Gasoline prices are at a seven-year high before one of America’s busiest holiday travel weekends
NEW YORK – Memorial Day weekend gasoline prices are at their highest levels in seven years, but experts don’t expect sharp prices at the pumps to keep keen motorists on the road.
“The industry is referring to this as a ‘revenge journey’,” said Zeenat McGee, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association. “People have more discretionary income, they have a lot of PTO (paid time off) left, so they are going to make more trips and spend more money.”
Prices were recently slightly higher than the current average, due to fuel delivery problems due to a cyber attack and then to the closure of a major fuel artery, the Colonial Pipeline. Experts say gasoline prices have largely stabilized since the hacking incident, but prices are expected to be in the range of $ 3 per gallon.
The vaccine rollout has encouraged a gradual return to normal activities, and a strong labor market is supporting work-related driving, but there is scope for increased discretionary driving, said Lenny Rodriguez, team lead at S&P Global Platts.
The AAA estimates that 37 million Americans will travel by car and plane on Memorial Day weekend. This is 60% higher than last year, when many people were alert to the epidemic and stayed home. But it is still 13% below pre-epidemic travel levels during the Memorial Day weekend of 2019.
The association recommends filling the gas tank before arriving at holiday destinations, as gasoline prices around popular tourist destinations can be high.