Travel boom! Southwest offers double pay to avoid July 4 disruptions
Jul. 01, 2021 1:13 AM ETSouthwest Airlines Co. (LUV)XLP, XLY, RTH, VCR, IYC, IYK, BKNG, TZOO, TCOM, EXPE, VDC, PBJ, PEJ, JBLU, IHG, H, XRT, CHH, WYN, RLH, CAR, RCD, RHS, DAL, SZK, SCC, UGE, UCC, PEZ, PSL, FXD, FXG, PSCD, PSCC, RETL, TRIP, FDIS, FSTA, STAY, AAL, ABNB, WH, HTZBy: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor10 Comments
- As concerns dwindle over gathering in crowds or attending public events, 86% of Americans plan to celebrate Independence Day this year, up from 76% in 2020. Those who do have plans for the holiday are forecast to spend about $80 on food items - in line with historical trends - for a total of $7.5B. More than half of consumers are also planning a cookout or BBQ, the National Retail Foundation reports, and 29% of those celebrating expect to purchase additional patriotic items.
- Roadtrip: 10M more Americans are set to take road trips this July 4, a 34% increase compared to last year, according to AAA. Daily car rental rates for Independence Day are also 86% higher compared to the same period in 2020, topping out at $166. That strong demand comes despite gas prices that are hovering around $3.09 a gallon nationally, the highest price over the holiday in seven years.
- "The problem isn't gasoline supply," according to GasBuddy. "The problem is there aren’t enough truck drivers to keep up with deliveries, made worse by the pandemic as some truckers left for jobs elsewhere or were let go."
- Air travel: While cancelations and delays are piling up as carriers scramble to cope with the travel surge, 3.5M people are still expected to take to the skies. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is even offering flight attendants double pay, as well as higher compensation to ground and cargo employees. Overall, 47.7M Americans are expected to travel across all modes of transportation, just below record high figures from 2019, when 49M people across the U.S. traveled over the holiday.
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