Nov 20, 2018

By the numbers: Expect record-breaking travel for Thanksgiving

Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

More than 54 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, the highest volume since 2005, the American Automobile Association says in a new report.

Why it matters: 2.5 million more people are traveling than last year, and the roads will get the brunt of those Turkey Day travelers. For the nearly 90% of Americans driving to Turkey Day, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be as much as four times longer than a normal trip — worse than last year.

What's new: Cities down south are becoming more popular the past few years for Thanksgiving travel destinations. Punta Cana, Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami are all gaining popularity as holiday spots.

By the numbers: AAA predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of traffic congestion during Thanksgiving week from Wednesday through Sunday.

  • The majority of travelers — 48.5 million — will drive this Thanksgiving, a 5% bump from last year. Car rentals are in favor of drivers this year, too: averaging $63 a day, 10% less than last year, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.
  • Expect long security lines in airports across the country. More than 4.2 million people will fly to their destinations this year, a 5.4% increase over last year — a bigger jump than any other category of travel. Travelers who bought one to two months in advance paid an average of $478 roundtrip.

One layover thing: Airlines and airports are giving flyers more non-stop flights for the upcoming holiday season, The Wall Street Journal reports. For example, this winter opens up Saturday-only nonstops to Palm Springs from Newark and JFK from airlines like United and Alaska Airlines, respectively.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.

Bob Iger stuns media world with sudden departure as Disney CEO

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In a move that shocked the media industry, Bob Iger said Tuesday he would step down from his role as CEO of the Walt Disney Company after leading the entertainment giant to unprecedented success during his 15-year run in the job.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully led Disney through a series of risky but highly-successful acquisitions that not only solidified the company's entertainment dominance, but also ultimately reshaped the entire media landscape.

Sanders hits new stratosphere of online interest

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

For the second straight week, Bernie Sanders has hit the high watermark for online attention in the Democratic primary, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: It's not just quantity. The sentiment of the top stories about Sanders has been more positive than his top Democratic rivals — particularly Michael Bloomberg, whose recent online attention has been overwhelmingly negative.