South Florida – Millions of Americans will be traveling this 4th of July weekend.
According to Miami International Airport officials, they’re seeing thousands more passengers passing through this year so they expect a busy few days.
They’re expecting upwards of 700,000 people to come through between Thursday and Monday, MIA officials said. They’re averaging 145,000 passengers per day, they said.
That’s compared to 125,000 travelers per day during July 4th weekend in 2021. They’re calling this record-breaking travel growth and they’re advising people to plan ahead.
Major airlines have been dealing with staffing shortages, cancellations, and weather delays. But, some travelers who are desperate to have a good time, say the risk is worth the reward. “I’m as confident as I can be, I mean what’s the alternative? Sitting around for another two and a half years?” said Mary-Ann, who was traveling to DC from Miami.
According to MIA officials, travelers passing through should be aware of their airline’s policies.
Delta has sent an email to travelers warning of possible operational issues and they’re letting passengers change their flights free of charge.
According to American Airlines, they’ve been preparing for this holiday weekend since last year and they now have 1,000 more pilots than last year. “That’s been a source of delayed and canceled flights. Delta is offering a free change fee, American also offers that, it’s something you may want to consider if you’re changing the flight,” said Greg Chin, Communications Director for MIA.
The airport is expecting garages to be at max capacity, Chin said. But for those taking their cars instead of planes, AAA says 2.6 million Floridians will be traveling and nearly 90% of them will be on the roads, despite soaring gas prices.
If your plans don’t take you to the road or the skies, but to the seas, know there will be a heavy police presence on the water in South Florida to keep boaters and their passengers safe. “Twenty-three percent of fatal boating accidents last year were related to drug and alcohol use. If you’re on the waters in the state of Florida and you’re operating under the influence, you won’t get cited, you won’t get warned, you’ll get arrested,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Maj. Alberto Maza.