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Grounded Flights Stress Travelers but Not the Economy: Jeff Macke

Daily Ticker

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, is the single busiest travel day of the year, according to AAA's annual travel outlook. But, as if right on cue, mother nature has unleashed a massive and deadly storm that is threatening travel this holiday.

More than 300 flights have been cancelled and nearly 1,000 have been delayed already today, according to Flightstats.com. That follows 284 cancellations yesterday and more than 6,500 delays.

Related: Top U.S. Airports to Be Stranded In During a Flight Delay

AAA projects that 43.4 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, down slightly from last year. The majority of those people (38.9 million) will be driving, with the rest of traveling by air (3.14 million).

So what does this deadly storm mean for the economy? In the accompanying clip, Yahoo Finance's Lauren Lyster and Jeff Macke discuss just that.

Median spending is expected to be down roughly 7% to $465, AAA reports, as more than tw0-thirds of people plan to spend time with family and friends.

According to Macke, the cost of all the travel delays will be a big whopping goose egg.

Related: American Cancels Hundreds of Flights: Are Pilots to Blame?

Most people will be driving today and only a tiny fraction of people are flying, he notes. On top of that, even while people are delayed at the airports, they will be on their smartphones and buying goods and services as they wait.

The storm's impact on lost wages the economy will be minimal at around $15 million, says Macke.

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