Americans made a near-record number of trips at the start of Memorial Day weekend. Their enthusiasm to free them from the containment of the coronavirus has defeated rising prices for planes, gasoline and hotels.

More than 1.8 million people passed U.S. airports on Thursday, and that number was widely expected. 2 This is the highest record since early March 2020.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas warned travelers to expect Long queue at the airport, And on Friday, he begged the Americans to be patient.

The increase in travel appears to be supported by an increase in the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 and an improving economy. The U.S. Department of Commerce said consumer spending rose in April, but not as much as in March, proving consumers are helping recover from last year’s pandemic recession. ..

With the arrival of Memorial Day, some states will lift remaining restrictions on the pandemic as the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths improve. Massachusetts mask obligations will be removed on Saturday and Virginia will ease all distance and number restrictions on Friday.

President Joe Biden visited Virginia to celebrate the unofficial start of summer and the outcome of the fight against the virus during this time when more than 8 million states reported an average of 360 cases per day. I am.

At Miami International Airport, authorities expect about 115,000 passengers a day during the six days ending in June. 1Spokesman Greg Chin said the number of airports is comparable to pre-pandemic levels. The same is true in Orlando, where airport traffic has reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels and people are flocking to recently deregulated theme parks.

AAA Predicts a 60% increase in trips over the same holiday weekend last year, with 37 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles from their homes, most by car. Insurance company Even made this prediction Highest gasoline price Over 7 Years – The national average is over $ 3 per regular gallon.

Car rental prices have also increased significantly since car rental companies cut back on vehicles to survive last year’s severe travel crisis.

“I got a call from my mother-in-law while on vacation and I said, ‘Hey, can you rent a car? I said ‘no’, ”said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media. “Demand has increased 500% since January and it’s difficult to rent a car right now, so plan ahead.”

Hotels and other accommodation on the beach and in the mountains are expected to be more crowded than in urban areas. According to Lou Career, president of the Distinctive Hospitality Group, the company’s two hotels in Connecticut tourist destinations have seen a surge in bookings since the state eased mask requirements two weeks ago. In March, the occupancy rate is still only around 20%. Boston Hotel.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Commerce, hotel rates across the country rose 8% in March, then 9% in April, and air fares by 10% in April.

It does not prevent people from boarding the plane. The Transportation Security Administration inspected about 1.6 million people per day this month, up from 224,000 per day in May 2020.

Most of them are traveling on vacation or visiting family and friends in the United States. Airline executives say domestic leisure travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels – Delta Air Lines President Glenn Howenstein said this week that bookings currently exceeded 2019. T.

However, business travelers and international visitors are still largely absent, and airlines are eager to return to profitable business. One of the suggestions to facilitate travel abroad is the vaccination passport. This is an app that shows if a person has been vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.

Homeland Security Secretary Mallorcus told ABC on Friday that the government was “scrutinizing very carefully” the idea. The aviation industry, the European Union and others are working hard to develop vaccine passports to boost international travel and revive the tourism-based economy.

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PA staff editors Frida Frisaro from Miami, Dee Ann Durbin from Detroit, and Martin Classinger from Washington contributed to this report.

More travel as Americans go on vacation

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