People traveling this weekend will likely run into the same size of crowds at Fort Wayne International Airport as they would have during Labor Day weekend before the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports at Fort Wayne International Airport, said only 55 fewer people traveled through the airport last month than July 2019, which was a record-breaking month.
“We are anticipating a little bit of a peak travel during the holiday weekend with leisure travel – the last vacation before summer is over,” he said.
The airport is recovering from the pandemic better than officials expected, which they initially expected to take a few years.
“Ultimately, that could possibly still be true, but we are way ahead of where we thought we'd be,” he said.
Hinderman expects the busy travel days to surround the actual weekend with Thursday, today, Monday and Tuesday as high travel days.
The recent local surge in COVID-19 cases hasn't affected the airport as much as previous surges during the pandemic, Hinderman said. He attributes the difference to the vaccine being available for everyone ages 12 and older since the Centers for Disease Control and Protection has said vaccinated people who get COVID-19 generally have less severe symptoms.
People traveling by car are predicted to see higher gas prices than Labor Day 2020, according to a GasBuddy news release. The average gas price nationally is expected to be $3.11 a gallon, which is the highest it's been during the holiday weekend in seven years.
The price of gas in Fort Wayne varied between $2.89 and $3.15 Thursday depending on the part of town, according to GasBuddy.
“Though prices have recently begun trending lower,” a news release states, “drivers can expect to pay around 90 cents per gallon more than they did on Labor Day 2020.”