Bad weather impacting flights at PBIA, other Florida airports

Planes are packed during schools' spring break
Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 23:54:30-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Airports throughout Florida, including Palm Beach International, are experiencing delays Sunday because of thunderstorms in the northern part of the state as planes are packed with travelers during schools' spring break.

This is following flight headaches from the night before.

At 2 p.m., PBIA was experiencing an average 45-minute arrival delay and 30-minute departure delay and increasing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's National Airspace Status.

But in an update at 2:30, PBIA is not on the list.

Through Sunday night at PBIA, there are 56 delays (10% of total flights) with three cancellations, according to FlightAware.

PBIA's airport monitoring system shows 19 departure delays through 9:16 p.m. and 15 arrival delays through 12:07 a.m. Sunday.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was listing a 30-minute departure delay and none for arrivals but no longer after 3 p.m., according to the FAA.

Sunday there were 239 delays (40%) and 16 cancellations, according to FlightAware.

Miami International Airport was at 45 minutes and increasing for departures, according to the FAA but it no longer also is listed, and 321 delays (37%) and 10 cancellations Sunday, according to FlightAware.

Other airports impacted include Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

In Tampa there were 159 delays (35%) and 14 cancellations from the airport.

"Tampa International Airport and other Florida airports are experiencing a high number of delays and cancellations due to a long band of thunderstorms to the north of the state,” Emily Nipps, airport director of communications, said. “The Federal Aviation Administration has a delay program in effect for arriving and departing flights, primarily due to the weather and the high volume of flights today. As always, we encourage passengers to check directly with their airlines for the most up-to-date schedules.”

WFTS talked with one local family who had to cancel their spring break trip to Germany.

"The package included the hotel and airfare. I talked to customer service they're going to give me vouchers for the airfare but I just lost $1,600 on the hotel," Michael Henry added.

At Orlando International Airport 14 Southwest Airlines flights were canceled Sunday because of "challenges created by widespread pop-up thunderstorms and airspace constraints across Florida on Saturday," the airline said in a statement to WOFL.

On Sunday there were 317 delays (43%) and 42 cancellations from the airport with those percentages the most for any airport in the nation.

Nationally, there were 7,209 delays in and out of the United States with 826 cancellations, according to FlightAware.

Southwest leads with 37% of its flights delayed (1,646) and 90 cancellations.

On Saturday, there were 7,425 flight delays in the U.S., including 1,372 (33%) with Southwest. Five Florida airports had the most cancellations from their airports in the nation: Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami and Lee County.

Flights delays at PBIA. March 9, 2024.png
Flights delays at PBIA on Satursday.

The delays are occurring during peak travel.

“With spring break officially kicking off, airports are expected to be crowded throughout the coming weeks, and travelers may face flight disruptions depending on their departure location,” Collin Czarnecki, a researcher for aGamble, told USA TODAY in an email.

Half of all travelers with spring break plans are “concerned” about disruptions impacting their travel plans, according to travel platform Hopper’s 2024 Spring Break Travel Outlook.