South Florida braces for busy Memorial Day weekend, with record travel expected

Officials at both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports have said they expect this Memorial Day weekend to be one of the busiest they’ve ever seen, if not the busiest.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Officials at both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports have said they expect this Memorial Day weekend to be one of the busiest they’ve ever seen, if not the busiest.

Parking garages at Miami International Airport are already full. Officials at the airport are projecting the busiest Memorial Day weekend ever, currently averaging 150,000 passengers per day, beating its pre-pandemic 2019 record.

Over at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, officials have forecasted more than 680,000 travelers flying in and out between Wednesday, May 25, and Tuesday, May 31st with the busiest days being Friday and Monday.

One traveler told Local 10 he decided to play it safe and give himself extra time.

“I made a decision to fly through Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami because it’s usually busier and it being a holiday weekend I just knew it was going to be bad,” Kevin Ward said.

South Florida will also play host to a number of Memorial Day events honoring fallen soldiers.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said COVID-19 remains in mind amid heavy travel and numerous large events.

The city will host its famous Great American Beach Party Saturday, transforming the city’s beaches into an entertainment mecca, with live bands, water slides, a classic car show, an art show and a sand sculpting contest.

“The infection rate is high,” Trantalis said. “We are still seeing people dying from this disease, let’s not kid ourselves. But the good thing about this event is that it’s outdoors.”

Airport officials advise travelers to arrive early and consider getting dropped off at the airport instead of parking, with lots being near or at capacity at both airports.


About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.