Fourth of July weekend to see major air travel boom for Southwest Florida

Published: July 1, 2022 7:17 AM EDT
Updated: July 1, 2022 7:25 AM EDT

This Fourth of July weekend, you can expect to see waves of visitors to Southwest Florida and just as many people traveling elsewhere, so be prepared if you plan on flying.

Travel officials predict this Independence Day weekend will be the second-busiest in the last 22 years. They say the reason this is because people are ready to see their friends and family after having to hold off for a while because of COVID-19. An influx of passengers at the same time as a pilot shortage and airline labor disputes could complicate things.

WINK News went to Southwest Florida International Airport and spoke to one couple on their way back home to Alabama, and they were concerned about their flight being canceled or delayed.

“I was worried about canceled flights, because there is always canceled flights,” said John Matthews. “I didn’t want to go to the airport for them to say, ‘Sorry it’s not going today,’ but it all worked out.”

Travelers visit a desk at Southwest Florida International Airport on Friday, July 1, 2022. Credit: WINK News

A lot of travelers were surprised that the airport wasn’t busier on Friday morning, and they were also surprised that not many flights have been canceled. One man who is headed back home to Chicago tells WINK he was nervous all morning about his flight being canceled.

“It’s been nice, nothing rough, you know, given it’s the Fourth of July weekend, it’s pretty smooth, haven’t gotten to the plane yet,” said Emmanuel Byron. “So far, so good. Seeing all them cancellations, going through, I was checking my phone every hour just to make sure everything’s still a go.”

Make sure you arrive early and check your flight status to avoid any last-minute issues.