Airlines report spike in Thanksgiving cancellations after CDC warning

AAA said it also expects a 10% drop in travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008.
4:27 | 11/20/20

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Transcript for Airlines report spike in Thanksgiving cancellations after CDC warning
Despite that warning from the CDC millions of Americans are still expected to travel for Thanksgiving whether it is in the air or on the roads. Gio Benitez joins us from the west side highway with the travel forecast. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Even before the CDC's guidance not to travel next week, aaa was already expecting fewer travelers on the road than last year. Take a look at this. They were expecting about 48 million on the road. That's down from 55 million. Now this morning, aaa is changing its tune telling us that number may be far lower after the CDC's warning. Aaa anticipates at least a 10% drop in travel. The largest one-year decrease since the great recession in 2008. Major airlines were alsody seeing a spike in cancellations for people who had purchased those holiday flights. They too are now anticipating more cancellations. Let's look at the numbers. Last year over the whole 11-day Thanksgiving travel period, TSA screened more than 26 million people. This year, they expect that number to be much lower. The busiest day topping out at about a million passengers that is far less than the busiest day last year. Nearly 3 million, Cecilia. It's good news we're seeing people cancel trips so what happens if you booked a trip before the CDC issued these guidelines? Reporter: You know, the major airlines have already waived those change fees and that means that even if you bought a ticket that is nonrefundable no worries, you can still go ahead and cancel that flight. You'll just get a credit for a future flight. Can you do that at any time. There is no deadline. You could even cancel that flight on the same day as your scheduled flight. Really important information. Thanks so much. Joining us is Adrian Dr. Ashish jha, Dean of brown university school of public health. So great to have you with us. That breaking news we mentioned right at the top of the show that pfizer is saying that they're submitting this emergency use authorization today.this is their request. They say that they could be ready to distribute this vaccine within hours once they get the green light. When do you think we might see it in our hands? Yes, so, good morning, thank you for having me on. It'll probably take a couple weeks for the fda. Their next meeting O their committee is December 8th. That's when it usually would get reviewed but obviously these are extraordinary times so who knows? It might get reviewed before then. I'm expecting early December as a time when people will have an authorization and it'll start getting distributed after ha. Early December. I want to the Thanksgiving travel. Today could end up being the day where so many families make these final decisions. For someone on the fence about whether deciding to go home, what is your best pitch to them out why they need to stay home? Yeah, so, first of all, I really do think people need to stay home. Things are very bad across the reason. You want to see your family in 2021. We're so close to having vaccines available. Let's stay safe, keep people protected and celebrate next year. The CDC essentially made the case that Thanksgiving could become a superspreader event nationally. That it's the perfect setting to spread this virus. Is there any way to do this safely? You know, I have spent so much time thinking about how to do it safely for my own family and I don't think there is. One could have done a 14-day quarantine before and then traveled and not interacted with anybody. Theoretically it could have been possible. Would have been very difficult and at this point I don't see any way to reasonably do it Some folks I think unfortunately will still do it and the CDC is issuing guidelines for if they do, even small gatherings, keep the windows open and I was struck by some of the details they got into. They say speak in low voices if you're inside the house. What does that mean? What's the danger there in talking with a loud voice or shouting or singing? Yeah, so there's plenty of evidence that if you sing, if you scream, if you talk loudly, you actually just spread more S if you're infected. And we know so much of the spread happens from people who are not -- who were not symptomatic with no symptoms. If you're going to do it, there's a lot you can do to reduce your risk as you said opening window, keeping distant, wearing a mask as much as possible and speaking less but, you know, the best thing you can do is stay home. Stay home as you said so you can see your family next year. Dr. Jha, thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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