Hurricane Irma leading to airport closures, flight cancellations in Florida

Credit Gas Buddy screenshot

Credit Gas Buddy screenshot

Youngosi said he is not happy that his week-long vacation in Tampa had to end early because Irma is expected to make a grand entrance in south Florida this weekend.

I write on behalf of my constituents' concerns that United Airlines is gouging Floridians trying to evacuate Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever to threaten the State of Florida. He said it took him three flights and 36 sleepless hours to get out of harm's way. With adept planning by the airline, the Boeing 737 slipped between Irma's swirling outer bands as it navigated its way back north.

"The fact that everything was gone so quickly tells me that (not having time to react and adjust anything manually) airlines were selling seats rather inexpensively, so most of the seats were quickly gone. and then, yes, you'll see that last seat selling for a insane price", Kaplan said.

American, Southwest and other US carriers have put waivers in place allowing customers at dozens of airports in Irma's path to reschedule their travel without paying change fees and, in some cases, the fare difference.

The last American Airlines flight out of Miami International Airport before the airport closed Friday has landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport closing because of Hurricane Irma? As many as 34 percent of the retail service stations in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale region, according to Morgan Stanley, the biggest single carrier operating there.

An additional 3,000 guard members will be activated Friday, which will mean all 7,000 Florida National Guard members will be deployed.

Miami airport said it would cease operations in its control tower when winds rose above 55 miles per hour. In Tampa, the airline will cancel service Saturday evening through Sunday; all of Southwest's flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday to Nassau, the Bahamas and Havana have been canceled.

Randy Hassen, president of hotel management at McKibbon Hospitality, also spoke with HOTEL MANAGEMENT, saying the company has approximately 30 properties throughout Florida and several along the coast of Georgia and SC, all of which are on high alert ahead of Irma's arrival.

Current tracks showed Irma moving toward Atlanta, raising he possibility the storm could affect flights at the world's busiest airport next week. A Delta spokesman said it was still to soon to make those preparations.

Beyond US airlines, Canadian carriers Air Transat and WestJet Airlines both launched evacuation operations on Wednesday to remove passengers that could be affected by Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic, and Air Canada allowed passengers to change flights in impacted areas free-of-charge.

Recalling the recent devastation in Houston, Texas, by Tropical Storm Harvey, some Florida residents told WLBZ2 they were taking no chances by waiting to see what will happen.

United was still tallying the damage from Harvey.

Other airlines, such as American Airlines, have announced similar measures in reaction to Hurricane Irma.

AA added in a statement issued yesterday that the devastation has resulted in more than 2,200 canceled flights throughout its worldwide network.

While this may be nothing more than an airline pricing algorithm that needs to be updated, my constituents are running out of time. "We don't have a very large operation down there".

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