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AAA: expect big decrease in holiday travel in NC

http://66.225.205.104/SO20091222.mp3

AAA Carolinas expects a significant drop in holiday travel this year compared to last year. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more. AAA Carolinas is projecting there will be a 4.2 percent decrease in the number of holiday travelers on the road compared to last year. The insurance agency expects a nearly 6 percent drop in air travel compared to 2008. AAA Carolinas spokesman Brendan Byrnes says the economy is having a big impact this year. "It's something where there's just much more people without income, without jobs this year, than there were last year. And that's having a big effect on their decision to go see family or take a vacation or take time off," he says. North Carolina unemployment last month was at 10.8 percent. In 2008, it was 7.5 percent. Byrnes says gas is a dollar more per gallon this year. And air travel is even less attractive this year because tickets cost more and extra fees for services such as checking luggage compound the expense.