Thanksgiving travel prices rise: ‘It’s gone up tremendously’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Sunday is the next big travel day in the United States, and people will be met in the skies and on the roads with inflation.

Morgan Elmore, a traveler at Indianapolis International Airport, said Thursday, “We want to be able to come home and see the family more often, but the price definitely limits that a little bit.”

David Smiley, a senior lecturer at Indiana University School of Public Health, says airfare has gone up more than 43% in the last year.

“Even though inflation is cooling at the end of the season, when the traveler looks back at what they spent for their vacation this year it’s going to certainly be more than what they spent in previous years,” Smiley said.

Elmore found prices limited her travel choices. “Trying to find tickets from Houston to here was a challenge, like, trying to fit that into our budget. It’s gone up tremendously since the last time I flew. Maybe not fully doubled, but it’s definitely gone up. We actually booked tickets from a smaller airport farther way from our house just so that we can get a cheaper price on it.”

Standing next to her wife, Elmore said, “We just recently got married and a lot of my family wasn’t able to come to the wedding, so we are going back to Indiana so that she can meet all that side of the family.”

IU lecturer Smiley says travelers also are facing higher gas prices. GasBuddy says the Indiana statewide average gas price per gallon dropped 21.4 cents in the past week, to $3.92, but it’s 42.1 cents more than a year ago.

Some people, though, say higher travel prices were not stopping them from Thanksgiving travel. Brian McPartland, who was at Indianapolis International Airport on Thursday, said, “It’s a lovely weekend to get away. Everybody is off work and a couple of days free, so why not check out Indiana and all that’s great about it.”