SOURCE: AAA Texas

November 20, 2008 15:38 ET

AAA-Texas: Gas Prices May Encourage More Texans to Travel for Thanksgiving

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - November 20, 2008) - Ten out of eleven metropolitan areas surveyed in the state now have gas price averages under $2.00 a gallon, according to AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 12 cents statewide compared to last week, from $2.002 to $1.882 a gallon. The national average price fell by 15 cents from $2.177 to $2.020.

Travelers can find gas in Amarillo at $1.815, which is the least expensive average price compared to other metropolitan areas in the state. The state's highest price is in El Paso at $2.145 -- a decline of 22 cents from last week.

Houston, at $1.817, fell by more than 11 cents since last week. Dallas is reporting a price of $1.856 a gallon, a weekly decrease of more than 11 cents.

"AAA Texas has forecast a slight, 1.2 percent decline in the number of Texans traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. However, with prices now more than a dollar lower than they were at this time last year, more Texans may decide at the last minute to travel to visit family for the holiday," said AAA-Texas spokesperson Sarah Schimmer.

Texas continues to be one of the states with the largest number of Thanksgiving holiday travelers with 3.18 million residents expected to take trips next week, only second to California. Among Texas travelers, 2.5 million (79 percent) plan to drive, 448,000 (14 percent) plan to fly, and 232,000 (7 percent) will go by other means.

Approximately 41 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home for the holiday which is a decrease of 1.4 percent from last year's total of 41.6 million. Eighty-one percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by automobile, 11 percent by airplane, and 8 percent by train.

                    1 Week                                   Record  Record
           Current    Ago              Year Ago              High    High
Area      11/20/08 11/13/08 Difference 11/20/07 Difference   Date    Price
          --------- ------- ---------- -------- ---------- -------- -------
National    $ 2.020 $ 2.177     -0.157 $  3.089     -1.069 07/17/08 $ 4.114
State       $ 1.882 $ 2.002     -0.120 $  2.959     -1.077 07/17/08 $ 3.985
Amarillo    $ 1.815 $ 2.004     -0.189 $  3.051     -1.236 07/16/08 $ 3.983
Austin-San
 Marcos     $ 1.938 $ 2.053     -0.115 $  2.993     -1.055 07/17/08 $ 3.975
Beaumont    $ 1.919 $ 2.055     -0.136 $  2.944     -1.075 07/16/08 $ 4.001
Corpus
 Christi    $ 1.835 $ 1.932     -0.097 $  2.937     -1.102 07/15/08 $ 3.960
Dallas      $ 1.856 $ 1.973     -0.117 $  2.945     -1.089 07/16/08 $ 3.983
El Paso     $ 2.145 $ 2.366     -0.221 $  2.970     -0.825 07/17/08 $ 3.967
Ft. Worth   $ 1.848 $ 1.967     -0.119 $  2.932     -1.084 07/16/08 $ 3.975
Galveston   $ 1.873 $ 1.952     -0.079 $  2.899     -1.026 07/14/08 $ 3.968
Houston     $ 1.817 $ 1.932     -0.115 $  2.896     -1.079 07/17/08 $ 3.960
San Antonio $ 1.881 $ 1.980     -0.099 $  2.948     -1.067 07/16/08 $ 3.957
Texarkana
 (TX Only)  $ 1.829 $ 2.004     -0.175 $  2.995     -1.166 07/17/08 $ 3.981

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