US Travel Company CEO Says Rental Car Demand Up 500% Since January
Mexico City marks 500 years since conquest battle began
MEXICO CITY (AP) — There are two ways of remembering the Spanish siege of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital now known as Mexico City: as the painful birth of modern Mexico, or the start of centuries of virtual enslavement. The world-changing battle started on May 22, 1521, and lasted for months until the city finally fell to the conquistadores on Aug. 13. It was one of the few times an organized Indigenous army under local command fought European colonizers to a standstill for months, and the final defeat helped set the template for much of the conquest and colonization that came afterward.
With the start of the Memorial Day weekend, Americans have been traveling in the highest numbers since March 2020, leading to higher demand for transportation, the Associated Press reported.
Demand for rental cars is up 500% since January, according to a travel company CEO.
"My mother-in-law called me on a vacation and said, 'Hey, can you get me a rental car?' I said, 'No,'" said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media. "It's tough to get a rental car right now, so plan ahead as much as you possibly can."
UK citizens can travel again, but 'traffic light' system leads to confusion
After months of restrictions, UK residents were given permission to head overseas for a vacation this week. But where they're allowed to go isn't exactly clear because of confusion over the "traffic light" system.But many would-be travelers faced a very significant problem: They didn't know exactly where they were allowed to go.
Rental car companies cut their inventory over the last year to make up for the lack of revenue following pandemic restrictions in 2020. Now, the demand, and subsequently the price, of rental cars have increased sharply.
The increased desire to travel has also resulted in a rise in prices for flights, gasoline and hotels as Americans plan to travel this weekend in near-record-breaking numbers since the COVID outbreak.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
More than 1.8 million people went through U.S. airports on Thursday, and the number was widely expected to cross the 2 million threshold over the long holiday weekend.
Takuma Sato, David Letterman, Bobby Rahal, Michael Lanigan cherishing their ‘Baby Borgs’
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing took delivery on its Baby Borgs for Takuma Sato winning the 2020 Indy 500 and are aiming for another BorgWarner prize.As Sato enters the 105th Indianapolis 500, his recent success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway should make him one of the drivers to watch as a serious contender for more Indy 500 glory.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned travelers to expect long lines at airports, and on Friday he pleaded with Americans to show some patience.
The rise in travel appears to be fueled by an increase in people vaccinated against COVID-19 and also by an improving economy. The U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending increased in April, although not as much as in March, providing more evidence that consumers are driving a recovery from last year's pandemic recession.
The arrival of Memorial Day coincides with some states eliminating their remaining pandemic restrictions amid improving case, hospitalization and death numbers. The mask mandate in Massachusetts goes away Saturday, and Virginia is easing all distancing and capacity restrictions Friday.
Presidentis traveling to Virginia to celebrate the unofficial start of summer and its accomplishments in battling the virus at a time when the state of more than 8 million people is averaging only 360 cases a day.
EU takes on AstraZeneca in court over vaccine deliveries
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union took on vaccine producer AstraZeneca in a Brussels court on Wednesday with the urgent demand that the company needs to make an immediate delivery of COVID-19 shots the bloc insists were already due. AstraZeneca’s contract signed with the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, on behalf of member states foresaw an initial 300 million doses for distribution among all 27 countries, with an option for a further 100 million. The doses were expected to be delivered throughout 2021. But only 30 million were sent during the first quarter.
At Miami International Airport, officials are anticipating about 115,000 passengers per day over the six-day period that ends June 1. Spokesman Greg Chin said the airport numbers are equaling pre-pandemic levels. It's a similar story in Orlando, where airport traffic is reaching 90% of pre-pandemic levels and people are flocking to theme parks that have recently loosened restrictions.
AAA expects a 60% jump in travel over the same holiday weekend last year, with 37 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home, most of them in cars. The auto club and insurer made that forecast even with gasoline prices at their highest levels in seven years—the national average is above $3 a gallon for regular.
Hotels and other lodging in beach and mountain areas are expecting bigger crowds than those in urban areas. Lou Carrier, the president of Distinctive Hospitality Group, said the company's two hotels in tourist towns in Connecticut have seen a jump in bookings since the state loosened its face-mask requirements two weeks ago, but occupancy is still only around 20% at its three hotels in Boston.
Summer's about to start in America. So is sticker shock
Summer's about to start in America. So is sticker shockSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - With coronavirus cases plummeting and 1.8 million U.S. residents getting vaccinated each day, more Americans plan this upcoming Memorial Day weekend to get back to old pleasures like friends over, evenings out, travel and afternoons at a ball game.
Hotel room rates nationally jumped 9% in April after an 8% rise in March, and airfares soared 10% in April, according to the latest available figures from the Commerce Department.
That's not stopping people from getting on planes. The Transportation Security Administration has screened nearly 1.6 million people a day this month, up from 224,000 a day in May 2020.
Most of those people are traveling for vacations or visiting family and friends in the United States. Airline executives say domestic leisure travel is back to pre-pandemic levels—Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein said this week that bookings are now running ahead of the 2019 pace.
Business travelers and international visitors are still mostly absent, however, and airlines are eager to see that lucrative business return. One proposal for making international travel easier is a so-called vaccine passport—an app that would indicate if a person has been vaccinated or tested against COVID-19.
Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary, toldon Friday that the government is taking "a very close look" at the idea. The airline industry, the and others are scrambling to develop vaccine passports to boost international travel and revive tourism-based economies.
10 peculiar things you didn't know about the Indy 500
This story was originally published in 2019 and has been updated. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the oldest and greatest motor sports events in the entire world, capturing the attention of diehard racing fans and once-a-year viewers a like. The first Indy 500 was…The Indianapolis 500 is one of the oldest and greatest motor sports events in the entire world, capturing the attention of diehard racing fans and once-a-year viewers a like.
Natalie Wood's Life in Photos .
See how the actress transitioned from child star to leading lady.