Thousands of Virginians take to the skies for busy Memorial Day weekend

Norfolk International Airport
Posted at 9:53 PM, May 30, 2022

NORFOLK, Va. — Plenty of wheels are rolling through the airport Monday. Airlines are kicking off the summer travel season with a busy Memorial Day weekend, especially at Norfolk International Airport.

News 3 caught up with some travelers about their experiences and the impact on their bank accounts.

About 88,000 Virginians are expected to fly the skies through the holiday weekend, according to AAA experts - one of those people being Steve Hubbard, who's traveling from Chicago, landing in the Mermaid City.

"Traveling wasn't too much. I got in and got out," said Hubbard.

Traveling from the Windy City to Hampton Roads was a smooth trip for Hubbard, but the ticket prices, he says, aren't quite what he remembers. Hubbard says his round-trip ticket from Chicago to Norfolk was $500.

Still, airline flights are full despite inflation and high fuel prices.

But one woman had other concerns. She traveled from Richmond to Norfolk to pick up her family from Brazil.

"COVID test and vaccines and everything was OK for them to come here, but that was my big concern. Thank goodness they're here," said the Memorial Day traveler.

If you’re like News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones and love to travel, be aware that airlines are faced with huge staffing shortages - ranging from pilots to maintenance workers - leading some travelers to experience delays or even cancellations.

This is prompting carriers to have long-term solutions for the pilot pipeline.

But for one man, he luckily didn't experience any setbacks.

"I would say it was 99% on time, for what I saw on the airport times," said traveler Jason Walton.

When travelers reach their destination, they will be greeted with hotel rates that are up about one third from last year. Between that and high ticket costs, Hubbard said he will be choosing his battles wisely.

"I would like to go to Hawaii soon, but I looked at it and said, 'I'll look at it later.' It was too much" said Hubbard.

AAA experts say Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel days as people head home.