July 4 travel troubles: Gas outages, soaring prices and staffing shortages

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Millions are preparing to take trips over the Fourth of July weekend.

The American Automobile Association, or AAA, says Floridians account for 2.6 million of the 46 million Americans hitting the road for the holiday.

Drivers can expect to pay more for gas. In Florida, the average gallon of regular is $2.97, the highest price since 2014, according to AAA.

Industry experts expect the cost to flatten out in the coming week.

In some areas of the Sunshine State, travelers are struggling to find gas because of an ongoing tanker driver shortage.

Gas stations in several areas, including the Florida Keys, have been hit with delivery issues.

Some locations have been dealing with gas outages running between 12 to 48 hours.

Staffing shortages could also impact air travel this Independence Day.

Southwest is asking their employees to sign up for extra shifts and overtime at the beginning of July to avoid flight disruptions.

Earlier in the month, 8 On Your Side reported when the airline canceled hundreds of flights due to bad weather and technical issues.

Whether travelers are taking a road trip or just driving to the airport, it’s important to plan for extra traffic.

AAA suggests avoiding travel Thursday, Friday, and beginning mid-Monday, especially if you’re traveling through Central Florida, home to the country’s most popular Fourth of July destination — Orlando.

DateWorst TimeBest Time
Thursday3 p.m. – 5 p.m.After 7 p.m.
Friday4 p.m. – 5 p.m.Before noon
Saturday11 a.m. – 1 p.m.After 2 p.m.
Sunday           Free Flow Expected
Monday4 p.m. – 5 p.m.Before 1 p.m.
Source: INRIX

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