Thanksgiving tie-ups possible despite drop in passengers

11/26/2008 | CNN · CBS News · Reuters

The Air Transport Association is predicting a 10% drop in Thanksgiving air travel, but that doesn't necessarily mean short lines, empty planes or fewer delays. Even with the "express lanes" through military airspace opened by President George W. Bush, severe weather could wreak havoc during the busiest travel time of the year. "When we run into congestion in the airspace, having those extra lanes is a benefit," says an ATA spokesman, adding that it's "one of a number of solutions to reducing delays." Planes are likely to fly 90% full on the busiest travel days, despite the drop in passengers, because airlines have taken millions of seats out of service. And families headed home for the holiday could be in for their first experience with things such as bag-check fees, possibly adding to delays at check-in counters.

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