WASHINGTON (7News) — Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and that means across the country people are getting ready to travel.
Whether it’s getting in a car, on a plane, or setting sail on a cruise, AAA expects a lot more people to be out and about this Memorial Day weekend.
“Nationwide, AAA is projecting that 42 million Americans will be traveling over this Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said Ragina Ali with AAA. “A great number of those will be traveling by partaking that great American road trip, about 37 million, and where we’re really seeing a big boost is with air traffic. We are seeing that many travelers will be flying to their holiday destinations. About 3.4 million Americans plan to fly. That’s despite higher cause that’s despite some of the issues we’ve seen with the air travel industry.”
The pandemic meant a huge slowdown in travel, but numbers have been steadily growing.
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“The numbers nationally are up across the board, even with those taking other modes. So that would be trains, buses and cruisers,” explained Ali. “That's about 1.85 million Americans who will be taking those other modes. That's an increase of about 20% over last year. But again, the biggest increase and actually back to pre-pandemic levels is in the area of air travel.”
According to AAA, air travel is the only area nationwide that they’re seeing back to pre-pandemic levels. “About 5 percent more than what we saw in 2019,” said Ali. “The other areas even road travel is all up a little bit compared to last year. Just slightly shy of the pre-pandemic numbers.”
Nationally, AAA is projecting this will be the third busiest Memorial Day holiday on record since they started tracking this data in 2000.
“We know that the airports will probably be the busiest that they've been since 2005,” said Ali.
She urges those flying to download the airline app in case of cancellations or delays. Also, it’s always a good idea to be road ready, whether it’s an oil change, inflating your tires, or being aware of any new laws that apply, like the move-over law in Maryland.