ìWith airplanes scrambling to offset increasing fuel prices, consumers now face new fees for checked luggage and in-flight beverage service,î said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA spokesperson. ìAnd fewer flights are available as airlines cut back.î
Holiday travel has been taking a hit to Davis County travellers since the beginning of the year. AAA has reported nearly every holiday that is primed to see travellers has decreased in number, starting as early as Independence Day.
The companyís annual reports for this holiday foresaw some 270,000 Utahnís taking to the freeways for the three day weekend. Though the number looked high, itís still a 1.8 percent decrease compared to last year.
ìPeople just arenít willing to travel as much as they used to,î said Jeremy Silver, Syracuse resident. ìThe farthest I might go is to Willard Bay because itís close and my family loves it, but thatís it.
ìI couldnít afford to go anywhere else this year. We almost went to Seattle for the fourth, but prices for flights were way too high.î
And the airline industry is taking a hit from the lack of travel as well. Only 56,000 travellers were expected to fly over the weekend, a 3.4 percent decrease from last year. Airlines have pointed to the cost of flights, jet fuel, and the fact that they have cut flights to several cities as major factors in the decrease in travel through the air.
ìWeíre definitely noticing a downward trend in travel this year,î said Fairclough. ìBut even as Utahn's face steep increases in travel expenses, they continue to put a high value on travel in their lives and find resources for quick getaways with family and friends.î
And this holiday hasnít been any different. While some Davis County citizens are choosing to stay home, most have been willing to spend a little extra money for travel, just to have a little fun.
ìIím flying to Vegas for the weekend,î said John Womack, a Clinton resident. ìIíve saved up some money so that I can travel and have a little fun.î
Las Vegas, along with Hawaii, Orlando, Anaheim, and Phoenix were listed as the top five domestic places to travel over the holiday.
ìIím going to see all the shows, walk down the strip, everything. This will probably be the last time I go somewhere this year.î
One final thing concerning some travellers is the proximity of the upcoming holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Yearís. Some have said that saving money for those holidays is especially important because those are the best times of the year to be with other family members and friends.
ìI have been saving my money in order to travel for Thanksgiving,î said Silver. ìThis year is our familyís turn to travel, so weíve been saving money in order to drive to Arizona. Family is just as important as having fun to us.î
Among AAAís traveling tips for those flying for the upcoming holidays include arriving at the airport prepared for delayed flights, making sure consumers have their passports ready in case theyíre travelling to Mexico, Canada, or Bermuda, and placing identification tags on all their luggage. Fairclough stated that although the tips look simple, they can get easily overlooked as people rush to gates.
ìLike everyone else says, always show up early for your flight,î she said. ìFor holidays, some people may want to arrive three or four hours earlier than their planned flight.î
AAA has some money saving tips available at their website, www.aaa.com. They also offer a list of local gas prices in order to better prepare for holiday travel.