Long lines, frustrated Thanksgiving weekend travelers at MIA, FLL

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Passengers traveling out of South Florida this Thanksgiving weekend are advised to pack their patience, as local airports have drawn large quantities of passengers, extensive wait times and an excess of frustrations.

7News cameras captured long lines and lots of luggage at Miami International Airport, Sunday afternoon.

“Literally, I told my sister, ‘This is disgusting,'” said traveler Ashton Panther, “and she said, ‘What’s disgusting?’ And I said, ‘The amount of people.'”

Approximately 1.4 million travelers are expected to fly in and out of MIA during the Thanksgiving travel week.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, they’re expecting about 800,000 people.

Weather has been a factor throughout Sunday, leading to cancelled and delayed flights.

“It’s annoying because I’ve got things that I should have been doing today and things for tomorrow that this is impeding right now,” said passenger Maxwell Dockery.

For Happy Hall and his soccer team, who were in South Florida for a tournament, getting back home proved to be a challenge.

“We were supposed to take off at 8 [p.m.], so in three and a half hours,” said Hall. “They’ll probably miss school tomorrow. I don’t think them getting home at 1:30 and in bed at 2, they’re going to wake up at 6 o’clock to get to school the next day.”

But passengers said they aren’t letting the holiday hustle ruin their plans.

“You have to get to the airport a couple of hours early just so you don’t miss your flight,” said Panther.

MIA traveler Andy Kossowsky said he’s under a lot of pressure to make it back to Pensacola on schedule.

“I just made sure I was like two hours early in case it takes long, because I can’t miss a flight. I need to get back to base on time,” he said.

Kossowsky said, if he misses his flight, he’ll face serious consequences.

“You have a specific time before you need to get back for curfew to the barracks, and that’s very important,” he said.

Meanwhile, others said the expected travel trouble just comes with the territory.

“I expected to stand in a long security line, so you just kind of plan ahead and book what you need to book and get here and give yourself plenty of time to stand in line,” said traveler Caitlin Miller.

MIA officials reported 14 delayed flights and one cancelled flight. The cities affected are Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, Newark and Toronto.

“You know, I understand it’s winter, and I understand it’s a travel weekend, but every time it happens, it’s one time too many,” said Dockery.

The busiest travel days are expected to be Sunday and Monday. Airline officials advise travelers to head to the airport extra early.

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