Holiday headache: Nearly 50 million Americans expected to travel July 4th weekend

U.S.

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Travel could be back to pre-pandemic levels this 4th of July weekend.

“Over the five day travel period from Thursday through Monday, 47.7 million people will be taking a trip of 50 miles or more away from home,” said Doug Shupe, a AAA spokesperson.

Leading into the holiday weekend, some people are dealing with delays and cancellations. Bad weather and staffing shortages have left thousands of passengers, like Laura Monteverdi, stranded.

“My flight had already been canceled, so I got rebooked on another flight through the app on my phone and I finally land in Dallas, run to the gate to get to my plane and that flight gets canceled too, and after that there’s absolutely no more flights for the night,” Monteverdi said.

Airlines are now racing to get up to speed, with more than 3.5 million people expected to take flight in the coming days

Since Monday, Southwest Airlines has cancelled more than 2,000 flights. The company is now promising employees extra overtime pay to pick up extra shifts for the holiday to help avoid disruptions.

American Airlines continues to cancel about 80 flights per day through mid-July until it’s adjusted to the rapid surge in travel.

United Airlines said Tuesday it’s betting big on the rebound, ordering 270 new planes to update its fleet, an optimistic sign for the industry.


“A huge sign from that airline that they believe strongly in the future of travel, and the future of, you know, significant passenger business and business travelers,” said Gary Leff, a travel expert.

The majority of travel this weekend will be by car so people should expect congested highways and sticker shock at the gas pump.

“The average right now in the United States is $3.11 that is actually up 93 cents compared to what we were paying last year at this time,” Shupe said.

A shortage in truck drivers squeezing the supply, with some gas stations seeing outages ahead of the busy weekend.

NewsNation spoke with Emily Kaufman, also known as The Travel Mom, to find out the best tips for people going out of town this weekend.

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