Nationwide Thanksgiving gas prices up more than 60% from last year, AAA shows

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The nationwide average for gasoline prices is up by more than 60% from Thanksgiving 2020, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). 

Data recorded by the federation showed the nationwide average for gasoline at $3.403 a gallon. 

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A year ago, that price was $2.110. 

Holiday travelers could be deterred by prices and a survey conducted by Gasbuddy found that about half of the app users who responded said high prices will affect their travel plans this week. 

Additionally, approximately two in five reported they aren't making as many trips for a variety of reasons.

An AAA report released earlier this month found that more than 53.4 million people expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year, marking the highest single-year increase since 2005. 

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Of those tens of millions, the auto club predicted that 48.3 million will travel at least 50 miles from home by automobile – an increase of nearly 4 million over last year despite higher gasoline prices.

On Tuesday, President Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from America’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs, in coordination with other major energy-consuming nations. 

The action is partially aimed at helping Americans dealing with higher inflation and rising prices ahead of winter holiday travel.

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More than 5 million are also planning to travel by air, bus or train, AAA said, and more than 2.2 million travelers streamed through airport checkpoints last Friday in the busiest day since the COVID-19 pandemic devastated travel early last year. 

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From Friday through Monday, the number of people flying in the U.S. was more than double the same days last year and only 8% lower than the same days in 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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