Memorial Day travel surge: Expect record air travel, busy roads


Memorial Day Weekend is always one of the busiest travel times of the year. But this year, we could be looking at more travelers than ever. Brett Keller, CEO of Priceline, joined TheStreet to share his predictions for the weekend, as well as some tips on how to beat the rush, and the prices.Related: Alaska Airlines makes a change flyers are sure to likeFull Video Transcript Below:CONWAY GITTENS: Memorial Day is just around the corner. So tell me, what are your predictions for travel for the Memorial Day weekend?BRETT KELLER: Well, things are shaping up to be very, very busy. In fact, it's very likely we'll have an all time record when it comes to airline travel, when it comes to driving, it could be close to a record, but probably not over where we were back in 2005. So for all intents and purposes, very busy. TSA checkpoint has already been running up about 6% year over year. As we get closer to Memorial Day weekend, that's likely to climb as high as 10% or more. So a lot more people moving through airports and flying to exciting destinations this holiday.CONWAY GITTENS: So you speak of exciting destinations. What are the top destinations for Memorial Day travel this week?Watch More Interviews: Shark Tank's Kevin O’Leary has a bold plan for TikTokKara Swisher issues stark warning to the mediaInflation is impossible to forecast — stop investing like you can, top economist warnsBRETT KELLER: Sure well, here in the U.S. there's some all time favorites, right. So people are going to come into New York City. They're going to go to Chicago for the Memorial day, for the parades. And outside of that, people are looking for big entertainment destinations. So markets like Las Vegas, where there are a number of concerts taking place, big pool parties, people are heading down to Florida, of course, for beaches up and down both the Eastern and Western coasts of Florida and Mexico is back in Vogue again after taking a bit of a pause coming out of the pandemic. So a lot of people heading down to Mexico and to the Caribbean. Outside of the U.S., folks are heading to Asia with the Yen at a 32 year all time low. People are going to Tokyo, Osaka and other destinations across Asia.CONWAY GITTENS: What are your top tips for navigating the crowded holiday weekend travel?BRETT KELLER: Sure well, there are some good trends happening in flight. It's not all bad. Average ticket prices are down about 15% from where they were last year over the Memorial Day holiday. And if you're really still looking in the market for Memorial Day or even into summer, it's best to book ahead because inventory is tight. If you've flown recently, you've noticed that the planes are extremely full and even though there's more capacity in the air, things are tight during the peak periods. And so my advice would be absolutely, shop around and take your time to do your shopping, but then purchase as soon as you know what you want. Services like Priceline, we have advanced technology and based on AI that helps parse through millions of flight routes to really bring you the best available prices for a flight. We even mix and match airline carriers to optimize pricing for you as a consumer. So it pays to shop. Just don't wait too long before you book. Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

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