Experts predict large volume of travelers for July 4 weekend

Amtrak says ridership is up and is at about 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

Friday, July 1, 2022
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For many, Philadelphia seems to be back to pre-pandemic levels of travel.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For many, Philadelphia seems to be back to pre-pandemic levels of travel.

Jeff Dover, who was headed back to Montreal from Philadelphia, chose not to fly.

"I hear the airports are really bad, and it's pretty easy to get back home using the train," said Dover. "It's less expensive, and I don't even know if it's less time consuming after you factor in how early you have to get to the airport and with security."

Diane Loomis lucked out flying out of PHL Airport Friday afternoon, but there were delays and cancellations across the country.

Ben Mutzabaugh, senior aviation editor at "The Points Guy," shared tips for travelers.

"It's going to be that weird mix of driving. It's going to look more familiar to pre- pandemic," he said. "And flying, the crowds will be what we remember pre-pandemic, but the infrastructure hasn't quite gotten back up to speed to process everyone through. You are entitled to a refund if your flight is canceled, but the airline is not obligated to cover your expenses for a day in the airport or hotel."

Muzabaugh adds if you're involuntarily bumped on a flight that's oversold, you are entitled to compensation.

"That's federal law. The amount depends on the delay and price of original ticket," he said.

Muzabaugh also says if you can take the train, it's probably a good idea and that Amtrak hasn't experienced nearly the amount of challenges and problems as airlines.

Amtrak says ridership is up and is at about 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

For those braving the roads they will have a lot of company.

An estimated 42 million people are expected to drive this year, up nearly 10 million from 2020 when the pandemic kept many people home.

That's why some are choosing to spend this weekend at home.

Aniyah Parham from South Philadelphia said, "I am staying home. Travel is a major reason. Gas has gone up, so I guess we are going to hang out here in Philadelphia."