"Pack Your Patience" For Reporting On Thanksgiving Travel

Ah, Thanksgiving travel woes. And you know what that means for television news: Factoids about the record number of travelers!! Reporters in airports and train stations telling us how awful it really is!! B-roll of frustrated travelers, frustrated TSA employees, news anchors frustrated that they have to work on Thanksgiving!! So far, this year has been no exception.

And the factoids are in. Just how many people are traveling on this busiest of travel days this year? While you can find much of the same at any network today, it was impossible to miss on CNN's "American Morning," which was on it. A lot.

Anchor Rick Sanchez:
"Yes. Thirty-seven million people are going to be traveling today. And that's just how many are going at least 55 miles."
Anchor Soledad O'Brien, moments later...
"First, though, let's talk about how crowded it is already. As Rick mentioned, 37 million Americans getting away this Thanksgiving, and many of them are flying. We keep saying pack your patience. I think we said that like 10 times since 7:00 this morning."
She tossed to Correspondent Alina Cho, live at La Guardia Airport…
"There are a record 37 million Americans who will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend. An estimated 600,000 will go by train, 30 percent more than normal."
Still more from Soledad O'Brien:
"Millions of Americans are already on their way to their turkey dinner. AAA expects more than 37 million travelers this weekend. Long lines were seen even yesterday at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. In Atlanta, the lines are the planes that are stacked up for takeoff at Hartsfield Airport there."
Moments later, from Bill Hemmer:
"Millions of travelers, in fact, more than 80 percent, will get around by car this holiday weekend. By the rest, it'll be the rail or the air."
What's that? Bill Hemmer doesn't work for CNN anymore, you say? Of course! I forgot to mention those last two bites were from "American Morning," Nov. 24 -- of last year.

And in case you're wondering, Alina Cho was right about this year's "record" number of travelers. An article at CNN.com explains:
The AAA survey estimates that 37.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday. That's up slightly from 37 million travelers a year ago. About 83 percent of those making those trips will do so by car, about the same percent as a year ago.
Nothing like a good factoid.

Happy Thanksgiving.
  • Hillary Profita

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