AAA estimates less-busy Labor Day weekend

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - AAA projects the number of Americans traveling this upcoming Labor Day weekend will drop by 13.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Approximately 39.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, compared to 45.1 million last year, which was the highest this decade.

"Last year, an early Labor Day, falling gas prices and great travel deals encouraged many Americans to make last minute travel plans," said Elaine Zeinner, AAA spokesperson.  "AAA still anticipates the third busiest Labor Day holiday weekend this decade even as many children have already returned to school, making travel plans a little more difficult for families to arrange."

Approximately 32.9 million Americans will reach their Labor Day destinations by automobile this year, a decline of 11.8 percent from last year.

In Ohio, over 1.4 million residents will travel 50 miles or more by automobile over the upcoming holiday weekend. Gas prices are approximately $1.18 cheaper per gallon than last year, which will help provide a little relief to motorists' budgets. Cincinnati's current gas price average is $2.53/gallon compared to $3.71 one year ago.

Air travel is expected to account for only 4 percent of holiday travel, with 1.5 million travelers reaching destinations by air, compared to 1.8 million flying in 2008. This 17 percent decline is largely due to airlines' reduced capacity, even as air fares are expected to be 12 percent below last year's levels. In Ohio, 40,000 residents are expected to fly over Labor Day weekend.

AAA's projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight.

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