PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A lot of people were already en route to their Memorial Day weekend destinations on Thursday, which is projected to be the busiest day for air travel during the long holiday.
Philadelphia International Airport officials anticipate more than 41,000 passengers to fly out of town on Thursday.
“We’re excited. We planned this trip and can’t wait to go!” said Heather Mastropasqua, of Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, who was flying to Orlando with her son. “We are going to Disney — Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Epcot!”
“I just want to be on the beach and relax. I haven’t been to the beach in many, many years!” enthused Rosalind Brown, of Camden, who was traveling to Miami.
A lot more people are flying out of town compared to this same period last year. Airport officials expect a 14% increase compared to Memorial Day weekend last year.
During the summer months, about 4 million people are expected to fly out of Philly International — a 12% increase compared to last summer. But there is still a ways to go to catch up to pre-pandemic summer levels in Philadelphia. While this is an increase from last year, it’s still projected to be down 14% compared to 2019.
As usual, most of the Memorial Day weekend travelers will be hitting the road. Around 90% of Philadelphia-area holiday travelers — more than 440,000 people — will travel by car, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That is a 6% increase compared to last year.
AAA Mid-Atlantic said this Memorial Day weekend is on pace to be the fourth busiest Memorial Day in the Philadelphia area since AAA started tracking in 2000, behind 2019, 2018 and 2005, respectively.