Record road travel expected as July 4 holiday traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Whether by car, by train or by plane, July 4th weekend is already breaking records.

"It feels normal," said Mannie Johnson of Manayunk. "There's something that you just take for granted that like, while life really is changed, it's good to see everybody out again."

TSA reports more than 2.1 million people traveled through airports on Thursday, surpassing passenger volume from the same time in 2019.

"Now they're seating every seat, every row, so sitting next to strangers isn't that comfortable," said Jonathan Stancil of Southwest Philadelphia.

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Airport parking at Philadelphia International Airport is a little more difficult to find with the economy lot closed. A spokesperson said there's no official reopening date yet but they're working on freeing up three thousand parking spaces.

"Our parking garages are full, especially on weekends when we're especially busy," said Heather Redfern, spokesperson for PHL.

AAA estimates 660,000 people from the Philadelphia region are traveling this holiday, 90% of them by car. Unfortunately, gas prices are up.

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"Those prices are about a dollar more than this time last year," said Jana Tidwell of AAA. "However, you have to keep in mind the demand wasn't there last year."

The current gas price average for the Philadelphia five-county region is $3.20 per gallon.

"I'm still a little concerned about being in an aircraft, that close quarters with recycled air, said Mike Martin of Newtown Square. "So the car gives you a sense of freedom."

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