Holiday travel: Gas prices at 6-year high as millions hit the road

Gas prices are at a six-year high as travelers hit the roads for Fourth of July this weekend.
Despite record-high gas prices, Thursday is expected to be the heaviest travel day on the Illinois Tollway as people head to their Fourth of July holiday weekend destinations.

Nearly 35 million U.S. drivers will be taking road trips this weekend, according to AAA officials. That's the highest number since 2007. Illinois Tollway officials expect 5.5 million cars to travel between Thursday and Sunday.

But Experts with the fuel tracker website GasBuddy said gas prices are holding on or likely to be at their highest on July 4 since 2008.

"So even amidst falling prices, we're starting at record-high prices for July 4," GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.67 - here in Chicago, it's $4.02.

"I'm only filling up a little bit, then I'm going to fill up totally in Wisconsin," said Carol Jankowski, a motorist.

Wholesaler Costco discounted their gas prices for their members.

"We've been five-deep all day because we lowered our prices by 10 cents yesterday instead of how all the neighborhood gas stations went up, we went down a dime," said Debbie Ippolito, a Costco gas station supervisor.

"Probably saving almost 50 cents a gallon, that's a lot, especially for this puppy," said Michael Anthony, a motorist at Costco.

There was a similar frenzy at the Mobil gas station in Hammond, Ind., where some Illinois residents typically go for cheaper gas.

Mobil Manager Tremayne Thomas said a July 1 increase in Indiana's gas tax has done nothing to slow business.

"We're still cheaper than Illinois so I'm not really surprised by that, people are still going to come this way whether they're getting gas or cigarettes," Thomas said.

Airports are expected to be equally as busy, as almost 2 million travelers are expected to pass through Chicago's airports during the holiday weekend. Airlines are already reporting delays and cancellations for flights going to the east coast due to Hurricane Arthur.
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