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Travel Deals Peak In Time for Black Friday

I’m a shopaholic by nature, and I often participate in retail therapy.

If I have a bad day at work, I just buy a new outfit! If it’s dreary outside, some fun new eye shadow will brighten up the day! If I feel fat, it’s nothing new shoes won’t fix! (After all, my feet don’t gain weight.) Even though the act of purchasing makes me happy, I have never, will never, camp outside a retail store on Black Friday in the wee hours of the morning to snag that oh-so-great deal, but I will shop for deals online. Black Friday exists there, too!

Knowing that the day after Thanksgiving is the best day to shop for retail deals, I analyzed data from lastminute.com to find out if shoppers can find travel deals, too. My conclusion: it is the best time of year in terms of both availability and price to find last second deals.

Thanksgiving Task Force Wrap-Up

Not only does the Transportation Security Administration get better with expereince, I have to say, so do our Travelocity Thanksgiving Task Force spotters. This year was our best ever. And not just because the weather cooperated in most parts of the country, or that the President opened military airspace around the nation to ease air traffic congestion, or even the fact that there were fewer air travelers this year. I owe our success to this great team of ten who walk some of the nation’s busiest airportsand report live with their findings and update the blog every hour from pre-dawn to post-dusk.

This year our spotters (who I like to affectionately refer to as Turkey Trotters) took full advantage of the technological advancements and went wireless with their PDAs, cameras, and computers to update this very blog with the latest and greatest news from the front-lines of air travel over some of the busiest travel days of the year.

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably read at least some of the others. (Weren’t the posts great this year?) And especially because this holiday is all about giving thanks…I’d like to take the time to thank each and every one of our turkey trotters for covering the airports so well. Jenn Gaines at LAX, Holly Burns at Las Vegas, Rachel Berg in Denver, Song Yang in Atlanta, Jeff Varhol in Miami, Joel Frey at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Michael Brophy at Washington National, Jenelle Blanchard at Chicago O’Hare, Jill Harrison in Phoenix, and Genevieve Brown and Charlie Davidson at New York Lagaurdia airport. — you guys rock! It’s because of all of you, and all of our fantastic behind-the-scenes helpers (this list is long, forgive me for not naming everyone on it but you know who you are!) that Travelocity is able to help travelers in real-time know what to do to ease their travels at the holidays and any time.

Abe & New Buddy Bid Farewell from DCA

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

I had hoped to make my last post prior to leaving DCA tonight, but after two days of 3-minute security lines, the line that I got in turned out to be a 15-minute wait, and they herded us on the AA jet to get us out on time. All parties at Washington National should be pleased at the events of the past two days – everything went smoothly, and they should build off this effiency as they look towards then next two busy travel days on Sunday and Monday.

All that said, more than a few airport and TSA staff admitted that they are freaked out about the upcoming Inaugural festivities in January, with millions reportedly ready to descend upon Washington. Those days in January promise to be quite interesting, especially from a travel perspective.

The Roaming Gnome took in some sights last night in Washington; he thought the above photo was ideal for bidding farewell to this year’s Thanksgiving Task Force. Enjoy your turkey…and enjoy your trip home, be it by plane, train or automobile…MB

November Winning Streak Continues for Obama Household – DCA Travelers Pick Michelle Obama To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

I spent my two days at the relatively hassle-free Washington Reagan National Airport surveying DCA travelers, asking them which of four prominent political figures they would pick to prepare their Thanksgiving dinner. After more than 200 quick conversations, the winner by a healthy distance is our new First Lady.

FINAL POLL RESULTS:

Michelle Obama – 104
Sarah Palin – 85
Nancy Pelosi – 20
Hilary Clinton – 19

Top Comments From the DCA Crowd:

“Why would anyone purposefully give Hilary a knife?”

“I’ll pick Palin, cause I know for sure it will be organic.”

“Hilary & Pelosi don’t even know where the kitchen is.”

“I’d pick Sarah, but do I have to have moose for Thanksgiving?”

“I like a lot of different food on Thanksgiving, so I’ll go with Michelle for soul food, Clinton for sea food, Palin can cook up the moose and seal, and Pelosi can at least make the crabcakes.”

“I’ll pick Pelosi, because she is 60 some-odd years old, and surely she must know how to cook.”

Smooth Travels Overall at LAX

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

After two long (but oh-so-fun!) days of scouting the crowds at LAX for Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force, it’s my turn to head through security and depart for my hometown – Dallas. Even though I live and work all-things-travel, this is the only time of year that I get to interact with travelers, security and airlines at the same time. As a travel editor, it’s a good thing to witness. It makes my work real. I’ve read the stats – AAA predicted a 7 percent decrease in air travelers and LAX said that 14 percent fewer travelers would fly through their airport. But I saw first hand that those stats were real. It was extremely quiet at LAX this week. With the exception of the morning rush that hit early today, it felt like a typical day at the airport.

I’ve been managing this project for six years now, and airport security and airlines almost always do a fantastic job managing the crowds. TSA rolled out the family-friendly security lanes, and airlines are making it easier for passengers to check-in online, making the entire process of getting to your gate go more smoothly.

According to Travelocity data, Wednesday was the second busiest day of the Thanksgiving holiday. Sunday is supposed to bring in the big crowds, so be prepared for a busier day.