Orlando airport bracing for busy 4th of July weekend

The 4th of July weekend is here and according to AAA, 48 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend. Here in Central Florida, officials at the Orlando International Airport are bracing for a busy weekend with more than 1.7 million people expected to pass through. 

Thousands of delays and cancellations have been reported at airports across the country, causing passengers big headaches. According to FlightAware, on Thursday more than 2,000 flights were canceled and 20,000 were delayed at U.S. airports.  Experts say some airlines are experiencing pilot and staff shortages, partly because during COVID, not as many people could be trained.

Weather was also an issue earlier this week. FlightAware says 87-percent more flights are coming in and out now then there were in 2020.

At Orlando International Airport on Friday morning, there were only a few cancellations and delays on the big board, which were all from Delta Airlines. Still, passengers who were affected found it frustrating. 

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"We've been delayed a couple of times today trying to get out of here…about 2 ½ - 3 hours," one traveler told FOX 35 News. 

Another said, "Our flight was delayed until 6 a.m. tomorrow. So we're just hanging out here until we make it to our destination."

AAA says Orlando is the top domestic destination for the holiday. Because it will be busy, the airport says you might want to come more than two hours early even for domestic flights.