Flight cancellations, rising gas prices impact Georgians ahead of Memorial Day

Published: May. 29, 2022 at 10:28 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - It’s one of the biggest travel weekends of the year as many people take advantage of the three-day weekend, but on the roads and in the sky, there are some hiccups folks may face before heading home.

“This is a very crazy busy time, expensive time,” said Tonya Ingram, as she tried to make her way home to Boston from the Atlanta airport.

“It’s hectic out here. I’m talking about there are people everywhere. It’s crazy,” said Shawn Cliff, wrapping up a trip in Atlanta.

35 million Americans are heading to the airport or hitting the road on Memorial Day weekend. AAA estimates 1.2 million Georgians are roundtripping, causing traffic throughout the state.

“It was crazy just getting here, just driving through Atlanta, it was crazy,” said Lisa Veraldi, who flew to Atlanta from Denver to drive up to the mountains.

All of those people are on the road despite steep prices at the pump. AAA says they’re up by more than 50 percent from last year. Governor Brian Kemp has actually extended the suspension of state gas taxes through mid-July, saving drivers about 30 cents. The state’s gas price average is $3.76 but here in the Metro-Atlanta area, most people are seeing costs over $4 a gallon, with Fulton County seeing the highest average at $4.26.

“Gas was very, very expensive. I was like oh my goodness,” said Ingram, who got a $540 rental car for her two-day trip to Georgia.

Flight fares are up too. According to Hopper, domestic airline fares are averaging more than $400 for a round trip, 24% higher than this time in 2019, before the pandemic.

“Costs afterwards, it’s…we spent a lot of money,” said Ingram.

Despite how much people are paying to go wheels up, a large amount of delays and cancellations throughout the country, especially by Delta, may keep them grounded.

“It’s like a bunch of people in the Delta area I’m like oh my goodness,” said Ingram.