ST. LOUIS — The Fourth of July weekend is fast approaching, and travelers are dealing with all sorts of issues, from high gas prices to flight cancellations.
Jerry Hindman of Hawaii noticed a significant increase in the cost of his flight from the island to St. Louis compared to two years ago, even though he planned months in advance for his trip.
“We’re a little bit reserved on the financial side,” said Hindman. “That’s for sure. I mean, we plan ahead anyway because of that. Now, this throws us a curve ball. You’ve just got to anticipate it, I guess. But we didn’t know it was going to go this high,” Hindman said.
Days ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, airline staffing shortages and flight cancellations continue.
“Now what you’ve got in the air, is you still have experienced pilots, but you still have a lot of new ones coming up, but the ones that are working they’re working a lot.”
Flightaware.com said a combined more than 30 flights were canceled or delayed Wednesday at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
Steve and Ryan Gawley from Long Island, New York, rented weeks in advance for their trip to visit St. Louis.
“It wasn’t bad at all. The guy asked me, ‘Did I want to buy a full tank?’ And I said, ‘I’m only driving around Washington University.’ He said, ‘Don’t do it, it’s really expensive and not a good option,'” Gawley said with a laugh.
AAA is predicting more than $40 million travelers on roadways as the national gas average reaches nearly five dollars. AAA public affairs specialist Nick Chabbaria said prices are high, but people are still hitting the roadways.
“We’ve seen airlines still struggling with staffing issues and weather-related issues throughout the summer, which may be driving more folks to opt for a road trip rather than hit the skies,” he said.
Chabbaria said Missouri and Illinois saw small dips in prices in the last week.
“About seven or eight cents, so certainly a little bit of relief for drivers. Probably, they wish they could see it a little bit more, but we’ve at least seen a slow down from those record-setting prices a couple of weeks ago,” he said.