PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, local travel experts said many people are looking to get away for the holiday.
With the average gas price of $4.59 in Illinois, it’s safe to say those who are planning a road trip should be ready to spend some money. The same goes for flying, with shortages of pilots and the cost of jet fuel hiking up the price of airline tickets.
“39.2 million people are going to be traveling nationally, 90% of them are going to be traveling by car. Here in Illinois, 1.9 million people are going to get away this weekend, and 1.7 are going to be going by auto,” said Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA, the Auto Club.
Although the price of travel is high, that’s not deterring people from getting away for the weekend.
“If you look at the availability of seats right now compared to what we were in, say 2019, we’re probably at about 80% or 85% of what was available back then,” said Director of Airports at the Peoria International Airport Gene Olson.
Olson said prices for one-way airline tickets can cost $300 or even more.
“Because of the limited availability of seats, the pilot shortage, and the fact that a whole bunch of aircraft are still parked, the demand is coming back, but the supply’s not there, so ticket prices are going up as well,” said Olson.
Hart said in Illinois, there are still thousands of people planning on flying. “In regards to air travel, the numbers are up this year, 89,000 people here in Illinois will be getting on a plane.”
To try and save on expenses, Hart said people can stay in less expensive hotels, and try not to dine out or shop as much. She also said to save on gas, people can carpool, run errands in one trip, and pack snacks and water, so people don’t have to stop as much.