Travelers arriving in South Florida leave behind wildfire smoke stifling cities in Northeast

'I have no problems with my lungs and I had a hard time breathing,' Juliana Casalino says
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-08 18:36:38-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Passengers arriving at Palm Beach International Airport savor the clean air after flying from New York City and it’s thick, unhealthy haze.  

“I have no problems with my lungs and I had a hard time breathing,” Juliana Casalino said. She flew down to South Florida a day early and left a thick fog behind.  

“And houses reeked of smoke if your window's open,” Casalino said.  

Some Jet Blue passengers arriving from New York City noted they left the day after the air quality tracking service IQAir reported the Big Apple recorded the worst air quality of any city in the world.  

NYC traveler Juliana Casalino  June 8 2023.jpg
Traveler Juliana Casalino explains how hard it was for her to breathe in New York City.

“You couldn’t see anything,” Brittany Amendola said. She is vacationing from her job in Manhattan. “Couldn’t see the grass, the trees.”  

“I felt the heaviness to breathe. Dizziness,” said Linda Friedman of Boynton Beach, a retired critical care nurse.  

“We’re so happy to be out of that smog,” another New Yorker who arrived at PBIA for a business trip said.  

PBIA passengers flying to the northeast were on edge.  

When will the wildfire smoke clear out, and where will it go next?


Climate change blamed for wildfire smoke impacting the US

Scripps News Staff
9:49 AM, Jun 08, 2023

Barb Matias of Wellington is headed to her sister’s event introducing a new children’s book at an outdoor festival on Long Island.  

“We are a bit concerned about it," Matias said, “but we have to make this trip.”  

For those who fear the debilitating cloud of smoke will drift to South Florida, WPTV Meteorologist Kahtia Hall said Floridians have nothing to worry about.

Barb Matias of Wellington June 8 2023.jpg
Barb Matias of Wellington shares her concerns about traveling to Long Island.

“We’re just a little too far south for that smoke to affect us here," she said. "We may see a little bit of haze, but most of the wildfire smoke should stay to our north. The farthest south it will go will be the Carolinas.”  

All the smoke in the northeast didn’t appear to disrupt travel Thursday, with some flights even arriving early.  

Most passengers told WPTV they booked their flights from the northeast several weeks ago.  

And with wildfires still causing smog in their cities, they say the timing of their trip is perfect.