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Arizonans traveling for Thanksgiving despite inflation

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 20:26:39-05

PHOENIX — Hitting the road and skies for the holidays, millions of Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving.

AAA looked at how many people were going to travel 50 miles or more nationwide, those numbers are edging closer to pre-pandemic levels despite the cost of gas and plane tickets.

“Ticket prices have definitely been crazy,” said Max Heintzelman. He and his girlfriend are traveling from Sky Harbor to San Antonio, Texas.

“I think our flights were $500 or $600 which in a normal year it’s like $200, $300,” said Heintzelman.

Despite roller coaster ticket prices this year, Heintzelman and others told ABC15 it was worth making it home.

“Holidays are the holidays,” said Heintzelman. “You’ve got to go back and see your fam.”

AAA estimates about four point five million people will be flying like Heintzelman.

Almost 49 million people will be driving to their Thanksgiving destination.

“I’m going to go to the other place because it's $3.89,” said Carlos Morley.

He put half a gallon in at one station, just to make sure he makes it to the place with the cheaper price.

Morley and his son are considering going up to Flagstaff this weekend.

“They’re actually dropping a little bit they are cheaper than they were about a month ago,” said Morely.

The average cost of gas in Arizona is $4.14. That price is still the 8th highest in the country.

According to AAA that is about 40 cents more compared to a year ago.

“It just doesn’t hit everyone the same way some,” said ASU Economy Professor Dennis Hoffman about inflation. “People are devastated by it, others are weathering the storm pretty well.”

Hoffman said some who saved during the pandemic are now spending, but he does believe we are seeing signs of inflation easing.

As far as what will happen with the economy in 2023, that is still up for debate.

“We’re going to have to see how it unfolds,” said Hoffman. “It’s really 50/50, soft landing or medium to hard landing.”