

At the same,  average gas prices are down  8-cents-a-gallon.

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