AAA is predicting more people will drive to see family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday than will fly. They say reduced airline capacity, added charges, and lingering economic worries will prompt travellers to choose a cheaper way to travel.

However, in a sign that the economy may be improving, Americans are expected to travel long distances in bigger numbers than Thanksgiving weekend 2008, the AAA says.

In the Pacific Northwest, 4.6 million are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, an increase of more than 8%- much higher than the national growth rate.

AAA said the number of people who will travel 50 miles or more away from home during Thanksgiving is expected to grow to 38.4 million this year, up 1.4% from last year.

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