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Road Warrior

Thanksgiving travel set for a big surge, but it's not too late to fly

Harriet Baskas, Special to CNBC
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
Source: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

As an exhausting election cycle draws to a close, the holiday travel season kicks into gear — which may feel more hectic than usual for a few reasons.

Thanks to lower airfares, U.S. airlines will carry 27.3 million passengers over the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period (Nov 18-Nov 29), reports airline trade organization Airlines for America (A4A). That's up 2.5 percent, the equivalent of 55,000 more passengers a day, from last year's travel period.

A4A said airlines have increased capacity to accommodate the extra traffic, but expect the skies and airports to be crowded. November 27 is predicted to be the peak travel day, with airports in big cities from New York to Los Angeles — and just about everywhere in between — expected to be the busiest.

Since Election Day, interest in relocating to Canada has become a running joke — or deadly serious since the country's immigration website crashed amid a surge of traffic from U.S. internet addresses last week. For that reason, airports north of the U.S. border may see brisker than usual business this holiday.

Cheapflights.com reports that between 6 p.m. ET on Election Day through 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, searches for one-way flights from the U.S. to Canada were up more than 1,000 percent over the average volume during the comparable time frame over the last four weeks.

There were 500 percent postmidnight search spikes for one-way flights to Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany on election night as well.