AAA expects busy travel weekend for Memorial Day

AAA says more than 39 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more for the unofficial kickoff to summer.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 3:43 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With Memorial Day weekend two weeks away, many are finalizing travel plans for the unofficial start to summer. AAA (Triple-A) expects more than 39 million people to travel at least 50 miles this year for Memorial Day, on the ground and in the air.

Eighty-nine percent of travelers are expected to drive to their Memorial Day destinations, but air travel will also be impacted with a jump in passenger numbers. About 3 million people are expected to fly for the holiday with air travel expected to jump about 25 percent from the last Memorial Day weekend.

At Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport, Air Service and Business Development Manager Valerie Wise offered tips to make plane trips a little easier.

“Check in for your flight two hours before, before the departure,” she said. “Please try to check in before you even come to the airport. I would recommend that you download the airline’s app if you haven’t already done so.”

AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward said about 89 percent of travelers will opt to drive instead of fly for Memorial Day. Planning a drive that will take several hours, holiday-weekend traveler David Hamil said soaring gas prices have him concerned.

“Since a year ago, we could travel for about half the price. It’s significant,” he said. “And so, before you do things, you think about, ‘do you really need to do it, or could you consolidate what you are doing and maybe have your bill end of the moth closer to what it was a year ago?’”

Hamil’s niece, Lynda Kelley, visiting Wichita from Utah, said she’s in Kansas to attend a loved one’s graduation. But with gas prices at the higher level, she said she’ll likely be staying home for Memorial Day.

“The price of gas is a big deal. I mean, it went from filling up (for) maybe $35 a tank to now 80, 90 (dollars). So that has a big impact,” she said.

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