Sep 2, 2022 - Economy

Labor Day travelers face another chaotic holiday weekend

Passengers carry baggage as they walk to flights in the West Gates terminal expansion at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, on August 10, 2022.

Passengers carry baggage at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 10. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Labor Day weekend is shaping up to be a busier travel weekend than it was last year, capping off a summer of chaotic travel for many Americans.

The big picture: Domestic travel bookings for Labor Day weekend, which includes air travel, cars, cruises, hotels and tours are up 22% from 2021 — and international travel bookings are up 104%, per AAA travel data.

  • The top domestic destinations are Seattle, Orlando and Las Vegas.

Between the lines: The average lowest airfare is at about $179 per ticket, per AAA, which is an almost 20% increase from 2021 — and a 30% increase from 2020.

State of play: The uptick in travel comes after a summer of travel woes, particularly for airlines, which are largely understaffed and have struggled to keep up with the resurgence of travel since the pandemic.

  • Pilots at more than a dozen airports nationwide are also picketing this week in a call for better work conditions and benefits amid a summer of "revenge travel," Axios' Herb Scribner reports.
  • Travelers going by car will enjoy lower gas prices from record highs: The national average gas price has dropped to $3.809 per gallon, according to AAA. Earlier this month, prices retreated to below $4 a gallon for the first time since early March.

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