Flight Cancellations and Delays Surge at Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Airports Due to Heavy Rain

Heavy rain is having a major impact on travel in South Florida this week, an impact that is expected to continue through the end of the week. On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties and issued a statement warning that rain and thunderstorms could continue to impact travel in those areas for “the next several days.”

“Preliminary reports indicate that the rainfall and flooding have affected and may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major interstates, state and county roadways, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure throughout these counties,” Gov. DeSantis said in his declaration.

Both Miami International Airport (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) had major cancellations and delays on Wednesday. Twenty-one percent of Miami’s departures and 30% of Fort Lauderdale’s departures were canceled, and another 30% from each airport were delayed, according to FlightAware.

That impact isn’t slowing down. For Thursday, both airports are continuing to deal with the weather’s impact as delays and cancellations again start to pile up. Here is the situation as of 7:30 a.m. local time, according to FlightAware: 

  • Miami International (MIA): 86 departures canceled (13% of the total schedule), another 18 delayed; 102 arrivals canceled (15% of the schedule), another 24 delayed.
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL): 23 departures canceled (6% of the schedule), another 18 delayed (4% of the schedule).

Travelers heading to either airport should not only check with their airline about their flight status before leaving but should also check road conditions, as many roads, particularly around Miami International, have been flooded.

“Inclement weather will affect flights. If you’re traveling, please contact your airline for the latest updates. We’re also under a flood watch. Before heading to the airport, please check local conditions and avoid driving through flooded areas,” Miami International Airport said in a notice to passengers on Thursday morning.

Fort Lauderdale is telling its passengers that it is open and operational, and the roadways around the airport are clear, but E. Perimeter Road, which borders the airport on the east side, is closed, so travelers should avoid that route.

“Fort Lauderdale Airport is open and operational today, but travelers should check their airline for flight status updates before coming out. Our terminal and airport exit roadways are clear, but a section of E. Perimeter Road into Fort Lauderdale Airport is closed due to flooding; use alternate routes,” the airport said on Thursday morning.

Airline waivers
Some carriers operating out of South and Central Florida have issued waivers because of the weather.

American Airlines has issued a waiver for Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Southwest Florida International (RSW), Sarasota Bradenton International (SRQ), and West Palm Beach (PBI). American’s waiver includes all flights out of those airports through the end of June 16 and allows travelers to change to a new flight by the end of June 20.

Delta Air Lines has issued a waiver for Fort Lauderdale and Miami, along with Orlando International (MCO), Southwest Florida International, Sarasota Bradenton International, Tampa International, and West Palm Beach. The waiver includes flights through June 14 and allows travelers to change to a new flight through June 17.

Southwest is waiving fare differences for flights through Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, and West Palm Beach scheduled through the end of June 14. Southwest’s waiver allows travelers to book a new flight within 14 days of their original ticket.

United Airlines has issued a waiver for Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Myers for flights scheduled through June 16. The new flight must be scheduled by the end of June 23.

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