Airlines Expect Record Memorial Day Weekend Travel Surge

Airlines Expect Record Memorial Day Weekend Travel Surge

As Americans celebrate Memorial Day weekend, aviation traffic is projected to approach pre-pandemic levels.

According to mid-April AAA estimates, 3.4 million passengers will travel from Thursday to Monday, up 11% from 2022. It predicted 170,000 more travelers than 2019.

United Airlines and American Airlines, two of the nation's largest airlines, told Barron's on Thursday they anticipated 2.9 million customers to fly with them between Thursday and Tuesday, totaling 5.8 million. This shows a far greater passenger count than AAA projected.

With congested airports, the business fears a recurrence of 2022's massive delays and cancellations.

"This is expected to be the third-busiest Memorial Day weekend since 2000, when AAA started tracking holiday travel," AAA Travel senior vice president Paula Twidale said on May 15. "This summer travel season could be one for the record books, especially at airports."

Newsweek reported that American Airlines has 17,600 more employees this summer than in 2021.

"We've invested in our operational resilience for this summer," she added. "We're nimbler, more adaptable, and structurally better prepared."

The AAA anticipates 42.3 million Americans—13% of the nation's population—to travel 50 miles or more in all modes of transportation, up 7% from last year.

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