160K passengers to pass through PBIA this week

Roughly 160,000 passengers are expected to fly in and out of Palm Beach International Airport this week, an increase of 24 percent over “normal, non-holiday travel,” an airport official said.

(Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)

(Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)

Wednesday (Dec. 21) and Friday (Dec. 23) are expected to be the busiest days, according to Lacy Larson, the airport’s marketing director.

The holiday travel rush is expected to be the busiest on record thanks to low gas prices, rising wages and increased consumer confidence, according to AAA.

More than 103 million Americans will trek more than 50 miles from their home this year, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year and the largest number of travelers since AAA began tracking holiday travel in  2001, the auto lobbying group said.

Driving remains the most popular mode of travel. More than 93 million people will go by car this holiday, AAA said.

Nationally, 6 million Americans will travel by air this season, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year.

Compared to last year, airfare prices are $30 higher on average, the auto group said. Hotel rates are also up slightly, the group added.

Orlando is expected to be one of the top 5 travel destinations in the country, according to AAA. The central Florida city ranked second on the list, falling behind Las Vegas, another popular warm weather getaway.