A record 7.5 million people are expected to fly from December 23 to January. 1, marking the busiest year-end travel season since the American Automobile Association began tracking the data in 2000.
That beats the pre-Covid record of 7.3 million seen during the same period in 2019, AAA said in a forecast. The trend would be an extension of a busy Thanksgiving travel period during which the daily number of passengers screened by US airport security hit a record 2.907 million.
More air travel may not translate into a similar surge in the country's jet fuel consumption thanks to larger, more efficient airplanes. Implied fuel demand fell as much as 100,000 barrels a day in early December, the biggest weekly loss since June, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Road travel is set to rise as well with nearly 104 million drivers expected to hit the road this year-end holiday period. Overall travelers are seen at 115 million, the second highest ever, AAA said.