Planes and highways will be less crowded for the Labor Day weekend, but travelers will pile onto trains and buses, says the motorist group AAA.
Drivers will still make up the vast majority of holiday travelers, about 28.6-million nationwide, or 83 percent of the total. But that represents a decline of 1.1 percent from last year. AAA blames gas prices that remain nearly $1 per gallon more than a year ago and consumer worries about the economy. The number of Florida drivers is expected to be off 0.8 percent.
With holiday weekend air fares 15 percent higher than last year, plus new fees for checked bags and other previously free services, air travel is expected to fall 4.5 percent from last year nationally and 3.7 percent in the Sunshine State, says AAA. An airline trade group, the Air Transport Association, predicts a steeper decline: 6.5 percent for domestic trips and 1 percent for international.
Other types of transportation will get a boost, says AAA, with train and bus traffic expected to rise 12.5 percent in the United States.
"Most travelers concerned about the economy, gasoline prices and rising air fares are opting to travel by train, bus, motorcycle and cruise ship to their holiday destinations,'' AAA chief executive officer Robert L. Darbelnet said in a statement.