MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thanksgiving may be days away but travelers have already started making their way to see their loved ones for the holiday.
At Miami International Airport, some travelers were surprised by the long lines.
“These lines are insane,” said Sam Hershberg, who’s flying out to New York. “I’m estimating about an hour (wait), at least.”
“They’re really bad,” said Ida Figueroa. “I’m glad I have TSA precheck. I’m traveling with my sister and she went through the other line, which is much longer and I’m over here.”
Airport officials say between this past Friday through the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, they’re going to see an increase of 3.1 percent in the number of passengers. They expect nearly 1.5 million travelers during that 12-day period.
Although weekends tend to be busier at MIA because of cruise ship travelers, some people we spoke with expected the lines to be even longer because of the holiday.
“It seems pretty packed, though, but I was expecting a lot more considering that Thanksgiving’s around the corner,” said Jolie Balido, headed to San Antonio.
Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport projects a 13 percent increase in passengers compared to the same period last year. They’re expecting 670,000 travelers between this coming Tuesday and the Monday after Thanksgiving.
AAA projects, overall, the 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with about 51 million Americans taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways.
With those kinds of estimates, travelers in South Florida are relieved the lines they encountered weren’t worse.
“The lines so far aren’t as bad as I expected, so I think my children and I should be just fine making it to our flight,” said Balido.
MIA officials say their busiest travel times are the Saturday, Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving.
FLL officials expect about 110,000 passengers on the busiest travel day, Saturday, November 25th.