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'These prices are ridiculous' | Texas drivers and flyers adjusting Fourth of July plans

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2 million travelers at airports Thursday -- 17% more than the same Friday before July Fourth in 2019.

DALLAS — With the Fourth of July weekend remaining one of the most heavily traveled time periods in the year, many drivers and flyers alike are dealing with plenty of issues on the road and in the air.

This comes during a time when gas prices remain around $4.50 per gallon in Texas, the highest mark of all time. 

"These prices are ridiculous," Dallas driver Gerald Weatherall said. "It just doesn't make any sense."

Weatherall drives an SUV and said it currently costs about $115-$120 to fill up his car.

"It's definitely affecting how you drive," Weatherall said. "It's affecting where you go. Sometimes you have to carpool."

These same high gas prices forced Dwayne Thomas and some of his friends to cut back on part of their holiday weekend plans. Part of the change was scrapping the plan to get a van and drive together down to Corpus Christi. 

"Then we started looking at gas prices, and we were like, 'It's going to be just way too high,'" Thomas said.

Credit: Jay Wallis
Dallas' Dwayne Thomas fills up his car before heading down to Corpus Christi for the Fourth of July weekend. He said high gas prices forced him and his friends to adjust some of their holiday plans.

Andrea Dyson is from San Antonio and was in Dallas for an appointment. She said she and her family recently got back from a trip to Montana to see family. Since that trip involved a diesel vehicle and about 4,000 miles of driving roundtrip, she said her family had to adjust their budget and spending to be able to afford the trip.

"As long as you make some changes to your plans, it's still affordable," Dyson said. "We've been planning for a long time visiting family and seeing Glacier National Park, so it was important to us."

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While there remain plenty of issues at the pump, airlines have seen delays and cancellations gradually rack up over the last week.

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.4 million travelers at airport checkpoints on Thursday, 17% more than on the same Friday before July Fourth in 2019.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that nearly 48 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more from home over the weekend, slightly fewer than in 2019.

Charles Barrett is one of these flyers as he was visiting the North Texas area with his daughter, Aden Barrett. These two are from Nashville, Tenn., and have been flying a lot recently as they have been checking out multiple colleges.

"I've seen a lot of people on the flights," Aden Barrett said. "For me, personally, we had gate switches and complications and things like that."

Credit: Jay Wallis
Nashville's Aden Barrett was in North Texas recently as she is trying to figure out what college she wants to go to. She said she has had many gate switches and complications during her flying experiences.

Utsav Gandhi has been dealing with airline issues as well as he is helping coordinate the 2002 Young Jains of America Convention happening in Denton.

"We're hosting about 775 youths coming from all over the country," Gandhi said. "Flights have been canceled with pilots and other folks on leave, etc."

Gandhi said because he expected plenty of delays and issues would be happening with flights, his team set up a group chat with all the convention's speakers devoted to their flights and making sure everyone gets to North Texas on time.

"There were a few folks who were traveling yesterday who had to shift a few hours here and there," Gandhi said. "People's flights have been delayed, and our convention starts tonight. We're hoping all of them make it in."

For Weatherall, he's simply hoping to have a better relationship one day with the gas pump.

"If I put $50, it laughs at the tank," Weatherall said as he laughed himself.

To see what the daily gas prices are in Texas and the United States, you can check out AAA statistical breakdown here.

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