PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — More people are choosing to drive, not fly, and AAA expects that trend to continue. It says gas prices are playing a role in the shift, even as TSA reports its heaviest passenger traffic since 2019.
With gas now under $4 per gallon on average in Pennsylvania, more drivers are getting behind the wheel. And when it comes to flying, the TSA screened about 8.7 million travelers over Labor Day weekend. That’s what AAA predicted, and the trend is expected to continue.
The numbers of travelers on the road and in the air over Labor Day weekend hit figures that haven’t been seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They have been saving their money, and they want to get out. They’re been pent up for so many years,” said Doni Lee Spiegel, public relations manager for AAA Central Pennsylvania.
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While the Labor Day weekend typically marks the end of vacation season, it seems many are extending getaways as their priorities have changed.
“People are taking more vacations, they’re taking more time off work, they are really appreciating that time away with friends and family,” Spiegel said, adding, “You see people choosing to drive now versus fly. They are choosing maybe to stay closer to home versus a farther away destination.”
“We do have a trip coming up to New Hampshire in about a week and a half, and so we have been considering gas prices for that and which vehicle to take that is going to be most affordable for gas,” said Sue McFeaters in Harrisburg.
David Landis in Harrisburg is opting for two wheels instead of four. “We have a motorcycle, so we ride that more than we used to ride because you get better mileage, and we do daycations. We were at Gettysburg over the weekend,” Landis said.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says traffic levels are higher than they were last year by almost 2%. AAA says with more flights delayed this year, people aren’t taking any chances.