Thanks for Our Travel Woes, Florida

Activity in Florida airspace is messing flights up for the whole country, per 'WSJ'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2022 3:16 PM CDT
Has Your Air Travel Been Hellish? Fingers Point to Florida
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/fizkes)

In June, federal stats showed that the four big airports in Florida—Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami—were among the top five worst airports in terms of on-time arrivals, per the New York Post. But what happens in Florida apparently isn't staying in Florida, with a logjammed "obstacle course" in the tourist-heavy state's airspace affecting flights across the country, reports the Wall Street Journal. The paper notes that every major airline has flights to and from the Sunshine State, and while the rest of the US saw a slowdown of domestic flights in the first half of 2022 compared with 2019, Florida saw an uptick.

It's not only the number of flights arriving to and departing from Florida that's wreaking havoc for travelers. There's temperamental weather (especially during hurricane season), rockets launching off the Space Coast, private jets zipping around, staff shortages in air traffic control, and military drills that can sometimes tie up airspace. In the Journal's view, that's turning Florida airspace "into the equivalent of a congested two-lane highway at rush hour," and apparently having a ripple effect throughout the rest of the US.

"It's been a cluster and a half," says Andrew Levy, CEO of startup Avelo Airlines, which has been trying to stretch its market into Florida. "It's created enormous problems for us." Customers likely aren't too happy, either: The Journal notes that during the first half of this year, one-fifth of daily flights, on average, were late in reaching their destinations. Hoping to avoid some of these air travel headaches? WFSB offers some suggestions via AirHelp, including to fly on Mondays and Tuesdays, when delays aren't as common. The days to avoid? Thursdays and Fridays. (More air travel stories.)

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