Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Many Rethink Holiday Travel

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Many Rethink Holiday Travel

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Humphrey, Times-Union staff writer

He wanted to go home. He was planning to go home. He had saved up enough money to go home.

But James Hall, a junior at Edward Waters College, isn't going home to Boston this Thanksgiving weekend.

"Not when I see all the planes crashing," Hall said yesterday. "Forget it."

So instead, he'll spend the extended weekend in Jacksonville with his brother.

Fear of flying -- generated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and last week's deadly crash in Queens, N.Y. -- has Hall and other young adults across the country rethinking their travel plans.

A telephone poll taken by St. Louis-based Maritz Research during the last week of September -- as students were making travel plans -- found that about one in four respondents of all ages had decided to take a different mode of transportation for Thanksgiving.

The percentage was even higher -- nearly a third -- for those 18 to 24. Twenty-five percent of respondents in that age group said they planned to fly, while about 71 percent planned to drive.

Nearly half in that age group said that flying is their usual mode of Thanksgiving transport. The Maritz poll had a margin of error of just over 3 percentage points.

Fear isn't the only reason some Northeast Florida college students are staying put.

Jacksonville University junior David Chapa, well within driving distance to his Clearwater home, is staying here this weekend. He and his girlfriend are dog-sitting for friends and plan to prepare a turkey dinner together.

"It's just something I decided to do," Chapa said.

Student residents of JU, EWC and the University of North Florida have the option to stick around during this holiday break. Residence halls remain open and campus cafeterias still serve meals, albeit during limited hours.

About 15 percent of UNF's 2,000 residents, roughly the same percentage as last year, are expected to remain on campus, housing director Paul Riel said. …

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