D/FW Airport reports 7 percent decline in holiday travel

With Americans scaling back travel because of the poor economy, and airlines cutting flights nationwide, lines were shorter than usual at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Wednesday, typically one of the busiest travel days of the year.

D/FW officials estimated that 2.17 million passengers would pass through the airport in the 14 days starting Nov. 19, a decrease of up to 7 percent from last year. That would be the smallest Thanksgiving crowd D/FW has seen since the 2.11 million passengers in 2003 — when many airports were still struggling to recover after 9-11.

Terminals A and C, the airport's two busiest terminals, were crowded, but ticket counters were mostly empty.

"We feel, all things considered, that we’re holding our own," D/FW spokesman Ken Capps said Wednesday, citing passengers who booked long ago and last-minute fare cuts as factors that are helping to keep holiday travel flowing.

AAA projected that 4.54 million people would travel by plane nationwide between Wednesday and Monday, a 7.2 percent decrease, which is consistent with D/FW’s local projections.

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