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Gas prices rise as travel increases across U.S.

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More people are hitting the road as COVID-19 restrictions are rolled back, but gas prices are at their highest since 2019. Errol Barnett takes a look.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: Despite the COVID pandemic, millions of Americans are on the move again, both in the air and on the roads. Gas prices are now close to the highest they've been in nearly three years.

The National average is $2.87, a gallon up more than $0.30 in a month and nearly $0.60 in a year. And the price could get higher this summer, possibly $4 a gallon in some states. CBS's Errol Barnett shows us why.

ERROL BARNETT: Tonight, more states reopening and lifting COVID restrictions means more people hitting the road.

- We have been somewhere around $2.19, you know, over the past several months. So this increase has been really a big hit to my pocketbook.

ERROL BARNETT: Drivers in all 50 states likely getting sticker shock tonight as the national average for gas hits the highest prices seen since 2019. Now $2.87 per gallon. AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair.

ROBERT SINCLAIR: $3 as the national average is a distinct possibility. And unfortunately, a lot of people consider that price to be expensive.

- If it's $3.00, I'm parking this car.

ERROL BARNETT: Every state has seen its average price jump double digits in the last month. In Utah and Idaho gas is up $0.16 per gallon and up $0.15 in Missouri.

ROBERT SINCLAIR: Short-term at least in the next couple of weeks prices will continue to go up.

ERROL BARNETT: This price hike fueled by severe weather that crippled Texas refineries last month, plus an increase in demand. Air travel is taking off too.

- I probably wouldn't have traveled right now, but we kind of had to.

ERROL BARNETT: For the fifth straight day, more than a million people boarded flights across the country, the 10th time that happened this month.

- Thank God the world is opening back up. We're ready.

ERROL BARNETT: Now the CDC is concerned about this uptick in travel. It is still recommending folks stay home, delay these long-haul trips, certainly get vaccinated if you can. But as one flight attendant put it, on my flight tonight, they love to see your beautiful faces when this pandemic is over. In the meantime, Norah, wear your mask while traveling.

Well said. Errol Barnett, thank you.