Thanksgiving travel guide: Flight statuses, airport parking, traffic map

HOUSTON – Nearly 4 million Texans are expected to travel during Thanksgiving this year, according to AAA Texas.

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In Texas, 3.9 million people will travel during the holiday, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday. A majority of those, 3.5 million, will drive. About 254,000 will fly and 94,000 will use other means of transportation.

All of those numbers are up from last year, according to AAA.

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The travel agent cited improvements in the economy and the second-cheapest gas prices in nearly a decade for the period for the increased holiday travel.

Houston airports are prepared for the increase, officials said.

About 1.2 million passengers are expected to pass through George Bush Intercontinental Airport by Nov. 29, marking a 19,000 passenger increase over last year. At William P. Hobby Airport, about 360,000 passengers are expected by Nov. 29, marking a 32,000 passenger increase from last year.

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"The busiest days for travel during the holiday actually come after Thanksgiving," officials at the Houston Airport System said in a statement. "At Bush Airport, nearly 230,000 passengers are expected on Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, as travelers return home from the holiday. At Hobby Airport, nearly 75,000 passengers are expected to arrive and depart on Sunday and Monday after the holiday."

Airport officials said that parking is not allowed in loading and unloading zones. They encouraged drivers to use cell phone lots that are available at both airports, which will help alleviate congestion in both pick-up and drop-off areas.

RELATED: Get more info about Houston airport parking

Passengers were encouraged to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departure time.

AAA said it expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists during the holiday. They said drivers should check the condition of their battery and tires before hitting the road. Drivers should also pack an emergency kit.

Nationwide, 48.7 million people are expected to travel, and 43.5 million of those will drive to their holiday destination.

AAA said the top-three travel destinations for Thanksgiving this year are: Las Vegas, San Francisco and San Diego.

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