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Lower gas prices and clear, albeit cold, weather may not be enough to pull most Hoosiers out of their homes for Thanksgiving weekend.

Continued economic uncertainty will keep many home, market watchers say. AAA predicts 43.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles Wednesday through Sunday, a 1.5 percent decrease from the same period a year ago.

The Hoosier Motor Club, Indiana's AAA affiliate, expects the same trend locally.
"The economy continues to improve but it's doing so at a sluggish pace and that's creating uncertainty in the minds of some consumers," said Greg Seiter, public affairs manager for AAA Hoosier Motor Club, in a prepared statement.

About 90 percent of people who do travel will take their cars, AAA predicts. Nearly 39 million Americans will hit the roads Wednesday through Sunday, a 1.6 percent decrease from the same period a year.

They'll find traveling conditions fairly ideal. Gas prices are hovering around $3 per gallon in many states, according to AAA, the lowest level since 2010. The cost of a regular gallon of gasoline averaged $3.287 Tuesday in Indiana, AAA said.

The unseasonably cold weather will continue, though there's little chance of snow or rain, according to the Indianapolis office of the National Weather Service. Highs through Friday will be in the 30s, with lows in the 20s. The weekend will be slightly warmer, with highs in the low 40s.

Air travel for Wednesday through Sunday is expected to decrease at an even higher rate nationally, by 3.7 percent, to about 3.14 million travelers, AAA said.

Locally, though, Indianapolis International Airport is preparing for a busy weekend.
Many flights are full or filling fast, said spokesman Carlo Bertolini. Airlines operating at the airport have added 12 flights from a year ago, up to 762 flights with 70,778 seats.

Average domestic airfare for a roundtrip ticket Wednesday through Sunday is $415, including taxes, up almost 7 percent from the same period a year ago.

"For the year," Bertolini, said, "we have been down about 3 percent. It's good to see a bit of an uptick during the holiday."

The airport has reduced the price for long-term parking at the terminal garage to $14 per day through Jan. 5. The rate applies for vehicles parked at least seven days on the fifth floor only.

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