Travel

Millions of Georgians travel to and from the airport as travel prices rise ahead of Memorial Day

ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) — This is one of the biggest tourist weekends of the year, as many people take advantage of the three-day weekend, but there are some challenges on the roads and in the skies that people may encounter before heading home.

“It’s an insanely busy time, a precious time,” Tonya Ingram mourns as she tries to get home to Boston from the Atlanta airport.

“It’s restless here. I’m talking about people everywhere. It’s crazy,” Sean Cliff said as he concluded his trip to Atlanta.

35 million Americans travel to the airport or hit the road on Memorial Day weekend. AAA estimates that 1.2 million Georgians make round trips, creating traffic jams across the state.

“It was crazy just to get here, just drive through Atlanta, it was crazy,” said Lisa Veraldi, who flew to Atlanta from Denver to get to the mountains.

All these people are on the road, despite the high prices at gas stations. AAA says they are up more than fifty percent from last year. Gov. Brian Kemp has effectively extended the suspension of state gasoline taxes until mid-July, saving drivers about 30 cents. The average gas price in the state is $3.76, but here in the Metro Atlanta area, most people see prices above $4 a gallon, with Fulton County having the highest average price of $4.26.

“Gas was very, very expensive. I was like, oh my god,” said Ingram, who rented a $540 car for her two-day trip to Georgia.

Airfare prices have also gone up. Domestic fares average more than $400 for a round trip, Hopper said, up 24% from this time in 2019, before the pandemic.

“Costs later, it’s… we spent a lot of money,” Ingram said.

Regardless of how much people pay for a ride on wheels, the sheer number of delays and flight cancellations across the country, especially from Delta, can keep them grounded.

“It’s like a group of people in the Delta region, I’m like, oh my god,” Ingram said.

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