DALLAS (AP) -- AAA says travel over the Thanksgiving holiday will drop for the first time in six years due to the economic slowdown and fewer flights.
The travel club said 41 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home. That's down from 41.6 million last year.
AAA President Robert L. Darbelnet said Tuesday that the economy makes Thanksgiving travel difficult for some Americans, but they will get help from the decline in gasoline prices, which hit record highs this summer.
In Oklahoma, AAA expects 439,500 Oklahomans will be on the road over the holiday, a .6 percent decrease from last year. Another 47,500 will fly to their holiday destination, a drop of six percent from Thanksgiving, 2007.
Retail gasoline prices have plummeted $1.80 in Oklahoma over the past two months. The average for self-serve regular in the state now stands at $1.85 per gallon, compared with $3.65 on Sept. 18. A year ago, Oklahomans were paying an average of $3.03 at the pump. Today, among the 50 states, only Missouri's average price of $1.77 per gallon is lower than Oklahoma's.
Approximately 3.26 million Americans nationwide (eight percent of holiday travelers) intend to travel by train, bus or other mode of transportation. That is an increase of 5.8 percent (or 180,000 travelers) compared to the 3.08 million who traveled by a mode other than car, pickup, RV or airplane last year.