NEW YORK – Fewer Americans plan to travel by car this Labor Day weekend, AAA says, despite gas prices that are about a dime lower than a year ago.
The auto club's annual Labor Day survey, conducted by the Travel Industry Association, found that 28.9 million people will travel by car over the long weekend, down from 29 million last year.
Gas prices have fallen this summer to a national average of $2.75 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. That's down from $2.85 a gallon one year ago, but still high by historical standards.
"This year families appear to be concerned about the travel costs associated with an end of summer vacation, which may mean Americans aren't canceling previously planned trips but are not planning to travel more than they did last year," said Robert Darbelnet, president and chief executive of AAA.
Still, the overall number of people planning to travel more than 50 miles over Labor Day is expected to rise slightly to 34.6 million, AAA said. The number of people planning to fly this weekend increased to 4.1 million from 4 million one year ago, the survey found, despite record flight congestion and delays.
Separately, the Air Transport Association of America said it expects 15.7 million passengers to fly globally on U.S. airlines from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5, a 2.6 percent increase over the same period last year.