Floridians Have A Tough Time Getting Back Home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/07/04

Floridians Have A Tough Time Getting Back Home

Many people headed home to hurricane damaged Florida are first having to make a stop on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. AirTran resumed service to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa on Monday. Officials say since then, flights have been booked with passengers who say their travel options into the sunshine state have been limited.

Laura Desisto spent Labor Day Weekend visiting her father in Mississippi, but the 12-year-old's thoughts were back home in Florida.

"I was worried about more like the wind and if it was going to take off the roof and blow in the windows," said Desisto.

Most of those checking in at the AirTran ticket counter came here for vacation. Hurricane Frances extended their trip.

Frank Thomas, his wife and another couple have been stranded in Mississippi.

"We were supposed to have been back three days ago, so this is the first flight out."

Others had driven hundreds of miles to board planes here because they couldn't get flights out of other cities.

Scott Jones drove from Birmingham after he "just started looking at airports. I looked at Biloxi and tried AirTran and was able to get a flight at noon today."

Although they hadn't gotten back to Florida, most Floridians had already gotten word from family and friends of what to expect.

"I'm not really anxious because I know it's a mess and I'm going to have to clean it up," said Jamie Ellis. "I'm ready to get back and try to take care of things and make sure that I'm there. I kind of feel helpless being up here."

AirTran is not the only airline at the Gulfport Biloxi Regional Airport that provides service to Florida, but Southeast Airlines cancelled its flights on Tuesday.

by Danielle Thomas

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