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Pilgrims Progress: 202,000 Idahoans Hit the Road for Thanskgiving


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The mad dash to get home builds to a furious pace as the airline industry expects the busiest Thanksgiving season since 2008.

Usually, weather is the top concern as this weekend's massive snowstorm in the Midwest reminds us (some Illinois communities accumulated 16 inches of snow), but security has once again landed atop most air travelers concerns.

"Nearly every airport has heightened security," said Mark Murphy at

In addition to airports, law enforcement agencies have upped the presence of uniform officers and K-9's at bus stations, train depots and multiple high-profile locations such as holiday parade routes and some of the nation's busiest shopping malls. AAA expects 3.6 million Americans to travel via airline this coming week, about 7.7 percent of all travelers.

As in years past, most Thanksgiving travel will be on the highways. AAA Idaho estimates 202,000 Idahoans will travel, via highway, 50 miles or more. That's part of the 46.6 million total U.S. travelers. AAA's Leisure Travel Index indicates airfares were expected to decrease 10 percent this Thanksgiving, landing at an average of $168 roundtrip. Hotel prices were expected to remain relatively flat. Daily car rentals are up 8 percent from last Thanksgiving. The good news: Motorists are finding the lowest Thanksgiving gasoline prices since 2008. The average price for a tank of unleaded gas in Idaho is $2.20, compared to $3.14 a year ago.

Treasure Valley motorists will face a good chance of showers through much of the week ahead with snow showers in the forecast for Wednesday, Nov. 25, but partly sunny skies for Thanksgiving Day.