‘The Lines Are Crazy': Hectic Season of Holiday Travel Begins At South Florida Airports

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When you combine a holiday travel week with pandemic precautions, the trip can often be anything but smooth for some.

“It is very stressful,” said Dee Davis who is connecting in Miami from Dallas.

Dee Davis and Stephanie Home were looking forward to spending a week in the Dominican Republic, but instead they’re spending the night in Miami after multiple mix-ups.

First, they didn’t have the QR code necessary to board the flight to Punta Cana, then the flight they were rebooked on was delayed five hours.

“We’ve lost two days at our resort and we just wanna get there and be on the beach,” said Stephanie Home.

A record 158,000 travelers came through Miami International Airport on Monday, officials said. Friday and Saturday saw 150,000 travelers each day. The airport saw an increase in passengers of 15% compared to 2019.

“The lines are crazy, the wait time to talk to anyone is beyond crazy,” said Homes.

Adding to the possible travel troubles is concern that President Biden's vaccine mandate for all federal workers could lead to a shortage of FAA and TSA workers because some will refuse the vaccine, or be fired.

"We are ready for the holidays so we are very excited about it,” said Scott Johnson, TSA federal security director.

But still, most passengers NBC 6 spoke to say they’d travel during peak dates all over again to make up for postponed family visits.

“We have dual vaccination and the booster! So we are ready to go anywhere.”

Officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said they expect to see more than 600,000 passengers at their airport during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

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