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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Classes empty as students fly home for holiday

    Michael Glen, manager of STA Travel in the Student Union Memorial Center, and Chelsea Kappeler, a travel adviser, try to keep busy yesterday afternoon while fighting a slow day. Most students flying home for Thanksgiving weekend booked tickets months ago, but some came looking yesterday, gasping when they were quoted prices upward of $800.
    Michael Glen, manager of STA Travel in the Student Union Memorial Center, and Chelsea Kappeler, a travel adviser, try to keep busy yesterday afternoon while fighting a slow day. Most students flying home for Thanksgiving weekend booked tickets months ago, but some came looking yesterday, gasping when they were quoted prices upward of $800.

    Air travel over the Thanksgiving holiday is up 3 percent from last year and class attendance is expected to be down tomorrow due to the holiday, said an associate professor.

    The Air Transport Association predicts that 25 million people, or an average of 2 million per day, will travel by plane this Thanksgiving holiday, which officially began Friday and will end Nov. 28.

    Bill Maxwell, an associate professor of finance, said he tries to treat his students like adults and recognizes that they will be out of town for holidays.

    “”The turnout is always bleak this week, but I don’t schedule anything big,”” Maxwell said. “”It’s like fighting fate. If they’re not going to come to class, they’re not going to come to class.””

    He said undergraduates are more likely to take off than graduate students, sometimes for as long as a week.

    “”Wednesday’s class is going to be rather lonely,”” Maxwell said.

    Rachel Brekke, a studio arts junior who is leaving tomorrow night to visit her family in Minnesota, said her professors hadn’t scheduled any tests or heavy assignments before or directly after the break.

    “”We got enough time to know things were going to be coming up, so it’s not like, ‘Oh, you have this due right after the break,'”” Brekke said.

    Brekke said she is taking an early return flight to avoid any problems connecting back to Tucson.

    The high volume of travelers is not expected to cause any more delays than usual, barring the possibility of bad weather, according to the Air Transport Association.

    Tucson International Airport rarely experiences delays due to weather, but the problem can arise when other major airports have problems, said Karen Garmon, Tucson International Airport spokeswoman.

    In November 2005, 11 percent of flights arriving at TIA were delayed, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

    “”Tucson is a destination city, so delays aren’t from here,”” Garmon said. “”If there are delays, it would be coming from some place else, like if you’re coming from Dallas or Atlanta. There’s that domino effect.””

    Garmon said all the flights for Thanksgiving weekend are full and encouraged passengers to allow extra time for getting through security and make sure they know the guidelines for liquids, gels and aerosols.

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