LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you’re flying over the Fourth of July weekend, just know that airlines still are experiencing travel turmoil. Can the industry handle what’s expected to be a huge mob for holiday travel?
And if you’re driving, can you handle the crushing gasoline prices (nationwide average $4.86 per gallon, says AAA)?
Best advice: Be prepared.
AAA is predicting 47.9 million people will be traveling over the three-day weekend, including 42 million using their personal vehicles. About 3.5 million will hit the air, and the rest of the estimated travelers will uses buses, trains or travel by cruise ships, AAA says.
The AAA estimates nearly match the pre-pandemic travel figures for the 2019 holiday.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel said in a news release. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase, and it’s not tapering off.
“People are ready for a break, and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”
The nation’s airlines are trying to hire staff after pushing for workers to quit during the pandemic when air travel nosedived. That includes pilots. And many airlines have reduced their summer schedules because of their staff shortages.
For air travelers, checking for delays and cancellations is paramount. Download your airline’s app and check before you leave for the airport.
Harry Reid International Airport lists delays and cancellations by departures and arrivals on its website.
Another great source for air travel is FlightAware.com, a digital aviation company that tracks flights by airlines and airports. And for your holiday convenience, it even has a misery map showing airports and flights with the most delays and cancellations.
Heavy travel to Las Vegas for entertainment and fireworks is pretty much a cinch. Expect delays on the major roadways and tons of people with suitcases at Harry Reid.
About 3.3 million are projected to travel over the Fourth in the AAA’s Mountain Region, which includes Nevada, according to a group spokesman, Aldo Vazquez. That includes 2.8 million over the roadways of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and a few other nearby states.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that Americans are driving less, which might mean (fingers crossed) some areas with fewer traffic jams over the weekend. The demand for gasoline last week was down 3% from the same week last year, according to an AP story.