Parking lots filling up at Miami, Fort Lauderdale airports ahead of Thanksgiving weekend

If you’re a traveler planning to fly out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, here’s a word to the wise: Do not leave home at the last minute.

Miami International Airport’s parking garages are nearing full capacity — and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport isn’t too far behind.

“We’re experiencing an increase in travelers, and our garages are reaching capacity,” the Miami airport tweeted at 1:15 p.m.

READ MORE: Is parking full at the airport? You have options for holiday travel in Miami and Broward

The airport is asking people to arrive at least three hours before their flight — and to consider alternate ways of transportation.

A traveler grabs his ticket from airport staff at the departures level inside Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
A traveler grabs his ticket from airport staff at the departures level inside Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

Greg Chin, communications director at the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, said there were still parking spaces available late Wednesday afternoon.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s short- and long-term parking garages are full, the airport tweeted around noon. The airport is directing long-term parkers to its nearby overflow lot.

Travelers are assisted by airport staff as they check in for a flight at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Travelers are assisted by airport staff as they check in for a flight at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

READ MORE: Flying to or from Miami or Fort Lauderdale for Thanksgiving? How to check your flight

“Due to busy roadways, add 90 minutes extra for the commute to/from the Overflow Lot to the airport,” the airport said.

For real-time parking availability at the Fort Lauderdale airport, download the FLL Airport App on your mobile device.

A traveler is assisted by airport staff as he checks in for a flight at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
A traveler is assisted by airport staff as he checks in for a flight at Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

Millions of travelers expected for Thanksgiving

The Miami airport is planning to see 1.8 million passengers from Nov. 18 through Tuesday, with the busiest days expected to be Nov. 20 and the weekend after Thanksgiving. The airport says it could see more than 160,000 passengers on each of these days.

Travelers walk the halls at the departures level inside Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Travelers walk the halls at the departures level inside Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

The Fort Lauderdale airport expects to see about 690,000 travelers starting Nov. 22 and lasting through Monday. That projected number is 14% more passengers than compared to last year, but fewer than before COVID. FLL says the busiest days will be Wednesday, followed by the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving.

Miami Herald writer Michelle Marchante contributed to this report.