sfo03.jpgMany Bay Area travelers will be heading off to their holiday destinations as part of a slight increase in year-end travel seen statewide, according to the American Automobile Association.

The last few weeks of the year that include Christmas and New Year’s Eve are expected to see 11.7 million Californians traveling, a 1.8 percent increase from this time last year, according to AAA officials.

Some 10 million state residents are expected to drive to their destinations, a 1.4 increase from 2011, while more than 950,000 residents are expected to fly.

San Francisco International Airport spokesman Doug Yakel said Friday is expected to be the peak end-of-the-year travel day, with about 130,000 passengers flying in and out of the airport.

He said this year should be fairly similar to last year’s travel trends around Christmastime, however overall in 2012 there has been an increase in travel at the airport.

In Oakland, the airport is expecting “business as usual,” according to spokesman Brian Kidd.

He said travel plans have been spread out over a 19-day period this year keeping things calm at the airport with plenty of parking and mostly on-time arrivals and departures.
“We might see a slight up-tick at end of this week,” Kidd said.

Throughout 2012, the airport has seen a 10 percent increase in travelers, however year-end travel will not see as high of a bump, Kidd said.

According to the AAA, nearly 400,000 Californians will find modes of transportation other than driving and flying to reach their destinations.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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