AAA Predicts Fewer Will Travel for Labor Day

Business Week: AAA says fewer Americans will travel over the Labor Day weekend than did a year ago because of the weak economy and higher airfares.

The auto club predicted Wednesday that 31.5 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday, Sept. 1, and the holiday on Monday, Sept. 5, a decrease of 2.4 percent.

Most will travel by vehicle, but 8 percent will fly. AAA said air travel will decline because fares are 13 percent higher than a year ago. Airlines raised prices early this year to offset jet fuel costs and have held prices steady even as fuel has fallen since April.

Other numbers:

-- Rates at mid-quality hotels are expected to be 6 percent higher than a year ago, costing travelers about $148 per night.

-- Weekend daily car rental rates are expected to be 7 percent lower than last Labor Day.

AAA based its forecast on research by Boston-based IHS Global Insight.


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