Despite high prices, Americans celebrating Memorial Day


(NewsNation) — Travel is booming this Memorial Day, but delays are getting in the way of travelers’ plans.

Here are the latest numbers on delays and cancellations from Sunday morning, according to FlightAware:

  • Total delays today:  7,247
  • Total delays within, into, or out of the United States today:  949
  • Total cancellations today:  1,024
  • Total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today:  262

AAA expects almost 10 percent more people to travel 50 miles or more this weekend than last year.

Almost 40 million people will travel 50 miles or more this weekend, with 90% of them going by car.

But with the economy still bringing lots of uncertainty and price spikes, from filling up at the gas station to buying food for a barbecue, this year any holiday weekend festivities will likely cost more.

AAA data shows the average price for a gallon of regular at $4.60, while airfare numbers from Hopper, a travel data firm, show prices up around 45% compared to the same time last year.

Even food prices continue to be affected, with Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing hot dog, ground beef and propane prices all higher this year compared to 2021.

The rise in food prices largely comes down to supply chain disruptions and a rising demand for food at home, said food and beverage analyst Emily Moquin.

Despite needing to spend more money, some travelers say the prices won’t hold them back.

“We didn’t really have a choice and we just toughed it up, and whatever the gas price is, unfortunately we have to pay for it,” said Memorial Day traveler Dan Johnson. “But we wanted to go visit our family and this is the cost that’s involved.”

Polling conducted by NewsNation further puts economic concerns in focus, with a recent survey showing 71% of those polled cutting back on purchases, and almost two-thirds reporting they planned to cancel vacations.

Jeffrey Pelesauma plans on avoiding Memorial Day travel this year.

“I’m staying local because of everything, with the gas prices being high and with the pandemic somewhat still going on.”

And now, as Memorial Day weekend brings crowds to parts of the country, experts expect the desire
to be away stronger than worries over high costs.

The weekend travel surge also comes as COVID-19 cases continue to increase, with some areas seeing their highest levels since mid-February.

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