Sat, June 15, 2024

How are you getting home for the holidays?

Editor’s note: I remember all the years I worked in television and would get off on a Friday night after the 11 p.m. news and drive to my mother and daddy’s farm in Tennessee. The holidays were especially magical because my three sisters and their families would be there to celebrate. It was a three-bedroom house with one bathroom. Cramped? A little. But, it really was and still is the most wonderful time of the year!

The holiday travel rush has begun, whether you are heading to visit family by air or in the family truckster, AAA predicts this could be the busiest holiday travel season ever, with more than 115 million people traveling 50 miles or more from home during the 10 days between Dec. 23 and New Year’s Day.

Augusta Regional Airport is feeling the rush this week according to Executive Director, Herbert Judon.

“We are seeing about 900 to 1,000 passengers a day,” he said. “Granted we have limited capacity through Delta and American flight schedules at Augusta Regional, but most of the flights are full.”

Judon also sees a packed parking lot at the airport because, “People are taking longer trips and staying for a couple of weeks.”

As ABD’s Dana Lynn McIntyre reported earlier this year, Augusta Regional Airport added a Passenger Assistant Liaisons (PALS) program. The customer service agents assist passengers with wheelchairs, luggage, and overall customer service needs. The numbers for PALS grew during the Masters and now will assist holiday travelers.

While some take to the air, other families will hit the road and they will pay a bit less to fill the tank. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $3.19 at the end of last week, compared with $3.33 a year earlier.

According to GasBuddy, gas prices are even lower than the national average in the CSRA. For example, Costco at 825 Alexander Drive in Augusta is $2.75 a gallon. In Aiken, the cheapest place to fill up is at Enmarket located at 1318 Edgefield Highway, where gas is $2.63 a gallon.

Prices can change from day to day, so check out GasBuddy before you head out. Transportation data provider INRIX predicted that highways will be busiest on Saturday, Dec. 23, and Thursday, Dec. 28.

All of us from ABD wish you safe travels and a very Merry Christmas! We look forward to highlighting your business in the New Year.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at mitzioxfordcreative@gmail.com.

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