AAA Forecasts Busy Memorial Day, Air Travel Up Over 500%

HYANNIS – AAA is forecasting a busy Memorial Day weekend with far more Americans on the road compared to last year, but still less than pre-COVID levels. 

More than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home from May 27 to May 31, an increase of 60 percent over last year when only 23 million travelled, according to AAA Travel. 

The number of travelers is still 13 percent fewer than 2019’s pre-pandemic travel figures. 

Travel by car is expected to increase 52 percent compared to 2020, making the road trip the primary form of travel this year. 

However, some Americans are choosing to return to air travel, with nearly 2.5 million individuals planning a flight, a 577 percent increase over last year.

Despite the tremendous increase, 750,000 fewer people are taking to the skies for Memorial Day weekend compared to 2019. 

Those who are choosing to travel this year are urged by AAA to exercise caution and take measures to protect themselves and others during the ongoing pandemic. 

“As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine and consumer confidence grows, Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Northeast, in a statement.

“This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer, though we must all remember to continue talking important safety precautions.”

AAA cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent update to their guidance indicating that fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk to themselves, so long as they take proper precautions, as the reason for the uptick in their travel forecast.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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