Smooth sailing (so far) at South Florida airports ahead of Thanksgiving

54.3 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home, AAA estimates

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Saira Anwer - Reporter, Associated Press

MIAMI - Thanksgiving travelers got help from favorable weather in most of the U.S. Tuesday, but flight delays piled up at airports around the country by day's end. 

By Wednesday morning, it was smooth sailing through security lines for the early birds at Miami International Airport and that continued into the afternoon.

Airport officials say 1.5 million travelers will fly through MIA in the final two weeks of November.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport also dealt with Wednesday's masses, but officials expect it to get much more hectic.

"Monday-to-Monday we're expecting over 730,000 people coming in and out of this airport, which is a huge number" said Greg Meyer of the Broward County Aviation Department.

Wet and frigid forecasts threaten to made driving more challenging in the next day or two for folks up north. 

The AAA auto club predicts that 54.3 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday, the highest number since 2005 and about a 5 percent increase over last year.

AAA reports that 48 million people will drive and 4.7 million will fly.

From last Tuesday through next Friday, 1.5 million travelers are expected to fly through Miami International Airport, hitting hundreds of holiday destinations. 

Local 10 News reporter Saira Answer was at MIA Wednesday morning, where she met people heading to New York, Arkansas and Havana.

Veteran vacationers had some words of wisdom for their fellow travelers. 

"We know that it's always very busy, so we have to be there early, we have to check our flight to make sure we're going to the right gate, have everything (ready)," France McGuiness, who was traveling with family, said. 

HIGH TRAFFIC DAYS

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.