Busy Labor Day Weekend Travel Expected with Increased Road Trips and Airport Crowds, AAA Warns of Hurricane Impact

Labor Day weekend travel is expected to be busier this year compared to 2022, according to AAA. The majority of travelers are opting to go by vehicle, with a recent decline in gas prices making road trips more enticing.[0] AAA warns travelers to be weather aware as Hurricane Idalia approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, potentially impacting popular tourist areas along the southern east coast.[1]

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is forecasting Friday to be the busiest day of the holiday weekend, with over 2.7 million passengers expected to pass through security checkpoints at airports nationwide. TSA administrator David Pekoske anticipates passenger volumes to be nearly 11 percent higher than last year, which already exceeded 2019 travel volumes. The agency has screened an average of 2.5 million passengers per day over the past three months, making Friday an especially hectic day for travelers.

AAA booking data shows that flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises are all up over 2022, indicating a surge in travel across various modes of transportation.[2] Despite the recent increase in gas prices, which have been on the rise since mid-July, it is not expected to deter travelers.[2] The price at the pump is actually similar to last year's holiday weekend.[2]

Drivers are advised to ensure their vehicles are road-ready, especially considering the toll that summer heat can take on batteries and tires.[3] AAA responded to over 2,700 Emergency Roadside Service calls in Oklahoma during the Labor Day weekend last year, with nearly half of those requiring a tow.[2] Rescue crews are preparing for an even busier weekend this year.[2]

INRIX, a provider of transportation data and insights, expects Thursday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to be the busiest time on the roads during the long weekend.[2] There is anticipated to be increased traffic volumes on Friday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.[2] Drivers are encouraged to travel at off-peak hours, such as before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m., if they have flexibility in their plans.[2]

Flights across Florida are being disrupted due to Hurricane Idalia, with several airports currently closed.[4] The Federal Aviation Authority states that airports such as Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater, and Tallahassee will possibly reopen on Thursday depending on damage assessments.[5]

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to slow down on state roadways during the Labor Day weekend.[6] AAA expects peak travel times to be between noon and 8 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.[6] Travelers are urged to plan ahead and check their route using the 511 Wisconsin website.[7]

Overall, travelers should expect a busy Labor Day weekend, with increased travel volumes across various modes of transportation. It is important to be prepared, stay informed about weather conditions, and plan accordingly to ensure a seamless travel journey.

0. “AAA projects summer travel surge to continue before and over Labor …” www.wdel.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.wdel.com/news/aaa-projects-summer-travel-surge-to-continue-before-and-over-labor-day-weekend/article_e4bcdf92-475f-11ee-af1e-b35a25994886.html

1. “Labor Day travel expected to be up over last year | News | pmg-va.com” www.pmg-va.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.pmg-va.com/bedford_bulletin/news/labor-day-travel-expected-to-be-up-over-last-year/article_4efa00a8-ad45-5a7b-88cf-ff36eabe69ad.html

2. “AAA expects travel to be up for holiday weekend | Local News …” www.woodwardnews.net, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.woodwardnews.net/news/local_news/aaa-expects-travel-to-be-up-for-holiday-weekend/article_58c282c8-472b-11ee-87d4-8306a2075eeb.html

3. “5 THINGS TO KNOW: Labor Day travel forecast to increase | News …” www.muskogeephoenix.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/5-things-to-know-labor-day-travel-forecast-to-increase/article_efb57064-5254-5a85-a5f8-8d1b58a55455.html

4. “Flights canceled as Hurricane Idalia disrupts air travel | National …” www.koamnewsnow.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.koamnewsnow.com/news/national-news/national-breaking-news/flights-canceled-hurricane-idalia-air-travel/article_2fe9cfdf-62c2-5f6f-ae76-2094310e4f7d.html

5. “Hundreds of flights are canceled as Hurricane Idalia disrupts air travel” www.wxow.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.wxow.com/news/hundreds-of-flights-are-canceled-as-hurricane-idalia-disrupts-air-travel/article_105c9034-5486-594c-93f7-a4b52d37f681.html

6. “What to know: Labor Day weekend travel plans for Wisconsin drivers” www.tmj4.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/what-to-know-labor-day-weekend-travel-plans-for-wisconsin-drivers

7. “Labor Day weekend travel update helps you know before you go …” www.apg-wi.com, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/news/regional/labor-day-weekend-travel-update-helps-you-know-before-you-go/article_b65902ac-474b-11ee-b95f-af0f0413c395.html

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