Forecasters Predict Record-Breaking Travel Over July 4 Holiday

Catherine Yang
By Catherine Yang
July 2, 2024US News
Forecasters Predict Record-Breaking Travel Over July 4 Holiday
Delta airplanes sit on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York City on Jan. 31, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Nearly 71 million Americans are expected to travel over the Independence Day holiday, according to AAA calculations, a record high for the holiday.

Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said this will not be merely a one-day event.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” Ms. Twidale said in a June statement about the prediction.

About 60.6 million people will travel by car and 5.74 million are expected to take a flight, AAA reported. Authorities are advising travelers to account for traffic in their planning.

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in the AAA announcement that drivers can expect peak traffic on July 3 as travelers head out for the holiday and July 7 as they return after the weekend. Drivers setting out between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. can expect extended travel times, while mornings are predicted to be the best travel times with less delay.

“Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67 percent longer than normal,” Mr. Pishue stated. “Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also expecting to screen an increased number of travelers through July 8 as Americans take Independence Day trips.

On June 23, the TSA screened 2.99 million people at U.S. airports, the highest number ever screened in a single day. From June 24–30, TSA recorded an average of 2.8 million people traveling by air each day.

The TSA recommends travelers arrive at airports two hours before their flight to leave ample time to navigate security before boarding.

“We expect this summer to be our busiest ever and summer travel usually peaks over the Independence Day holiday,” stated TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

According to AAA booking data, some of the most popular domestic destinations for the Fourth of July are Orlando, Florida; Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle; Honolulu; New York; Denver; and Las Vegas. Some of the most popular international destinations are Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Athens, Greece; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; London; and Dublin.

“This year’s record-breaking air travel is another good sign for our economy as more Americans take to the skies than ever before,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The Biden administration reminded travelers that airlines are, under new regulations, required to provide travelers automatic refunds if their flights or other services get canceled or significantly delayed.

From The Epoch Times