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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport has light foot traffic Tuesday, but it's expected to pick up for the Thanksgiving holiday. The layout can be confusing to first-time users of the terminal, which has a tram between the ticketing area and boarding gates.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Air travelers head to and from the airport's Terminal B people mover. On the roads, thousands of holiday drivers will see the lowest gasoline prices since midsummer.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    The signature red rabbit sculpture looks down upon Terminal B as holiday excitement builds at Sacramento International Airport.

Holiday travelers hit the road, or look for a nearby runway

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 - 11:23 am

With Thanksgiving a day away, gas prices are heading down and the number of Californians traveling is going up.

An estimated 5.4 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more from home during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of about a half percent over last year, according to AAA Northern California.

"This year the fog of ongoing economic uncertainty will not be a deterrent for those planning to travel for a Thanksgiving celebration," said AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris.

Sacramento's gas prices fell another 8 cents over the past week, putting the local average at $3.61 a gallon, the cheapest since July.

More than 4.7 million Californians are expected to travel by motor vehicle. While most travelers heading to out-of-town turkey dinners will be going by car, the holiday is long enough to travel out of state – and that typically means getting into an aircraft.

Despite higher air fares, more than 548,000 holiday travelers are expected to fly, a 1.8 percent decrease when compared to 2011, according to AAA.

Sacramento International Airport is an easier option, when compared to busier San Francisco International.

"If you are looking for a less-crowded place to fly in and out of, then Sacramento is a good choice," airport spokeswoman Karen Doron.

Doron said that the busy Thanksgiving week typically has fliers unaccustomed to the airport. Those travelers need to make sure they have plenty of time to get to the airport and find parking.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof

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