Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport packed with travellers as high gas prices make driving less economical for some

As the long Memorial Day weekend begins, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was packed, with many travellers looking to escape the heat, and spend time with family and friends.

A number of people say they opted to fly rather than drive because of high gas prices, but plane tickets are not cheap either.

"I mean, the price of everything is up," said Heath Davis.

"[Airfares have] about doubled in price," said Vanessa Hurley. "I used to get tickets for $99s to Washington each way, and now, they've at least doubled, if not more."

Currently, domestic airfares average $400 per roundtrip, which is up 24% from 2019. Even with the increased prices, however, people are still going places.

According to estimates from AAA, 39 million people will travel at least 50 miles from their home this holiday weekend, with 88% of them choosing to go by car.

As for travellers at the airport, they say they had to weigh the costs and benefits of flying versus driving.

"Gas prices are very high right now, and it just isn't economical to drive anymore," said Brandon Klar.

"Visited my brother in Utah a couple of months ago too, and we chose to fly because it was more expensive to drive," said Davis.

With the airports bustling with holiday travelers, security wait times at some points in the day was more than 20 minutes long. However, travellers say navigating the crowded terminals and even paying the steep prices was worth it for a well-earned family vacation.

"I don't often get to see them," said Hurley. "It's a holiday weekend. It should be fun."

"Thank goodness we didn't have to go on the road with all the people!" said one traveller.

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