AAA predicts 60% increase in Memorial Day travel over last year
PHOENIX - Things are starting to pick back up at airports, and experts believe this is only going to continue as more people are vaccinated.
Many Americans say they're making up for lost time, which is fueling their desire to travel.
"We were ready – we usually do travel once a year, so we planned it in June thinking that everything would be good," said one couple at Sky Harbor. "But we’re comfortable with what we’ve came up with, so it’s exciting."
The U.S. Travel Association reports that 72% of Americans are planning a summer vacation this year, and travel is already starting to pick up.
TSA officials say that agents screened 1.7 million people at airport checkpoints on May 15, the highest number of passengers since March 12, 2020.
In fact, more than 1 million people have passed through U.S. airports each day since early March, according to TSA's numbers.
"With me graduating in 2020, I kind of missed out on my senior trip and everything, so I’m like glad that everything's opening up again so we can travel and do more stuff," said another traveler.
AAA also released their estimations for Memorial Day weekend travel, saying 37 million people will venture at least 50 miles away from home during the holiday - up 60% from last year.
American Airlines, which has a base in Phoenix, says it expects to fly approximately 90% of its 2019 system seat capacity this summer.
Analysts say this is good news for the airline industry, which lost an estimated $35 billion last year because of the pandemic.
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