Busiest summer travel season expected since start of pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The official start to summer is inching closer and travel is on the rise. According to AAA, reservations for flights, rental cars, cruises, and hotels for Memorial Day weekend have spiked 122% over last year holiday.

AAA Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram told News 19 the recent increase in gas prices does not appear to be deterring summer travelers. “It looks like our demand is going to increase as we get to Memorial Day,” Ingram explained. “And the summer travel season is still going to be really busy; a lot of people are still traveling no matter what the prices are. ”

More people are heading to the airport, too. On May 9, more than 2.2 million travelers crossed through TSA checkpoints nationwide; nearly 89% of TSA travelers saw the same day in 2019.

Numbers have also risen locally; Huntsville International Airport spokesperson Mary Swanstrom told News 19 the airport is prepared for a busy summer.

“We are currently at about 87.7% of passengers compared to this time in 2019, which was the highest volume year the airport has seen to date,” Swanstrom explained.

With the increased travelers and more families heading out on summer vacations, Swanstrom urged people to get to the airport early.

“Really allow yourself plenty of time to travel with the kids,” she shared. “Plan to be at the airport an hour and a half early or earlier.”

Another tip she gave – book your trip early. Swanstrom said this will ensure you get the lowest fares and your preferred flight times.

Huntsville International has also added new routes, bringing their total number of nonstop destinations to 14. Nonstop services to Miami and Denver have already started while flights to Las Vegas will start in August.

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