Memorial Day Weekend: The airport, the roads, the beaches the w - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Memorial Day Weekend: The airport, the roads, the beaches the weather

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Millions of Southern Californians will be taking to the roads and airways Friday as the Memorial Day travel crunch goes into high gear, and the large crowds will likely test the patience of motorists and airline passengers.

Friday is expected to be the busiest day, with nearly 252,000 passengers expected to pass through the airport. An estimated 117,000 vehicles are expected to descend on the airport to drop off or pick up travelers.

A joint study by the Auto Club and transportation research group INRIX found that the worst time for Southern California residents to hit the road for their vacations will be 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, when travel times are forecast to be 1.9 times longer than usual.

Worst times to drive over Memorial Day weekend, according to the Auto Club.

Overall, the Automobile Club of Southern California estimates that a record 3.21 million Southern California residents will be traveling over the holiday weekend. Statewide, 5.19 million Californians are expected to travel, breaking the record of 5.18 million set in 2005.

Among Southern California residents, 2.68 million are expected to travel by car to their destination, while 326,000 people will be traveling by plane. Another 202,000 people will be traveling by recreational vehicle, cruise ship, bus, train or other means of transit.

According to the Auto Club, the most popular destinations for Southern California residents will be Las Vegas, San Diego, the Central Coast, San Francisco and Yosemite National Park.

Airlines for America, a trade group that represents most major U.S. carriers, forecast  that 246.1 million passengers — about 2.7 million a day — will fly on a U.S. airline between June 1 and Aug. 31.

That would be a 3.7 percent increase from last year's record.

The group's chief economist, John Heimlich, credits a strong economy, rising household net worth, and low fares. The CEOs of American Airlines and United Airlines have warned, however, that rising fuel prices are likely to lead to higher fares.

Last summer the airline group predicted a 4 percent increase, which turned out to be too low.

 

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