MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida airports continued to deal with cancellations and delays on incoming and outgoing flights on Friday, leaving hundreds of travelers stranded.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International airports felt the ripple effects of a blast of Arctic air that wreaked havoc across the Eastern Seaboard this week.
As of Friday night, FLL had cancelled 51 flights, and 178 flights had been delayed. MIA had 27 arrivals and nine departures cancelled, as well as eight arrivals and three departures delayed.
The lines at MIA had begun to thin out, Friday night, but passengers told 7News they were still having trouble finding their way home. “I was supposed to leave at 7:30 p.m. to NYC, but now I have to overstay for another 11 hours,” said one traveler.
“We kind of really want to go back home,” said another traveler.
“We’ve been here since Wednesday night,” said one woman.
For traveler Sandra McGowan, the ordeal has been an endurance test. “I was rebooked for Thursday, they cancelled it, then they rebooked me for today, they cancelled it again and told me I can’t leave until Monday,” she said.
The rest of the Northeast is also being affected by the blistering cold and inches of snow. “I got the calls from back home saying they’re drenched in snow,” said traveler Ali Abdelsamad.
Tatiana Lassegue is traveling to Boston and said her flight was changed to depart on a later date.
“They changed me to an earlier flight for today, and it has been cancelled, also,” she said, “so I’m here ’til Saturday.”
Martin Bentsen and his wife were desperately trying to get back to New York, especially considering that his wife is a teacher and must return to class on Monday.
“So we’re like trying to figure out do we wanna rent a car and drive,” said Bentsen, “but we don’t know what the road conditions will be like.”
The cancellations are even affecting international traveler Kim Fellows and her family, who are trying to get back home to England. However, since Boston’s Logan International Airport is snowed in, they are stuck at MIA.
“You remember more about the flight home than what you do about the memories beforehand,” said Fellows. “It just annoys you, really.”
Other travelers are also worried about hotels selling out due to cancellations.
“If our flight gets cancelled, everyone else’s is cancelled, too,” said a woman. “We’re worried about hotels selling out.”
McGowan said she’s concerned about the costs she was not prepared for. “The current [rate] for a night in the hotel is $172, and it’s off my head. It’s not on the airline,” she said.
“It hurts because it’s unexpected expenses,” said another woman.
“I want to just go home and have my mom’s food,” said Abdelsamad.
Meanwhile, at FLL, lines snaked around the terminals.
Traveler Martin Bentsen is trying to get back to New York so his wife Erica can start school on Monday. “We’re trying to figure out, do we want to rent a car and drive? But we don’t know what the road conditions are going to be,” he said.
Fellow New Yorker Ilene Shannon said she came to FLL to a nasty surprise. “I came to the airport, I was checking in at the kiosk and it said, ‘You flight has been cancelled,” she said.
Shannon quickly tried to book another flight, to no avail. “I looked online, There’s no tickets available,” she said.
“With the winds in Boston, we’re worried that we might not get out tonight,” said another FLL traveler. “We know people that have already been cancelled on, and they won’t be able to get out until Saturday.”
Some travelers, however, may not mind the extra South Florida stay.
“Not looking forward to getting back to that minus-six, minus-seven,” said a man.
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