A record 42 million people in the United States are expected to hit the road for trips over the July 4 holiday weekend despite an average gasoline price rising to nearly $5 a gallon.

The average U.S. retail price of gasoline recently crossed the $5 per gallon mark for the first time in history, AAA said Tuesday. It has fallen slightly and now averages around $4.96.

While the $5 price isn’t record high on an inflation-adjusted basis, it still represents an increase of almost $2 per gallon over the previous year. Despite the higher cost, gasoline demand is only 1% below average for this time of year in the United States.

The 42 million figure, if it were to materialize, would exceed the peak of 2019, when 41.5 million people traveled by vehicle on Independence Day, according to the American Automobile Association.

Including air travel, 47.9 million people are expected to travel 80 km or more from home during the holiday season, down just 2% from 2019’s 49 million but exceeding 2021 levels, said the organization of trips.

The average U.S. retail price of gasoline recently crossed the $5 per gallon mark for the first time in history, AAA said Tuesday. The current average is $4.96

Researchers argued in a 2021 report that congestion has built up in the US month-over-month since the pandemic (pictured: Philadelphia rush-hour traffic in April 2019)

Researchers argued in a 2021 report that congestion has built up in the US month-over-month since the pandemic (pictured: Philadelphia rush-hour traffic in April 2019)

A graph shows a sharp drop in traffic during the pandemic and the steady increase in 2021

A graph shows a sharp drop in traffic during the pandemic and the steady increase in 2021

“The volume of travelers we expect to see on Independence Day is a sure sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Earlier this year we started to see travel demand increase and it’s not going down.”

Through April 2022, 1.017 trillion vehicle miles were reported, a rate that only trails 2019 and 2018 in pace, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The travel chaos also continued in the air on the first official day of summer, when 222 flights had already been canceled as of 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday due to staff shortages, record inflation and rising gasoline prices.

According to flight tracking Aware of the theftmore than 200 flights were canceled within, to or from the United States as of Tuesday morning, and nearly 600 flights were delayed – Delta and American Airlines each delayed 2% of their scheduled flights.

Satellite navigation device company TomTom collected data from millions of GPS signals from cars and smartphones around the world to analyze traffic patterns in more than 400 cities.  New York (pictured in 2015), Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Orleans reported traffic jams at near-normal levels, dropping only 1-2% in 2021 from 2019

Satellite navigation device company TomTom collected data from millions of GPS signals from cars and smartphones around the world to analyze traffic patterns in more than 400 cities. New York (pictured in 2015), Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Orleans reported traffic jams at near-normal levels, dropping only 1-2% in 2021 from 2019

New York-area airport Newark Liberty International Airport appeared to be the worst on Tuesday, with 5% of its outbound and return flights canceled, followed by Boston’s Logan Airport, which canceled 2% of its outbound flights and 1% of its inbound flights. flights.

The summer chaos comes after more than 1,700 flights were canceled on Thursday and more than 1,100 flights were canceled on Friday – leading to high numbers of pandemic travelers as more than 2.4million people crossed the dots control of the Transportation Security Administration.

By Saturday, CNBC reports, more than 6,300 flights were delayed to or from the United States and 859 flights were canceled – and more than 900 flights were canceled on Sunday.

On Monday, more than 3,600 flights were also delayed within, into or out of the United States, of which more than 380 were canceled.

In total, around 3% of scheduled flights were canceled this month, up 1% from the previous year – and the total number of cancellations rose by 16% to 13,581 flights ago one year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Massive cancellations and delays continued on the official first day of summer Tuesday morning, with more than 200 cancellations reported across the country

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Massive cancellations and delays continued on the official first day of summer Tuesday morning, with more than 200 cancellations reported across the country

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: More than 1,000 flights were delayed as of 12 p.m. EST Tuesday within, to and from the United States

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: More than 1,000 flights were delayed as of 12 p.m. EST Tuesday within, to and from the United States

Air carriers say the backlog of flights comes as travel demands hit pre-pandemic levels, but staffing remains strained after mass layoffs fueled by COVID-19.

At the same time, the US dollar is boosted by rising interest rates and gasoline prices are soaring.

The U.S. trade-weighted real exchange rate index, set in 2006, is meanwhile at an all-time high, and the benchmark Brent oil price is around $115 a barrel.

“For the airlines, this is not good at all. It’s the perfect storm,’ Tony Webber, former chief economist at Qantas Airways in Australia, told the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting in Doha, Qatar.