South Florida prepares for a busy Memorial Day, record travelers expected

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

Miami International Airport parking garages are already full. Airport officials anticipate the busiest Memorial Day weekend in history, with an average of 150,000 passengers a day, surpassing its pre-pandemic record from 2019.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, officials expect more than 680,000 travelers to come and go between Wednesday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 31, with the busiest days being Friday and Monday.

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

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

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South Florida will also host a series of Memorial Day events honoring fallen soldiers.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said COVID-19 remains top of mind amid extensive travel and numerous large events.

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

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

Airport officials advise travelers to arrive early and consider being dropped off at the airport rather than parking, as car parks are near or full at both airports.

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