Travel

Fourth of July will be the most expensive weekend in recent years

TUnmet travel demand is a relic of the pandemic. Add to that a shortage of pilots and a months-long war that keeps driving up gas prices, and you have the perfect storm for Independence Day weekend travelers.

This Fourth of July is expected to be one of the most expensive holidays in recent years, according to Hopper, a travel deal-finding app.

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Domestic airfare averages $437 for a round trip ticket, up 45% from 2019. International flights cost up to $1,200 per ticket, up 31% from 2019.

Air freight prices depend on supply and demand. Right now, there is both higher-than-usual demand and lower-than-usual supply as airlines continue to rebuild their networks after years of route cuts. On top of that, jet fuel prices are up 134% compared to 2019.

According to the latest report from STR, a data analysis company for the hospitality industry, the average daily cost of a hotel stay in the US is $155.37, up 15.4% from 2019.

Car rentals in the US cost an average of $66 per day, according to Hopper data, and travelers can expect higher pay this summer.

On Wednesday morning, the national average per gallon was $4.96, more than a nickel below the high of $5.02 hit last week. Gas station prices could drop even more ahead of the holiday weekend as President Joe Biden considers introducing a federal gas tax holiday. That would mean another 18-cent drop in gas prices, officials said.

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Procrastinators, still hoping to leave for the holiday, run off the catwalk. “Most travelers booked long weekend tickets five to six weeks in advance, in late May and early June,” says Hailey Berg, chief economist at Hopper. For travelers looking for the best value, time can be of the essence. “For the best rates on domestic flights, fly in on Saturday during the long weekend and return on Monday, July 4th. Flying out on Saturday instead of Thursday could save travelers $70 a ticket compared to peak prices,” she advises.

Unfortunately, Hopper’s analysis shows that travelers are likely to face a difficult holiday weekend due to flight disruptions. As early as this month, 23% of flights scheduled to take off from US airports have been delayed, Hopper said. This is 17% more than in May.

Most disturbed airports in the last week? Midway Chicago, Newark and Baltimore.

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