Illinois/Indiana air and auto travel on the rise
AURORA, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AAA Travel projects 35.5 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more
from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the highest travel
volume for the holiday since 2008 and a one percent increase over 2014.
While the majority of travelers (30.4 million, 86 percent of all
travelers) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before
summer comes to a close, air travel is also projected to grow 1.5
percent this holiday. Over 2.6 million travelers are expected to travel
by air, making this the largest volume of air travel since 2007 for this
holiday period. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as
Thursday, September 3 to Monday, September 7.
In Illinois, 1.9 million people will be traveling for the holiday
weekend, which is a .8 percent increase from 2014. Of those travelers,
just over 1.7 million will be driving (a .7 percent increase compared
with 2014) and just over 72,000 will be flying to their destination (a
3.1 percent increase from 2014). Gas prices across Illinois are on
average $2.98, down significantly from $3.52 in 2014.
In Indiana, just over 816,000 people are expected to travel, which is a
1.4 percent increase from 2014. Of those, 725,000 are expected to travel
by auto (1.3 percent increase) and about 31,000 by air (3.8 percent
increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $2.73 per gallon, down
from $3.44 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is
Highlights from 2015 Labor Day Travel Forecast
Historically, when Labor Day weekend falls later in the calendar,
Americans have shown less inclination to travel. As Labor Day falls on
September 7, the latest possible day it can occur, the overall travel
growth potential is dampened somewhat this year.
Rising wages and falling gas prices have helped boost disposable
income, which has risen 3.5 percent over last year, but some consumers
are using that money to save and pay debts.
Automobile travel will increase by 1.1 percent this year, with 30.4
million travelers hitting the road.
Nearly 7.4 percent of travelers (2.6 million) will travel by air, a
1.5 percent increase from last year.
“A strong labor market coupled with greater job security and rising home
prices have all helped to increase disposable income,” said AAA Chicago
spokesperson Beth Mosher. “Though some consumers remain cautious, these
positive indicators are driving a slight increase and allowing millions
of Americans to travel on one last summer getaway.”
Lowest Labor Day gas prices in at least five years expected
Despite recent price spikes in the Midwest gas prices, travelers
continue to benefit from substantially lower prices compared to recent
years. Drivers in Illinois and Indiana will pay the lowest gas prices
since 2010 and 2009 respectively. The national average price for a
gallon of gasoline is $2.57, $.86 cents less than the average price from
a year ago; this is the lowest U.S. average since 2009. Drivers can use
Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices close to home and along the
way to their holiday destinations. Travelers can also plan routes and
fun stops for the whole family at AAA.com using
AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner; members can save and share customized
routes for use on a smartphone, tablet or with the AAA Mobile app.
Airfares Dip, Hotel Rates Climb
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates are expected to
average higher this Labor Day holiday, while the cost of a flight is
AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to be the highest in five
years, increasing 2 percent from one year ago, with travelers spending
an average of $175 compared to $171.
The average rate for Two Diamond properties increased 10% from Labor
Day 2014. Year-to-date through August, the average rate for Two
Diamond hotels has increased 9%. The $138 average is 13 dollars higher
than last year, and the highest for this holiday in the past five
Airfares are down 1 percent, with the average round-trip discounted
fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $216, down from $219 last year.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS
Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed
with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major
holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than
two decades. More information including an infographic for the AAA / IHS
Global Insight 2015 Labor Day Travel Forecast can be found
About AAA Chicago
AAA Chicago is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA
club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership,
travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9
million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including
Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee,
Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and
Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA
federation with more than 55 million members in the United States and
Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of
mobility and improving traffic safety.