The Wait May Not Be over When It Comes to Travel This Holiday Season; Travel Pro Warns of Longer Waits Than Usual on Christmas/New Year’s Due to Holidays Falling on Highly-Traveled Weekends, Travelocity Offers Tips to Survive

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 20, 2004–Because of how
the holidays fall this season, travelers may be in for longer waits
and more congestion on the roads, rails and in the skies. After
closely monitoring airport wait times over Thanksgiving (with spotters
stationed at the top 25 airports throughout the country),
Travelocity’s industry pro predicts that Christmas and New Year’s Eve
holiday travels likely will resemble the Thanksgiving rush, while AAA
reports that the two holiday weekends will push upcoming holiday
travel to its highest level ever. As a possible predictor, monitoring
reports from Travelocity(R) revealed that Thanksgiving produced more
than 60-minute security and/or check-in delays alone at some of the
busiest airports.

“This holiday is somewhat unusual as both Christmas Eve and New
Year’s Eve fall on Fridays, leading to dense and more
highly-concentrated travel days,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s
editor-at-large. “Although most people have already booked their
travel plans and may not be able to avoid longer delays, there are
things they can do to avoid the aggravation.”

Following are some of Ziff’s last-minute tips to help holiday
travelers prepare and navigate their way to the New Year with ease, as
well as some pointers on where to go for those planning a last-minute

Improve Wait Times:

  • To avoid lines, try to fly very early in the morning and/or in
    the middle of the week
  • Utilize on-line check in from home when possible, e-kiosks and
    curbside baggage to speed your way through security
  • Be ready for security: Pack an extra bag for miscellaneous
    pocket items. Men should try tucking a Ziploc bag in their
    pockets to collect change, keys, cell phones, etc. Parents may
    want a slightly larger miscellaneous bag (Remember all the
    kids’ stuff has to get screened too, so the extra bag will
    come in handy!)

  • Be ready to remove shoes (Men may even find it handy to travel
    with a plastic shoe horn to remove and replace shoes more

Parking Preparations:

  • If parking at the airport, be sure to reserve a parking space
    in advance by calling ahead or checking online for
    availability (at the nation’s busiest airports this
    Thanksgiving, parking filled up as early as 10 a.m. on
    Wednesday in some cases)
  • Consider using mass transit this time of year to avoid
    potential parking issues entirely
  • Travelers also may consider off-airport parking that allows
    them to guarantee a space by reserving and paying in advance,
    is often less expensive than on-airport locations and offers
    shuttle service to and from the airport

Airport Navigation Tips:

  • Weather delays are frequent this time of year, so travelers
    should bring plenty to do to occupy themselves at the airport
  • a good book, holiday note cards or thank you cards for
    those great gifts
  • Don’t wrap gifts in advance as they’re likely to be opened by
    security. Instead, pack the tools to wrap at your final
  • Keep all valuables nearby in carry-on baggage as opposed to
    packing them in checked luggage, which is likely to be opened
    by screeners. If locking the bag is important, look for
    TSA-approved locks
  • Water and snacks also are a must as you never know when or
    where travels may keep you waiting
  • Always have your travel agency 800 number nearby along with
    confirmation numbers and itineraries
  • Leave ample time on the roadways to get to your destination
    and expect more traffic delays than usual

For travelers looking for a last-minute getaway to the beach,
slopes or city this holiday, following are some of the top domestic
and international destinations this season:

    Top Domestic Christmas Destinations:
    1. Denver            6.  Washington
    2. New York          7.  San Francisco
    3. Chicago           8.  Phoenix
    4. Los Angeles       9.  Dallas
    5. Orlando           10. Las Vegas
    Top International Christmas Destinations:

    1. London, United Kingdom

    2. Cancun, Mexico

    3. Toronto, Canada

    4. Paris, France

    5. San Jose, Costa Rica

About Travelocity

Travelocity’s industry-leading technology and straight-talking,
honest information help travelers take more rewarding and affordable
trips. With millions of registered users and booking nearly $4 billion
of travel in 2003, Travelocity negotiates thousands of low-priced
deals with the world’s most reputable travel providers — top
airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, and other
destination attractions and services. Additionally, Travelocity offers
deeply-discounted rates for weekend getaways and dynamic packages
through its Last Minute Deals and TotalTrip shopping engines, and
provides customer service support over the phone 24 hours a day. Based
in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also operates Travelocity
Business(SM) for corporate customers, powers international travel Web
sites in eight languages, and has been recognized for its consumer
advocacy and global leadership in online travel. More information
about Travelocity is available at Travelocity is
owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG), a world leader in
travel commerce. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at

CONTACT: Vollmer Public Relations
Judy Haveson, 212-808-6541
Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790

SOURCE: Travelocity