Christmas Spirit Soothes Crowds At MIA
Carla Sone wore dangly, silver and pearl Christmas earrings as she rushed to catch a flight at Miami International Airport Christmas Eve.
“They’re brand new. I’m going to show them off in my country,” The Miami resident said as she prepared to leave for a Christmas visit with relatives in the Dominican Republic. “I’m so excited!”Holiday excitement seemed to permeate the bustling airport, with ticket agents wearing Santa hats, skycaps in reindeer ears and passengers bearing Christmas gifts.
Adria Richards said she would have to pay more than usual for checked baggage fees.
“It’s kind of high to have to pay, because you’re bringing gifts to family,” she said. “But it’s Christmas.”
Scott Patterson, changing planes for a trip home to Charlotte, NC, said his holiday journey had been hassle free.
“It’s going fine. Everything is moving smoothly,” Patterson said. “All the shopping is done. It’s great.”
Rafael Vila said his day began early in California, and would end when he arrived in Puerto Rico late Christmas Eve. Vila said he had no problems clearing security along the way as the Transportation Security Administration screened passengers with “see-through” scanning machines and enhanced pat downs.
“I left LA this morning. It was pretty busy. I thought we’d spend more going through TSA, but it wasn’t bad,” Vila said. “The flights are full, but they’re taking off on time. So, I’m happy.”
Marc Henderson, a spokesperson for Miami International Airport, said more than 100,000 travelers a day have passed through the airport since Tuesday. Henderson said traffic is up this holiday season more than three percent over last year.
“I think that says a lot, that people are beginning to feel more comfortable about their spending, and they’re traveling again,” Henderson said.
The positive air travel news that marked Christmas Eve could take a negative turn starting Christmas Day.
Delta Airlines late Friday afternoon said it would cancel some 500 flights on Christmas Day in advance of a winter storm that threatens to disrupt airport operations along the east coast. While Delta was the only airline to launch pre-emptive cancellations, other carriers announced they would waive fees for passengers who might have to change flight arrangements over the Christmas weekend due to weather disruptions.