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Fourth of July travel: Here’s what you can expect today

Fourth of July travel: Here’s what you can expect today
03 Jul
4:11

FlightAware’s MiseryMap is not looking very miserable so far this July 4th Eve.

The flight tracking website’s interactive map using real-time weather and flight data was largely green this morning, meaning there are few delays and cancellations.  

There were 3,107 delays by late evening and 258 cancellations within, into or out of the USA. The New York City area airports–Newark Liberty, JFK and LaGuardia–were the most affected. There was rain in area. 

Earlier today, United Airlines said it expected a few delays at Newark.

“Otherwise we expect a relatively smooth operation today and through the holiday,” United spokesman Charles Hobart says.

American Airlines says July 3 and July 4 are expected to be two of its slowest days in terms of scheduled departures.

This year, July 4th falls on a Wednesday, meaning that many people took the entire week off. For those who can’t be gone the entire week, the days after the holiday will likely be the heaviest in terms of traffic.

TSA has projected that 28.3 million passengers will fly from June 28 through July 9.

The busiest day for American Airlines and American Eagle is projected to be Sunday, July 8, with 690,000 passengers on 6,747 scheduled flights, says spokesman Ross Feinstein. The busiest day in terms of departures will be Monday, July 9, with 6,886 scheduled departures.

Delta Air Lines is flying about 500,000 customers today, pretty typical of most days in the summer. The airline is not reporting any significant delays or cancellations but is keeping an eye on the weather along the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast.

Delays at all three New York area airports—Newark, LaGuardia and JFK—were typically 15 minutes or less this morning.

Many holiday travelers were expected to forego flying for driving.

AAA was expecting a record-breaking 46.9 million people to travel 50 miles or more away from their home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than five percent compared with last year. It would also be the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago.

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, had forecast today to be the busiest day on the roads in major metropolitan regions.

For instance, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. will be the busiest time to hit the road with trips taking 2.3 times the normal amount of time, INRIX predicted. Washington, D.C. traffic will reach its peak from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with rides taking 2.1 times more than usual.

Houston will get most congested from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with drives lasting 1.8 times more than normal. San Francisco’s busiest time will go from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with drives taking 1.7 times longer than usual.

The nation’s rails are also seeing heavy traffic today. Amtrak is expecting July 8 to be its busiest this holiday period.

Since 2010, Amtrak has averaged 651,757 passengers traveling across its network during the holiday and is expecting similar numbers this year.

Because of the heat wave hitting the East Coast, Amtrak is expecting some delays this afternoon on the Northeast Corridor, its most popular. High temperatures can cause rail wires to expand.

“As a safety measure, Amtrak imposes heat restrictions, which require locomotive engineers to operate trains at slower speeds than under normal operating conditions,” a spokesperson says.

Those speed reductions are based on rail temperature, not air temperature.

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