MIA, FLL passengers react to holiday rush; AAA reports 8% air travel increase from 2021

As Thanksgiving week gets underway at South Florida airports, travel experts reveal a spike in passenger numbers and provide tips to help avoid the worst of the holiday rush.

7News cameras on Sunday captured large crowds at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Travelers said they were expecting the high volumes.

“There’s a lot of people. This is four days before Thanksgiving, so I expect it’s going to get worse,” said FLL traveler Maria, who is heading to the Florida Keys.

“Seems like more people. It seems like people are just itching to get out of the house,” said MIA traveler Ian DaCosta, who is bringing his mother to New York.

But others said their trip has gone smoothly.

“We came out of Westchester airport, and there were no delays,” said Maria. “The flight was on time. Going through Sarasota there was an hour and a half delay, but other than that, we were all OK.”

According to AAA, air travel is up almost 8% since 2021. They said about 4 and a half million people are flying for Thanksgiving, even with the worldwide impact of higher fuel costs and airline ticket prices.

U.S. airlines are seeing a reported profit for the third fiscal quarter of more than $2.4 billion.

“It’s all of the above, Traffic is pretty heavy, which is expected,” said traveler Dale Cason, who is flying to Colombia.

On the roadways, AAA estimates 54.6 million people will drive 50 miles or more from home for the holiday.

As the days tick closer to Thanksgiving, traveler Josh Mayes offers two tips that will take passengers far.

“Just show up early. Schedule your flights far apart,” he said.

Experts advise travelers to consider flying on Thanksgiving Day since it has the least amount of air traffic. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel day of the year.

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