Friendly Skies Still Crowded Despite Fewer Fliers

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Fewer people are expected to travel this holiday season, according to Airlines for America.

The industry trade organization predicts 43.3 million travelers will fly over Christmas break, a 1 percent decline from last year and about 20,000 fewer people each day.

Even with less passengers, flights will be full because airlines have cut back on the number of flights.

"Capacity reduction is one of the steps the industry is taking to preserve profitability," A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich explained.

A4A is encouraging travelers to check the status of their flights online before departing for the airport. They also suggest passengers allow themselves plenty of wiggle room for check-in and security screenings.

"America's airlines are committed to getting customers to their destinations safely and have plans in place to minimize delay and inconvenience during winter weather challenges," said A4A Senior Vice President for Safety, Security and Operations Tom Hendricks.

"Airlines continue to invest significant resources in new processes, procedures and technologies in order to strengthen communication with customers, airports and the air traffic control system," he added.

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Airlines for America

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