Chicago roads, airports busy ahead of holiday weekend

Chicago's airports are busy ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend, with a combined million travelers expected over the next few days.

Video Transcript

- If you're one of those people who is at home, getting your bags ready, about to hit the road, well, I just got to tell you it's just not going to be pretty. As you just heard this window that we're in right now from 2:45 to 445 is considered the absolute worst when it comes to Memorial Day congestion. And as you just mentioned, Ralph, the rain it's not helping.

Have car will travel. The holiday weekend kicks off today, and people are hitting the roads. Lots of long postponed family reunions about to get underway.

- We're coming from Dayton Michigan and we're going down to Jacksonville Illinois to visit with my father who is meeting us there from Texas.

- According to AAA, nearly nine out of 10 people traveling for Memorial Day weekend will do so by car. Sticker shock at the pump and the shortage of rental cars not withstanding.

- We have a more economic car so not bad. But yeah, that $3 at the pump thing is yikes.

- A recent study showing that depending on where you're going, it may even be cheaper to fly.

- What's remarkable about car rentals is usually prices go up, and you can get a car. If you're willing to pay now, we have a double whammy that the prices are through the roof. But in over a third of the markets, we found cars weren't available.

- Airfares are not exactly low either as airlines scramble to get grounded planes back into the air. While far fewer people fly for Memorial Day weekend, it is still busy at O'Hare and about to get much busier. United Airlines alone adding hundreds of flights for the summer months to meet an exploding pent up desire to get up and go.

- We're adding flights to leisure destinations that customers want to go to. Traffic is coming back very quickly, and we have to be in position to respond and we are really pleased.

- And just to put things into context, even though there is a lot more demand for folks traveling right now than there was last year, it is still a little bit below 2019 levels of the pandemic. It's still playing a little bit of a role in people's decisions. Beach and mountain getaways are the most popular destinations that are being booked up for this summer.