Take the road ? Fourth of July travelers face high gas prices and clogged roads – Press Enterprise
Finally freed from restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, dozens of Southern Californians are preparing to leave the city for their Independence Day vacations.
Road traffic and long queues at the airport are to be expected.
Travelers will pay the highest gasoline prices recorded in seven years, and may also find that some stations run out of gasoline because there are not enough tanker drivers to refuel. . Hmm.
Travelers may face flight delays due to weather issues and a shortage of available pilots.
Despite these issues, Southern California auto clubs are bouncing strong on an Independence Day weekend.
More than 3.3 million Southern Californians are expected to travel on vacation weekends. This is an increase of 46% from last year.
Over 86% drive to their destination, over 13% fly by plane, and about 1% by other means as cruises from U.S. ports are canceled and fewer people use trains and buses. Should.
In a statement, Autoclub vice president of travel Philomena Andre said: “We expect car travel to be the highest on record and air travel to be the third since AAA started tracking data in 2001. I am. “
Tom Croza, Global Head of Energy Analysis Oil Price Information Service Gas stations have been shut down nationwide in states and areas such as California, Pacific Northwest, Colorado , Iowa, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.
“In the past, station owners were behind schedule for truck deliveries,” says Croza. “Now I am working 1.”
The increase in fuel demand in July corresponds to the need for approximately 2,500 to 3,000 deliveries nationwide each day.
“There just isn’t a pilot to do this,” said Croza.
Driver shortages are a problem in the truck industry, but tanker operation requires special skills and is more serious than in other industries.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices will continue to rise.
According to price trackers, the average price of a regular unleaded gallon in Los Angeles County on Tuesday was $ 4.30, up $ 1.23 from the previous year. GasBuddy.com .. The LA County average last exceeded this level in October 2012, hitting a record high of nearly $ 4.71 per gallon.
Prices are just as high in other parts of Southern California.
Orange County averaged $ 4.27 on Tuesday, San Bernardino County averaged $ 4.21 and Riverside County averaged $ 4.22 per gallon.
Karen Ellis from Castaic did not travel this weekend, but is planning a day trip to Santa Barbara. And because of high gasoline prices, she is changing her driving habits.
“I keep my feet off the throttle and try not to accelerate too much, but it annoys the people behind you,” she said. “I went to Costco and bought gasoline last week for $ 3.59 a gallon. Plus, get 4% off with a Costco credit card.
The top five Independence Day destinations for travelers to Southern California are Las Vegas, San Diego, Zion / Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Yosemite National Park.
Travelers who are not fully vaccinated are advised not to fly. Vaccinated travelers should wear masks and stay as socially removed as possible from others.
FlightAware – A website that tracks airline delays and cancellations in real time on Tuesday reported 2,987 delays and 270 cancellations related to US and international flights. Southwest Airlines delayed or canceled more than 1,300 flights over the weekend of June 26 due to a storm at a major hub.
Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, also linked some of the issues to staff shortages caused by pilots and others taking long vacations to avoid layoffs linked to the pandemic. It was.
Heath Montgomery, spokesperson for Los Angeles International Airport, said this was nothing new.
“Even before the pandemic, there was a long shortage of pilots,” he said. “Training a new class of people as pilots is a challenge. It takes time.”
Montgomery said LAX has seen a significant increase in travel, but no unnecessary delays or cancellations.
“The demand for air travel is skyrocketing,” he said. “It’s a problem of supply and demand. More people really want to go back to heaven. We’re the busiest since February 2020, but still around 60% of passengers in 2019 That’s only 65%. “
Still, Montgomery advises travelers to arrive early.
“It is always better to monitor the status of flights,” he said. “LAX is currently an active construction zone, so you need to sign up for a message alert and get here early. “
The airport is in the middle of a $ 14.5 billion modernization program, which includes adding self-driving cars, rebuilding Terminal 3 from scratch, and renovating all other terminals at the airport.
“People have to make backup plans because parking is also the biggest weather,” Montgomery said. “They can have someone drop them off or maybe take the shuttle.”
Take the road ? Fourth of July travelers face high gas prices and clogged roads – Press Link Enterprise Source On the road? Fourth of July travelers face high gas prices and clogged roads – Press Enterprise