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Quality of Life

Amid scorching heat, busy Labor Day travel weekend underway

AAA said the vast majority of travelers are getting to their destinations by car.

People started heading out to their holiday weekend destinations on Thursday. But AAA said Friday will be the busiest travel day over the Labor Day holiday.

In a recent survey, 32% of Americans said they’re leaving home this weekend, and most of that travel will be happening on the road.

“The vast majority, 82% are going to be traveling by car," said AAA's Anlleyn Venegas.

She said travel had slowed down earlier this year due to high gas prices and inflation in general. “Eighty percent said they made cutbacks to save money, so they basically drove less," Venegas said.

But gas prices have now fallen for 79 days straight.

airport cars and people.jpg
Roland Lizarondo
/
KPBS
People and cars at the pickup area for arriving passengers at San Diego International Airport on Sept. 2, 2022.

And as gas prices have fallen, more people have been hitting the road.

A lot of people are flying as well. It’s been a rough summer in the air with pilots threatening to strike and thousands of cancellations. According to FlightAware.com, there were 109 delays at San Diego International Airpot as of 5:30 p.m. Friday but no cancellations.

Still, getting in and out of the airport over this weekend will take quite a bit of patience.

“What we anticipate from Sept. 1 through Sept. 6, which is the Labor Day weekend, is about 70- to 80,000 passengers coming and going through the airport," San Diego International Airport spokesperson Nicole Hall said.

airport exterior crowds.jpg
Roland Lizarondo
/
KPBS
Travelers are shown in the passenger pickup area at San Diego International Airport on September 2, 2022.

Coming and going through the airport is more difficult now than it was in the past because of work on the new Terminal 1.

“We really encourage people to arrive ahead of time, two hours at least," Hall said. "If you can get a ride from someone, that’s a good idea. There’s off-site parking. There are a number of options, whether it be taking public transportation, getting a ride or making a parking reservation to ensure your trip to the airport will be smooth."

A smooth travel experience, about the best anybody, could hope for as thousands of Californians and millions of Americans get out of town over the traditional last weekend of summer.

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