November 20, 2013 / 3:00 PM / 6 years ago

U.S. Thanksgiving travel to decline this year -AAA

NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Fewer Americans will travel during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as economic uncertainty in a sluggish recovery curbs travel plans, travel group AAA said on Wednesday.

AAA expects 38.9 million Americans to drive 50 miles (80 km) or more from their homes for the holiday period, which is from Wednesday, Nov. 27, to Sunday, Dec. 1. That is a decline of 1.6 percent from the 2012 holiday period and would come despite falling fuel prices, the AAA noted.

About 3.14 million will fly to their destinations, a 3.7 percent drop from 2012, according to the AAA.

Approximately 1.4 million will use other modes of transportation, including rail, bus or cruise ship, putting the total number of expected Thanksgiving travelers at 43.4 million, down 1.5 percent from 2012, the AAA said.

“While the economy continues to improve, the sluggish pace of the recovery is creating uncertainty in the minds of some consumers, and therefore AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year,” Marshall Doney, AAA chief operating officer, said in a release.

The slip in expected travel by automobile comes even with gasoline pries “at their lowest levels for the holiday since 2010,” Doney noted.

The U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline stood on Tuesday at $3.209 a gallon, according to the AAA, down from $3.416 per gallon a year ago.

AAA said it expects drivers in the majority of states to be able to find fuel stations selling gasoline for less than $3.00 a gallon. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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