‘It’s a risk’: Holiday fliers face coronavirus-test-related delays

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County and Miami International Airport in Miami-Dade were busy on Thursday ahead of Christmas.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The holiday travel season was in full swing on Thursday at international airports in South Florida with all of the pandemic-related inconveniences — including long wait times at testing sites.

The high demand for coronavirus tests forced Nina Smith to reschedule her flight out of Miami International Airport twice. She finally found a way to get a test and was ready to go. Julie Frans was nearby. She said she was tested on Tuesday and she has been really careful since.

Christie Belle was flying out of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airpot. She brought cleaning supplies to make sure her area on the plane was extra clean. She was also feeling a bit stressed about whether or not she was going to be able to make it on time to a connecting flight.

“We have already had covid and don’t want it again,” Belle said.

Travel experts’ most common tips for fliers are to get the COVID-19 vaccine, be patient and respectful to others. A man who asked to be identified only as Mario said his test results were delayed, so he is having to pay to reschedule his flight.

“We did everything on time we did everything like they said but still it’s still not working ... I’m comfortable getting out for the holidays because we miss family … it’s a risk. It’s a calculated risk we are all taking.”

According to the Transportation Security Administration, the agency screened more than two million people at airport checkpoints around the country on Wednesday.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.