Memorial Day Weekend: Travel down, gas prices up

May 22, 2013 3:42:08 PM PDT
Gas prices and the sequester are two factors at play -despite roaring stock markets- that are squeezing wallets and depressing the numbers of Americans travelling this weekend. Still the roads and airports are expected to be busy as we get set to welcome the summer of 2013.

Memorial Day weekend is coming, and 30 million Americans are expected to be on the move over the next six days- down significantly from last year.

Chicago gas prices are one factor. Beth Mosher of AAA says bottlenecks at refineries in the Midwest are causing more expensive crude to be bought from the gulf -- sending prices at the pump soaring in Chicago and places like Minnesota where they've never seen $4 per gallon for gasoline.

Those fuel prices have jacked the price of airline tickets. But weekend traffic at O'Hare and Midway airports is expected to be up slightly from last year.

The Chicago Department of Aviation expects 1.8 million passengers at O'Hare and Midway International Airports Thursday, May 23 through Tuesday, May 28. That's over 2% more than last year.

Friday, May 24 is projected to be O'Hare's busiest day with about 269,000 passengers/

At Windy City Travel, agency head Lynn Farrell isn't surprised. With three staff here and a dozen working from home on the other end of these mobile servers, she says last minute getaways are booked for this weekend.


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