WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With the holiday season just around the corner, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Americans will see the busiest travel days in U.S. history.
“This year we are seeing more people flying than ever with fewer cancellations than we’ve seen in years and we’re investing to make sure it stays that way long term,” he said.
Buttigieg said 2023 had the lowest fight cancellation rate in the last five years, “which translates to millions more people getting home getting to work or getting to their loved ones as expected.”
Winter weather may present a challenge in the coming weeks, but the Transportation Department has new travel protections in place, such as guaranteed hotel and meal accommodations and free re-bookings due to delays or cancellations.
The FAA is preparing for the worst, as it’s provided $50 million to airports across the country for de-icing equipment. Administrator Michael Whitaker said around 50,000 flights are expected the day before Thanksgiving, noting that the goal is safe and efficient travel.
“If you’re flying, please be nice to your flight crew,” Whitaker said. “They’re there for your safety.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said prices are in a good spot just in time for the holidays.
“Gas prices are down $1.70 from their peak,” Jean-Pierre said. “Airline tickets are down 13% over the last year and car rentals are down about 10%.”