WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Holiday travel is down for the fifth consecutive holiday of 2008, according to AAA Carolinas.
Though lower gas prices are encouraging more to travel by vehicle, airlines have reduced the number of flights and locations to where they fly,
This is the first decline in Christmas holiday travel in the Carolinas since 2002.
"The economy is the grinch in this year's Christmas holiday travel period," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "Planes will be packed with the airlines' capacity cutbacks. Winter weather can trigger delays and cancellations creating chaos and hassles at airports."
According to AAA Carolinas, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in North Carolina is $1.64, down $1.31 from 2007, and down $2.45 since September's record high.
Gas costs are highest in Asheville at $1.69 for a gallon of regular unleaded while the lowest gas is in Boone and Winston Salem, both at $1.59 for a gallon of regular unleaded.