How rising gas prices, travel changes are impacting independent car services


Gas prices can be an extra ten bucks a month for some, but for independent car services like Chey Cab, it’s a mortgage payment.

The holidays are a very busy time of year, and Chey Cab is on the road a lot right now. From airport runs during the day to bars and parties at night. And that’s all good, but when she goes to the gas pump, she’s not celebrating.

“It’s real for us, it’s real,” founder and owner Chey Eisenman said.

Chey and other drivers have been watching the numbers climb, and their business change. The pandemic means quick trips with corporate clients have dwindled, but retail has surged. That means they’re driving a lot more miles, and when you depend on gas to keep your business rolling along, the gas prices really hurt.

“Per car we’ve seen about a $1,200 a month rise in fuel per vehicle. That’s significant,” she said. “So when you’re a small business person, that money that’s not going to your bottom line is not coming home with you to pay your mortgage.”

Right now, Minnesota averages about $3.16 a gallon, lower than the national average. But a year ago, we were paying a $1.95 and two years ago, it was $2.66.

“It’s much more go go go in mileage and fuel,” Chey said.

Chey Eisenman is the owner and founder of Chey Car, a luxury car service in the Twin Cities area. (FOX 9)

Now it’s not just high gas prices that have changed for Chey and other drivers. Travel patterns have also changed. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was typically the busiest travel day, but she’ll tell you, not anymore.

“Now with work from home people leave the Friday or Saturday or Sunday before or weekend before,” Chey said.

But on the return, one day will be extra busy with travelers who may not see Sunday as their fun day.

“We’ve had to close our books for a two-hour window on Sunday because we already have too many reservations,” she said.

Now there are some predictions that gas prices could come down with President Biden tapping into oil reserves. Chey is hopeful that could bring her business and others a little relief.





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Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales | News







Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

A recent survey from AAA finds that people are more likely to consider travel insurance because of COVID-19.






Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

Planning a trip or traveling, in general, has looked a lot different since the pandemic hit. One effect of the pandemic is that more people are opting to insure their trips. Some insurance providers have even started offering plans that cover losses because of covid-19 or other epidemic diseases. The survey from triple a showed that about one-third of travelers say they’re more likely to buy insurance for their trips planned between now and the end of next year, specifically because of COVID.






Another effect of the pandemic: rising travel insurance sales

“With everything going on, and really any time we always recommend the insurance because you never know what could happen. There are little things that could happen the day of that you’re traveling that you’d never expect and you can’t count on that, you, unfortunately, don’t control those kinds of things. It’s always a good idea to have that peace of mind that you’ve got some protection for your trip.”

AAA advises people to look into insurance policies that include a cancel for any reason component, and also to make sure you’re aware of any travel restrictions and requirements.

 Copyright 2021 by Lima Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.





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Americans Are Flocking to Mexico, Despite Rising Covid Cases


“During Covid, bookings never slowed down,” she said, noting that some resorts are planning to begin charging for the tests later this month, with rates running from $50 to $150.

In Los Cabos, Mr. Chung paid $40 for his Covid test.

Lynda Hower, a travel adviser based in Pittsburgh, was vacationing in the Cancún area with her family earlier this month. She said the airport customs lines were crowded with several flights landing at the same time, resulting in little social distancing. To reach the resort, she opted for a private transfer. A few days before returning home, the family was tested for free at the resort and able to receive their negative results via text at the pool.

“It was very professional,” she said, noting she got the results in 20 minutes.

The state of Jalisco, home to Puerto Vallarta, is green on the stoplight system, and it’s not hard to spot a tourist in town, especially as travel has picked up this year.

“The majority are still masked down here and if someone is not masked, you can assume they are probably a tourist,” said Robert Nelson, a California native who lives in Puerto Vallarta and runs the subscription website Expats in Mexico. “We are working hard to get more people vaccinated, but we need a little help from the folks visiting to abide by the local regulations.”

But even compliant travelers will find the experience changed, because of fewer visitors or safety protocols.

“Don’t expect bars to allow you to stay until 4 or 5 in the morning doing shots,” Mr. Nelson added.

In San Miguel de Allende, the popular colonial town in Guanajuato in central Mexico, public statues are dressed in masks and anyone entering the central plaza must pass through an arch that mists sanitizer. Local police admonish visitors to wear or pull up their masks and have been known to take scofflaws to jail for flouting the rules.

Ann Kuffner, an American retiree who has been living in San Miguel de Allende for the past three years, is telling friends who want to visit to wait until fall when vaccination rates will be higher and the events for which San Miguel is known, such as Day of the Dead festivities, may safely return.



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Travel news latest: US flight searches up by 700pc as experts warn of rising fares – The Telegraph



Travel news latest: US flight searches up by 700pc as experts warn of rising fares  The Telegraph



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COVID Vaccine Updates: US travel warning to Japan due to rising cases ahead of Olympics


NEW YORK (WABC) — As life slowly gets back to “normal” in the United States, other parts of the world are struggling with a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, including Japan where the Olympics are set to begin in less than two months.

The U.S. State Department is now warning Americans not to travel to Japan because of surging COVID cases.

But, the International Olympic Committee says the games must go on.

“All of those measures that we are undertaking are satisfactory and will ensure a safe and secure games in terms of health,” said John Coates, Chairman, Coordination Commission for Tokyo Games. “And that’s the case whether there is a state of emergency or not.”

Here are more of today’s headlines:

Moderna says vaccine highly effective in younger teens, will ask for FDA authorization in June
Moderna announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in protecting younger teenagers against coronavirus and poses no safety concerns. The shot had an efficacy of 100% against symptomatic COVID in adolescents after two doses in its clinical trial, according to the press release.

Inside a woman’s struggle after exposing parents to COVID: Her mom survived, but her dad died
Around the world, countless people are struggling to shake off the burden of feeling responsible for the death of a loved one due to COVID-19. They regret a trip or feel anguish over everyday decisions that may have spread the disease – commuting to work, hugging parents, even picking up food.

White House expects US to reach 50% adults fully vaccinated on Tuesday
The White House expects the US will reach a new milestone on Tuesday when it comes to vaccinations, with 50% of adults becoming fully vaccinated, according to a White House official. Officials are expected to tout the numbers during today’s coronavirus briefing, CNN has learned.

‘Breakthrough’ COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated remain rare: CDC
U.S. health officials say coronavirus cases in fully vaccinated people remain rare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a report on these “breakthrough” cases through the end of April, when 101 million Americans were fully vaccinated. Of those, about 10,300 breakthrough infections were reported – that’s about 1 infection in every 10,000 fully vaccinated people, based on the available data.

Knicks offer tickets as vaccine incentives for New Yorkers
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the New York Knicks are offering tickets as vaccine incentives for New Yorkers. Individuals 16 and older, who get their COVID-19 vaccine at The Pennsy Food Hall, located outside of Madison Square Garden, will have a chance to win tickets to Wednesday night’s Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks playoff game or to a later game.

New York Department of Health revises mask guidance for camps
The New York Department of Health announced Monday they revised their mask guidance for summer camps. They now say unvaccinated children will be encouraged, but not required to wear masks outdoors. Just last week, the state said masks would be required for campers indoors and outside.

Flags in NY to remain at half-staff until Memorial Day

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed flags on State government buildings to be flown at half-staff and state landmarks to be lit red, white and blue on Sunday, May 30 to honor the essential workers who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Flags will remain at half-staff until noon and landmarks will remain lit on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day in honor of the service members who lost their lives fighting to defend our country.

MetLife Stadium to be full capacity this fall
On Monday, the Giants and Jets released a joint statement regarding stadium capacity at MetLife Stadium for the 2021 season.

The statement reads, “We are thrilled by Governor Murphy’s announcement today to have MetLife Stadium operate at full capacity for the 2021 season. We can’t wait to welcome our fans back, creating the gameday atmosphere we have all been missing. We will continue to work to ensure the return of fans is accomplished in a safe and responsible way.”

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MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

Mask guidance in the Tri-State area

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

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COVID Vaccine Updates: US travel warning to Japan due to rising cases ahead of Olympics


NEW YORK (WABC) — As life slowly gets back to “normal” in the United States, other parts of the world are struggling with a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, including Japan where the Olympics are set to begin in less than two months.

The U.S. State Department is now warning Americans not to travel to Japan because of surging COVID cases.

But, the International Olympic Committee says the games must go on.

“All of those measures that we are undertaking are satisfactory and will ensure a safe and secure games in terms of health,” said John Coates, Chairman, Coordination Commission for Tokyo Games. “And that’s the case whether there is a state of emergency or not.”

Here are more of today’s headlines:

New York Department of Health revises mask guidance for camps
The New York Department of Health announced Monday they revised their mask guidance for summer camps. They now say unvaccinated children will be encouraged, but not required to wear masks outdoors. Just last week, the state said masks would be required for campers indoors and outside.

Flags in NY to remain at half-staff until Memorial Day
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed flags on State government buildings to be flown at half-staff and state landmarks to be lit red, white and blue on Sunday, May 30 to honor the essential workers who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Flags will remain at half-staff until noon and landmarks will remain lit on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day in honor of the service members who lost their lives fighting to defend our country.

MetLife Stadium to be full capacity this fall
On Monday, the Giants and Jets released a joint statement regarding stadium capacity at MetLife Stadium for the 2021 season.

The statement reads, “We are thrilled by Governor Murphy’s announcement today to have MetLife Stadium operate at full capacity for the 2021 season. We can’t wait to welcome our fans back, creating the gameday atmosphere we have all been missing. We will continue to work to ensure the return of fans is accomplished in a safe and responsible way.”

NJ lifting indoor mask mandate Friday
Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state will align with CDC guidance on mask use. He announced the state will lift the indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people on Friday, just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.

NY state parks vaccine incentive

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced for those who get vaccinated this week, they will get two-day family passes to any one of the 16 state parks in New York.

NY COVID update
Gov. Cuomo announces New York’s seven-day average positivity falls to 0.90% – lowest since September 21.

“Our fight with COVID is not over. We are managing it, but it is not over,” Governor Cuomo said. “The greatest tool we have against COVID is the vaccine. I want to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated so we can move forward toward a reimagined reopening and build our great state back better than ever.”

NYC public schools to fully reopen Sept. 13
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced schools will fully reopen Sept. 13 without a remote option.

COVID testing’s value shrinks as vaccines beat back virus
Federal health officials’ new, more relaxed recommendations on masks have all but eclipsed another major change in guidance from the government: Fully vaccinated Americans can largely skip getting tested for the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that most people who have received the full course of shots and have no COVID-19 symptoms don’t need to be screened for the virus, even if exposed to someone infected.

The change represents a new phase in the epidemic after nearly a year in which testing was the primary weapon against the virus. Vaccines are now central to the response and have driven down hospitalizations and deaths dramatically.

New COVID-19 cases plummet to lowest levels since last June
New coronavirus cases across the United States have tumbled to rates not seen in more than 11 months, sparking optimism that vaccination campaigns are stemming both severe COVID-19 cases and the spread of the virus.

As cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropped this week, pre-pandemic life in America has largely resumed. Hugs and unmasked crowds returned to the White House, a Mardi Gras-style parade marched through Alabama’s port city of Mobile, and even states that have stuck to pandemic-related restrictions readied to drop them. However, health experts also cautioned that not enough Americans have been vaccinated to completely extinguish the virus, leaving the potential for new variants that could extend the pandemic.

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MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

Mask guidance in the Tri-State area
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question

Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.





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Rising airfares and hotel rates are making vacations more expensive


Passengers wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19 are seen on an escalator at Orlando International Airport.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

The number of people traveling again is on the rise. So are prices.

Airfares and hotel rates are climbing as travelers return in the highest numbers since the pandemic began, hitting beaches, mountains and visiting friends and family after a year of being cooped up.

Even the cost of a road trip is climbing as gasoline prices reach the highest levels since 2014.

The rock-bottom fares hit during the depths of the pandemic were largely in the rearview mirror earlier this spring. Now airlines and hotels are gearing up for a bustling summer, and a rise in bookings is driving up prices even more. Add to that airlines are not flying as much as they did pre-pandemic, so travelers can expect some full flights ahead.

Domestic U.S. fares are up 9% since April 1 while international fares are up 17%, according to research from Bernstein published this week. And fares are continuing to rise.

“For domestic travel, the June line is closest as it has ever been this past year to the prepandemic values,” the report said.

Southwest Airlines this week said leisure fares are approaching 2019 levels.

Many travelers, like Diana Desierto, are eager to visit friends and family they haven’t seen in months.

The 40-year-old, speech pathologist who lives in Baltimore, hasn’t seen her parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephews in Oakland, Calif., or her brother, sister-in-law and a niece and a nephew in Seattle since Christmas 2019.

“I have a 12-year-old nephew who had a crazy growth spurt,” she said. “Last time I saw him he was little. And [now] his voice is low.”

Desierto paid $344 for a one-way trip to Seattle and a connecting flight to Oakland in July. She used Southwest frequent flyer miles for the trip home. She said the west-bound fare was roughly in line with prices she had been used to for years though she briefly thought that “maybe no one’s flying and it would be cheaper.”

Further helping boost fares is that airlines are reinstating the strict rules on their more inflexible and cheapest fares, known as basic economy, according to Samuel Engel, head of the aviation practice at consulting firm ICF. Airlines executives have said they hope travelers avoid such fares and buy standard coach tickets, which are more expensive.

Airlines lifted the rules in the pandemic to get desperately needed travelers on board as carriers faced record losses.

“Relaxing the rules in basic economy, I’m basically giving you a $30-$50 discount,” Engel said. “The intention of basic is not to sell basic economy; it’s to bring you in the door and make you realize you don’t want it.”

Another thing driving up the cost of a trip is that more attractions like theme parks are reopening. Covid-era capacity restrictions and even masking guidelines (except during air, rail and bus travel), are lifting as well.

Destinations that for about a year had less to offer visitors than normal. Airline executives say beach, mountain and other outdoor destinations have been popular with travelers and continue to be important.

The price of a hotel in some popular destinations are even higher than before the pandemic.

Hotel rates in Cancun, Mexico were about $205 a night in early May, according to hotel data provider STR. That’s up from just $45 a year ago and $160 in 2019. In Hawaii, it was about $269, up from $122 last year and $263 the year before.

But with more reopening, other cities are recovering. Orlando hotel rates in early May were $107 a night, up from $62 last year but still below the $133 in 2019.

Even New York City, which is planning to reopen Broadway theaters in September and is now offering indoor dining, is recovering. Rooms, which were going for $123 a night last year, rose to $151 in early May — still well below the nightly rate of $269 in 2019. STR expects New York City room rates to rise to an average of $163 a night for June through August.

Fares and hotel rates are still largely below 2019 levels because business and most international travel is largely absent. That will keep a lid on prices going forward.

Some travelers have other concerns beside price: crowds.

Tom Snitzer, 64, a retired real estate developer and currently a professional nature photographer based in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, said he recently flew to Atlanta for his son’s graduation from medical school.

He said it took 40 minutes to get through airport security. The Transportation Security Administration is racing to hire more screeners before the busy summer travel season.

“Everyone is packed in like sardines,” he said.

Snitzer said his travel plans are flexible but that he plans to avoid big tourist attractions, including popular national parks.

“Everyone in the world has been cooped up,” he said. “The biggest trick is to avoid everybody else, find off-the-grid spots so we don’t get trampled by tourists.”

CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this story.



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Online Travel Update: Booking Holdings, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor report rising travel demand and discuss core strategies to capture travel rebound in first quarter’s earnings releases | Foster Garvey PC


This week’s Update features a number of stories and perspectives on last week’s earnings releases from Booking Holdings, Expedia Group and Tripadvisor. Enjoy.

Key Takeaways: Booking Holdings’ First Quarter Earnings Report
For those of you interested, we’ve included transcripts from last week’s earnings calls for both Booking Holdings and Expedia Group. For those of you who don’t pour through financials (myself included), I find the earnings calls very informative. My key takeaways from last week’s Booking Holdings’ call are below:

  • For years, analysts have speculated that Booking Holdings was first and foremost a European distributor, but now we have some actual numbers to prove it. According to Booking Holdings’ CFO, David Goulden, slightly more than 50 percent of Booking’s pre-COVID business came from Europe. As for other regions, Asia has historically accounted for approximately 20 percent of Booking’s pre-COVID business (no single country accounting for more than low single digits), and the rest of the world (including North America) has accounted for the remaining 30 percent (pre-COVID).
  • Booking continues to make strides in the North America, particularly in the United States, which was Bookings’ strongest performing major country in the first quarter, with room night growth in Q1 2021 exceeding growth in Q1 2019. Both Priceline and Booking.com reported strong first quarters in the United States.
  • Booking remains focused on its core strategies by growing the Booking.com brand in the United States, and continuing to expand adoption of its payment platform and building out the “Connected Trip.”
  • Booking points to its current Booking.com’s “Back to Travel” campaign, which launched in April and features a $50.00 post-stay travel credit for U.S. travelers booking through the Booking.com app. This initiative sets an example for possible future promotions that could help grow Booking.com’s business in the United States and possibly other markets. Other efforts include the continued growth of Booking.com’s vacation rental inventory. As for the payment platform, CEO, Glenn Fogel reported continued growth (just over 20 percent of bookings) of the integrated platform via increased adoption by Booking.com’s U.S. supplier partners. In 2020, the payment platform operated close to breakeven, but through other monetization opportunities, Fogel expects the platform to lead ultimately to incremental EBITDA growth. Finally, Booking’s continued focus on growing its non-accommodation products, particularly flights this past quarter, will be critical in establishing Booking’s “Connected Trip” vision – and capturing potential travelers further “up funnel”.

Key Takeaways: Expedia Group’s First Quarter Earnings Report
(“Expedia Group Bets on Brand Marketing as It Prepares for Travel Rebound,” May 7, 2021 via Phocus Wire; “Expedia Group CEO Says He’s ‘Rooting for Revenge Travel’ as Revenue Sinks 44 percent in Q1,” May 6, 2021 via GeekWire ; “Expedia Will Sell Egencia Corporate Travel Unit to American Express Global Business Travel,” May 4, 202 via GeekWire)

My key takeaways from this past week’s Expedia call are below:

  • Highlights from the recently announced sale of Expedia’s corporate travel platform, Egencia, to Amex GBT include (i) Expedia eventually owning approximately 14 percent of the combined businesses post-closing – which Expedia assumes will be worth $700 million and (ii) the deal comprising a long-term supply agreement between Expedia Partner Services (EPS) and Amex GBT, which according to Expedia CEO, Peter Kern, underscores EPS’ continuing efforts to position itself as a B2B business platform and allow Expedia to focus on its core B2C and B2B businesses.
  • Over the past quarter, Expedia has shifted its perspective on marketing – moving from an initial bias against large marketing commitments early in the quarter to now making major investments in an attempt to get out ahead of the anticipated wave of travel demand. Expedia, Orbitz and Vrbo are the initial beneficiaries of this new marketing commitment.
  • In an effort to grow its existing loyalty program base, Expedia plans on “opening a window” and making it easier and better for loyalty program members. According to Kern, Expedia was leaving customers on the side line because of “how [Expedia] made them sign up, what they had to go through, etc.” It will be interesting to see what changes Expedia will make in this regard and whether those changes will comport with the “closed group” discounting requirements often found in many OTA agreements.

Tripadvisor Highlights
(“Tripadvisor reports rising demand in Q1, progress on Plus subscription product,” May 7, 2021 via Phocus Wire’)
Not surprisingly, Tripadvisor’s quarterly earnings report had a heavy focus on its subscription program, Tripadvisor Plus. On last week’s earnings’ calls, Tripadvisor CEO, Steve Kaufer, shared with listeners that the platform is now seeking credit card partners to help grow the program. Other program details shared by CEO Kaufer include:

  • Initial interest in the program being the strongest among independent hoteliers
  • Tripadvisor having “conversations with every single chain” (although the response has been mixed among major suppliers)
  • Concerns expressed by major suppliers include where and how the discounted member rates are displayed (possibly undercutting suppliers’ direct channel efforts)
  • Tripadvisor moving away from sourcing inventory for the program primarily through aggregators (something we’ve written about in the past) to direct connections with suppliers
  • Tripadvisor potentially retaining some of the discounts offered by suppliers for itself as opposed to passing the full discount on to its subscribers (although it doesn’t do so today). What effect the subscription program might have on Tripadvisor’s other businesses, like its cost-per-click (CPC) lead generation business, remains to be seen, though Kaufer believes that the potential revenue benefits of the subscription program will exceed any loss for the referral/lead generation business.

Other News:

SiteMinder Expands Hotel Metasearch, Payment Offerings
May 5, 2021 via Hotel Management News – General
Hotel commerce platform SiteMinder has added to its metasearch and hotel payments programs to give hotels more choice to manage and protect their revenue in unpredictable travel markets.

Booking Holdings Sees a Surge in Flight Bookings as It Plays Catch-Up With Expedia
May 6, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
During the first three months of the year, with Europe as its weakest region, and countries such as India still battling existential COVID-19 crises, Booking Holdings’ airline tickets sales jumped 49 percent.

Expedia ‘Leaning Into’ Wooing Hosts From Rivals, CEO Says
May 7, 2021 via Bloomberg – Top Stories
Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern discusses plans to attract new hosts to its rental platform, the timeline for the return of leisure and business travel, and outlook for Europe’s vacation season on “Bloomberg Markets.”

Sherpa Raises $8.5M to Meet Demand for Its Travel Rules Platform
April 30, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Toronto-based travel technology startup Sherpa – one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2019 – has raised $8.5 million as demand for its travel rules platform intensifies.

Trivago Sees Referral Revenue Jump More than 60 Percent in March
May 4, 2021 via Travel Weekly US – Top Stories
Global hotel and accommodation search platform Trivago credits vaccination efforts in markets such as the United States and Israel with spurring a jump in travel activity that gave the site a 60 percent increase in referral revenue – its primary source of revenue – in March compared to February.

Vaccine Passport Proposals Put Airport Security App Clear Into Center of Debate
May 3, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
More than 60 U.S. stadiums and other venues are deploying an app from Clear to verify people’s COVID-19 status, placing the New York company known for its airport security fast lanes at the forefront of a national debate over “vaccine passports.”



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Springfield gas prices rising ahead of summer travel | News


As the summer travel season approaches and parts of the country deal with possible gas shortages, gas prices in central Illinois are increasing.

Over the last month, the average gas price in central Illinois climbed from $2.99 to $3.19, according to Gas Buddy, which gives real-time information about gas prices across the country. In Springfield Tuesday, gas was averaging $3.15 per gallon.

“A large part of the price increase has to do with the overall COVID recovery. There is simply more demand for fuel as people are entering into the world again,” said Allison Mac from Gas Buddy.

The price increase comes as the nation prepares for what is expected to be a busy summer travel season. Improving COVID-19 numbers and lifting restrictions along with many people getting vaccinated has people ready to travel again after staying home during last summer.

According to AAA, 37 million Americans, including 1.8 million Illinoisans, are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend. This is up 60% from last year, but still 14% below pre-pandemic levels. AAA says 9 in 10 travelers over Memorial Day will drive to their destinations.

Mac said the combination of more travelers and bringing back summer fuel blends contribute to the normal price increase as summer approaches.

“(Prices) tend to go up in the spring as more people get out on the roads. During the summer, gas prices tend to fluctuate as people drive more, take vacations and changes in supply and demand. Last year, with the pandemic it was an off-year and while it may be a sticker shock compared to what we paid during the pandemic, we are not too far off from what the prices were this time in 2019,” said Molly Hart of AAA.

Gas prices were just below $3 a gallon in May 2019, according to Gas Buddy. Aside from occasional spikes to $3, gas prices have remained below $3 consistently since 2015 when prices were just over $3 during the summer.

Nationally, some areas of the country were worried about the impact of a ransomware attack last week on the Colonial Pipeline, which provides fuel to the East Coast. The pipeline was shut down as a precautionary measure over the weekend but could be back in operation by the end of the week.

Stations without gas and panic buying have been reported in Florida and North Carolina. North Carolina’s Gov. Roy Cooper signed a state of emergency Monday to help ease some restrictions on fuel transportation to keep supply up with demand.



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Springfield gas prices rising ahead of summer travel | News


As the summer travel season approaches and parts of the country deal with possible gas shortages, gas prices in central Illinois are increasing.

Over the last month, the average gas price in central Illinois climbed from $2.99 to $3.19, according to Gas Buddy, which gives real-time information about gas prices across the country. In Springfield Tuesday, gas was averaging $3.15 per gallon.

“A large part of the price increase has to do with the overall COVID recovery. There is simply more demand for fuel as people are entering into the world again,” said Allison Mac from Gas Buddy.

The price increase comes as the nation prepares for what is expected to be a busy summer travel season. Improving COVID-19 numbers and lifting restrictions along with many people getting vaccinated has people ready to travel again after staying home during last summer.

According to AAA, 37 million Americans, including 1.8 million Illinoisans, are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend. This is up 60% from last year, but still 14% below pre-pandemic levels. AAA says 9 in 10 travelers over Memorial Day will drive to their destinations.

Mac said the combination of more travelers and bringing back summer fuel blends contribute to the normal price increase as summer approaches.

“(Prices) tend to go up in the spring as more people get out on the roads. During the summer, gas prices tend to fluctuate as people drive more, take vacations and changes in supply and demand. Last year, with the pandemic it was an off-year and while it may be a sticker shock compared to what we paid during the pandemic, we are not too far off from what the prices were this time in 2019,” said Molly Hart of AAA.

Gas prices were just below $3 a gallon in May 2019, according to Gas Buddy. Aside from occasional spikes to $3, gas prices have remained below $3 consistently since 2015 when prices were just over $3 during the summer.

Nationally, some areas of the country were worried about the impact of a ransomware attack last week on the Colonial Pipeline, which provides fuel to the East Coast. The pipeline was shut down as a precautionary measure over the weekend but could be back in operation by the end of the week.

Stations without gas and panic buying have been reported in Florida and North Carolina. North Carolina’s Gov. Roy Cooper signed a state of emergency Monday to help ease some restrictions on fuel transportation to keep supply up with demand.



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