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How to Handle Crowded Airports and Roads This Fourth of July

How to Handle Crowded Airports and Roads This Fourth of July

Whether they’re driving or flying, people traveling for the upcoming holiday weekend are expected to break records in what is already one of the busiest years yet for travel.

The Fourth of July holiday usually marks the peak for summer travel, and this summer is already showing signs of surpassing the past two record-setting summers.

With the Transportation and Safety Administration reporting record numbers of passengers flying in the past month, and AAA predicting 60 million drivers hitting the road, here’s what to know and how to avoid delays and traffic jams.

With people itching to get away in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns, air travel in recent years has taken off. Travel volumes are still growing, despite higher costs and a more volatile industry, according to Paula Twidale, the senior vice president of travel at AAA.

The demand is being fueled by wealthier travelers, who are spending more, while budget travelers and poorer families are booking fewer trips, according to analysts and surveys.

In an American Express Travel survey, 84 percent of people planned to spend more or the same amount on travel this year compared with 2023, and over three quarters said they valued the best travel experience over cost.

The T.S.A., which already reported record-breaking numbers of security screenings over the past two months, is bracing for more passengers than ever before this weekend.

Nearly three million passengers were screened by T.S.A. on June 24, a single-day record. And seven of the top 10 busiest travel days ever occurred in the past month, according to T.S.A. screening numbers.

While the number of passengers has increased, the number of flights has not bounced back to prepandemic levels, Ms. Twidale said. This has made air travel less reliable in cases of extreme weather and mishaps.

For consumers booking a flight, Ms. Twidale recommends paying attention to where and how long any connections are. Booking too short a layover in a busy airport leaves little room for delays, which could lead to a missed flight.

The cities with the busiest airports this week will likely be Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver, according to the booking platform Hopper.

Hopper warns that passengers should anticipate longer lines in the mornings in most airports this week. At Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Kennedy International Airport in New York…

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