MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Passengers may have trouble keeping flights or cruise bookings this summer, and the travel headaches have already started at South Florida airports at the start of Father’s Day weekend.
More than 3,000 flights across the country were canceled or delayed on Thursday and Friday.
Friday afternoon, 7News captured travelers at a busy concourse at Miami International Airport.
The cancellations have left some travelers stuck and stranded.
“Our flight’s been changed three times now,” said traveler Stephanie Soularie.
“I have to go to my aunt’s wedding, and I’m here,” said a woman.
“We could be here until Sunday,” said traveler Matt Oppenheim.
As of Friday, the website FlightAware reported nearly 30 cancellations at MIA and at least 20 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Experts suggested a busy travel season these next months as air travel reaches pre-pandemic numbers.
Some of the flights were canceled because of bad weather, and other cancellations were blamed on staff shortages.
Cellphone video captured flight attendants on board an Atlanta-bound Delta Airlines flight ducking down during a stretch of serious turbulence.
As for South Florida airports, airline officials said early morning inclement weather is to blame for the cancellations.
“We started this journey yesterday in Memphis, and we found out that the flight out of Memphis was canceled,” said Oppenheim, “so we got in the car, and we drove four and a half hours north to St. Louis because there was a flight available then. That flight ended up being so late that we missed our connecting flight.”
“Once our first flight was changed, our second flight, we were going to miss, so we’ve been on three different flights and still sitting here and looking at each other, like, ‘What are we going to do?'” said Soularie.
Cameras showed travelers at FLL waiting for their flights. A man said his flight was canceled.
“I had a flight for 2:28 [p.m.] I’ve been here since. I’ve been here since 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s currently 7:12,” he said. “I’m hoping I’m going to get on a flight.”
With holidays like Father’s Day and Juneteenth days away, coupled with the rise in travel since the pandemic, travelers with canceled or delayed flights said the timing could not be worse.
“We were supposed to leave here in Miami and go straight to the Bahamas,” said Soularie, “so now we have to go to Fort Lauderdale, spend the night, then go from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas.”
As of Saturday, four arrivals were canceled, nine arrivals were delayed, seven departures were canceled and 19 departures were delayed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport,
A total of 21 arrivals were canceled, 18 arrivals were delayed, 30 departures were canceled and 12 departures were delayed at Miami International Airport.
Airline officials advise travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
Meanwhile, cruise lines are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
The industry has been dealing with major staffing shortages ahead of the summer travel season.
Shortages even caused delays in the launching of new ships.
Stocks for major cruise lines also fell about 48% this year.
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