Driving vs. Flying for Memorial Day Weekend

Nothing like dueling lobbyists. In this case, it’s cars vs. planes in a PR battle between the auto club (AAA) and a trade group called Airlines for America. The issue is Memorial Day travel and both sides say their traffic figures are up.

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31 Million Will Hit the Road

As always, most will drive – to a nearby beach or a campground or maybe just to a friend’s BBQ bash. AAA estimates more than 31 million in the U.S. will get behind the wheel sometime between Thursday through Monday (May 23-27) for a drive of 50 miles or more.

The auto group also says the number of people boarding planes during the holiday will decline by about 8% and they explain this drop as a result of “fee fatigue” and higher fares.

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209 Million Will Fly U.S. Airlines Globally

Wait just a minute, says the airline group. According to its chief economist, “It’s a great time to fly as airfares remain a bargain.” The airline folks say they expect a typical Memorial Day travel pattern – which apparently means about the same as last year – but they also forecast an overall increase in summer passenger traffic about 1%. However, that figure – an estimated 209 million passengers – includes travelers from around the world who will be flying on U.S. airlines.

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Will You Fly or Drive on Memorial Day

We’d love to hear about your plans for the Memorial Day weekend. What’ll it be: Flying, driving or sticking close to home? If you do want to get out of town, check the Deals Blog for any last-minute specials – there are still a few cheap flights out there.


Published: May 23, 2013