PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Airlines are expecting a busy summer and Memorial Day weekend with airports packed full of travelers.
AAA is anticipating this to be the fourth busiest Memorial Day weekend in the Philadelphia area since 2000, with around a half million Philadelphia-area residents predicted to travel over the long weekend.
Those numbers are 6% higher than last year and just shy of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAA predicts close to 90% of our area's travelers will go by car, nearly 9% will fly, and then the rest will hit the rails, take the bus, or a cruise.
A Frontier Airlines executive explained travelers should expect to see airports and airlines more prepared for demand compared to last year.
"Staffing levels are better overall, there are more seats available, capacity has grown about 10% this summer for domestic travel, so I think there's a lot more chance that things will go a lot more smoothly this year," said Daniel Shurz of Frontier Airlines.
The TSA announced this week that teenagers can now accompany their parents or guardians, who are enrolled in precheck.
As for drivers, they are finding some relief at the pumps this year.
The Philadelphia five-county gas average of $3.63 is $1.26 less than on this day one year ago. It's also nearly $1.50 less than the all-time high Philadelphia five-county gas price average of $5.11 set on June 12, 2022, though that figure did not account for inflation.
Prices in South Jersey are $3.38 a gallon and prices in Delaware are $3.45 a gallon.