Gas prices, travelers and traffic expected to increase - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gas prices, travelers and traffic expected to increase

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - More travelers are passing through Myrtle Beach International Airport. It's welcome news after a rough winter brought a slow start to the year.

March's numbers are high - the highest in 6 years, but that's a new trend this year. The new year started off with two months of slower than usual traffic at the airport, thanks to the winter weather.

"It makes things a lot more difficult, makes it take more time, you definitely have to slow down, or change your plans due to weather," says Zach Lindsey. He knows first hand, he flew in from Chicago.

The more than 69-thousand passengers in the month of March, made up for the lost traffic, that's 4,996 more than March 2013. According to airport officials, from January to April, the airport has welcomed 136,703 arriving passengers to the Grand Strand.

MYR Spokesperson Kirk Lovell says this is a sign of what we can expect for the growth in coming months.

Allegiant Airlines is returning in May, and plans to double its offerings with new destinations. This growth is causing folks to more seats filled arriving in and departing from MYR than ever before. Growth from Porter and the return of West Jet, on top of several other airlines, are some more reasons why passenger numbers will hopefully break records from 2011.

Although a recent study shows Spirit is the airline most complained about, it doesn't show here.  Spirit continues to dominate MYR. More than half the passengers in March flew Spirit.  As far as seeing new airlines, MYR officials say we're set for the season.

Gas prices

If you prefer to hit the roads instead of fly, prices at the pump may have you second guessing a trip.

While gas prices may seem high, believe it or not, you're still paying less than you were this time last year. The average you'll pay in South Carolina is about #3.43 per gallon.  That's up 36 cents from Christmas.  If you're set to drive this Easter weekend, your trip may still be slightly cheaper than last year.

AAA Carolinas says we're going to see a slight increase in the next few weeks- a typical trend this time of year, but overall, we should see lower prices than 2013.  A look on the bright side, we have the 4th lowest prices in the U.S.

Either way you travel this weekend, expect quite a crowd. AAA named the Carolinas a popular destination for the holiday weekend.

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