Air Travellers Are Being Warned To Expect Queues and Delays Heading Into Thanksgiving – And To Wear a Mask Too

Toby Hazlewood

Florida's airports already extremely congested
Air traveler with maskPhoto by Camila Perez on Unsplash

As this year's holidays approach, and with Thanksgiving occurring late in the calendar this year, travelers throughout Florida are being warned to expect delays and line-ups as they head for the airport.

Indeed, over the weekend there were long lines witnessed in Miami International Airport, and many travelers were keen to express their frustration at the situation - even though there are still a few days before Thanksgiving is here.

The holiday season (for travel chaos)

The official holiday travel period actually began on Friday November 18 and runs through to the Sunday after Thanksgiving - Miami International Airport is expected to see an all-time record number of travelers this Thanksgiving Holiday season, with predictions of an 11% increase from the 2019 pre-COVID travel period.

Airport officials are expecting about 140,000 passengers per day.  The busiest day will be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when 160,000 people are expected to pass through Miami International Airport. It's not just in Florida either - The American Automobile Association predicts that over the next few days, 4.2 million people will fly through all U.S. airports, an 80% increase from this time in 2020.

Wear a mask while travelling

While airport authorities are pleading for passengers to bring their holiday spirit with them, and to be prepared for long lines and potential delays, it seems likely that tempers could fray, especially given that passengers are being encouraged to wear masks while transiting through the state's airports.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has advised that masks will be strictly enforced in airports:

“Please, everyone, use constraint this holiday season. Don’t dampen the holiday cheer. Wearing face coverings is something that, passengers said, is a must, especially now. You don’t know who’s been vaccinated or who hasn’t, so you don’t know if you’re going to catch a bug or something,”

She continued:

"...even if there’s biosecurity measures in place, it’s still kind of frustrating and scary because there’s a bunch of people, and you don’t really want to catch anything.”

Given the potentially crowded conditions within airports and the advice to wear masks, passengers may need to be supremely patient while travelling to visit loved-ones for the holiday.

Roads will be busy too

In spite of the costs of gasoline reaching record levels lately - with average prices per gallon hitting a 7-year high of $3.31 in late October, Floridians are being warned to expect a lot of traffic on the roads too. The AAA predicts 48.3 million road journeys will be made over the holiday period - up by nearly 10% over the same weekend in 2020.

If you're travelling by road or air this holiday season, the advice then seems simple. Allow as much time as possible, be patient and maintain your holiday spirit!

Will you be travelling over the holidays? Do you agree with the requirement for masks while travelling? Let me know in the comments section below.

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