Transportation secretary expects Memorial Day travel to be at pre-pandemic levels

Posted at 6:16 AM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 06:16:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The summer travel rush kicks off this holiday weekend.

AAA said 37 million people will be driving and more than 3 million will be flying for Memorial Day weekend.

RELATED: Drier weather for Memorial Day weekend

Airlines this year said they've stepped up their game and are ready for this summer's travel season. You can expect Friday and next Tuesday to be the busiest air travel days, according to AAA.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said passenger volume will be back at pre-pandemic levels. He added the Department of Transportation is working with airlines to reduce congestion and, when things go wrong, pressure them to improve customer service.

"Cancellation and delay rates were at unacceptable proportions last year. It's important that not happen again," Buttigieg said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said inclement weather is the largest cause of flight delays. In an average year, inclement weather is the reason for nearly 70% of all delays.

This Memorial Day weekend, most Americans aren't taking to the skies, but instead are hitting the road. That may be a good thing, because gas prices are lower than last year.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.57, compared to $4.60 a year ago.

Here in Florida, we're looking at $3.38 per gallon. In our area, Palm Beach County has the most expensive average at $3.61 per gallon. The cheapest in our area is Okeechobee County at $3.34 per gallon.