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| Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, 8:47 p.m.

Busier airports, full planes seen on Thanksgiving

The recipe for Thanksgiving travel is likely to make travelers a little bitter this year. Americans can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever, according to a forecast by the main trade association for U.S. airlines two weeks ahead of the holiday. And fares are already more expensive.

Airlines for America expects almost 24 million travelers to fly from Nov. 16 through 27. That's up narrowly from a year earlier.

For those traveling on the busiest days around Thanksgiving, planes are expected to be close to 90 percent full, the trade group says. That would be a record for the holiday. Nov. 25 is projected to be the busiest travel day, followed by Nov. 21 and 26.

Flights will be packed tighter because there are fewer of them. Airlines have been reducing flights to better match demand, which, in turn, allows them to raise prices. Cutting flights allows airlines to save on fuel, often their biggest expense.

Collectively, U.S. airlines' revenue rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. But fuel costs rose by 6.2 percent, cutting the amount of money earned per passenger. On average, the 10 largest U.S. airlines made just 50 cents for every passenger they flew from January through September, Airlines for America said.

Guitars of the stars on display in Nashville

Legendary guitars will be on display at the Tennessee State Museum including one played by Elvis.

The exhibit, called β€œThe Guitar: An American Love Story,” opened Thursday.

Among instruments on loan for the show are Eric Clapton's 1958 Gibson Explorer and singing cowboy star Roy Roger's OM-45 Deluxe guitar made by C.F. Martin & Co., circa 1930. There will be more than 150 guitars in all.

There is no admission charge at the museum in the Polk Cultural Center in Nashville.

Monarch butterfly reaches Texas via Southwest

A lagging monarch butterfly has made the trip from Albany, N.Y., to Texas with help from a commercial plane and an insect lover.

Passenger Maraleen Manos-Jones carefully transported the butterfly on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Antonio. She kept the delicate butterfly in a padded, ice-cooled package before its release at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Manos-Jones first spotted the female butterfly in late September when it was still mid-metamorphosis at the gardens of her Shokan, Ulster County, home.

β€” Associated Press

Manos-Jones realized that by Oct. 1 it was too cold for the newly emerged monarch to head south on its own to winter in Mexico. She contacted Dallas-based Southwest, which agreed to fly Manos-Jones and the butterfly to San Antonio for free.

β€” Wire reports

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