Holiday travel season nearing

For some people, holiday travel can be frustrating and overwhelming, but after four years of travel to and from California, economics senior Dave Walsh has little to complain about.

“Thanksgiving time (travel) is not as bad as you would think,” Walsh said. “It’s actually not (that) frustrating.”

Students, such as Walsh, are having positive experiences with local travel services this holiday season despite the seasonal increase in transportation traffic.

“This is a very busy travel season,” Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said. “When it comes to moving people, there’s lots of demand.”

Both spokespeople for Amtrak and the Michigan Flyer bus service reported high travel rates this weekend.

Magliari said Amtrak has been setting ridership record-highs for eight of the last nine years, and the East Lansing Amtrak station was sold out for train rides on both Wednesday and Sunday.

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Vice President of Michigan Flyer Ody Norkin said it has been an “unprecedented year between East Lansing and Metro Detroit,” with three busses running instead of the typical one.

“We do very well in college markets with the students, faculty and staff,” Magliari said. “But we do very (well) everywhere.”

But the high amounts of traffic, and the resulting financial benefits for the companies, mean little to the members of the MSU community just thankful to travel with some ease around the holidays.

Walsh said although it’s exhausting to spend an entire day of vacation flying to his home in California, Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport typically has low amounts of traffic at any point in the year.

Officials from the airport were unavailable to comment at press time.

Other students, such as premedical and human biology sophomore Melanie Mauro, also said the travel experience is not bad, but can be frustrating when it comes to time limitations.

She said it was stressful trying to figure out what classes might be cancelled the week before Thanksgiving.

Supply chain management sophomore Christina Bowman also said the short Thanksgiving holiday makes it difficult for students to enjoy the holiday with family.

“I think they should give us the whole week off,” Bowman said. “Some teachers give us the whole week off, while some teachers say it’s still school and don’t give us the time off. I think it’s not fair for out-of-state students.”

Magliari said holiday travel should be somewhat less competitive, and perhaps less hectic, during the December holidays, because there is more time for people to travel than on Thanksgiving.

He said it would be rare to find any sort of discounts for holiday travel, so people should book early, noting Amtrak customers can book a travel nearly a year in advance.

Perhaps the best advice, Magliari said, is to keep in mind that some people don’t use some transportation systems frequently and might get confused.

“Have some patience and help your neighbor,” he said.

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