UTAH (ABC4) – If you’re traveling this Memorial Day weekend, you’ve got some major company.
More than 50 million Americans are expected to drive or fly somewhere this weekend and nearly everyone is paying more to get there.
Right now, the national average price per gallon of gas is $4.60 — an all-time high. For those who are flying, prepare for crowds on the plane and plenty of long security lines.
On Friday alone, Salt Lake City International Airport says there’ll be over 27,000 people coming through the doors to fly out for Memorial Day weekend. All travelers should expect some sort of backup during this three-day weekend.
Airport officials say they’re getting closer to pre-pandemic travel numbers, which means a busier airport and many travelers hoping to get through the airport as quickly as possible.
“It’s supposed to be pretty crowded, we’ll work our way around it though,” traveler Dave Turley said.
But not giving yourself time to pass through TSA can lead to scary close calls.
”I got to be there in ten minutes ago so we gotta hurry,” Turley said.
Travelers are planning ahead to make sure they catch their flights on time.
“Just in case, you gotta make sure that you have the time for sure,” said traveler David Connolly.
The airport’s new layout includes an extra-long walk to the B gates and travelers may be in for a bit of a headache if they don’t plan for that travel time.
“With that B gate, it takes an extra 15-20 minutes now,” traveler Jeremy Blank said.
“It’s long, it’s a long walk,” said Connolly.
Salt Lake City Airport says reports show nine out of 10 Americans are planning to travel this summer. For those traveling on the roads, high gas prices will also mean expensive road trips.
AAA reports that Utah gas prices have gone up over a dollar per gallon compared to this same time last year. One driver said an otherwise short road trip lasting just a few hours need up costing them hundreds of dollars.
“Probably $300 easily,” said driver David Smith.
But no matter the travel method or high costs, many folks are just glad to get away for the weekend.
“Excited to get away a little bit, get some sun,” said Connolly.
Salt Lake City Airport officials suggest all fliers should arrive at least two hours before flight time. AAA says drivers should get their cars checked before heading out on the road.
How to beat the holiday crowds? Head out before 8 a.m. to avoid getting crushed in endless traffic.