As the hurricane nears the USA, at least 500,000 people in south Florida have been told to leave.
There have already been 1,039 flights canceled on Saturday.
However, it will likely be extremely hard to fly in or out of Miami after Friday evening because some carriers are suspending service.
Southwest Airlines canceled flights to and from South Florida from Friday night through at least Saturday, and also canceled flights to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and Cuba. It is also shutting operations in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach. Operations will be canceled throughout the weekend.
American Airlines also started capping flights at $99 on Wednesday evening, and other airlines introduced caps too. The last American departure Friday from MIA is slated to be Flight 2213 departing at 3:39 p.m. for Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
Jennifer Salazar is headed to Chicago on the 2:05 p.m.
The Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando airports handled more than 115 million passengers in 2016. Indeed, some carriers have added flights. The terminal will remain open and only close if the airport is damaged. The monster hurricane has already registered wind speeds of more than 185 miles per hour. “As many federal officials work relentlessly to protect Americans from the kinds of harm Hurricane Irma may bring, it is imperative that DOT use all resource at its disposal to protect consumers from the harm that comes from outrageous and oppressive fares”.
Approximately 140,000 people living near Georgia’s coast, including Savannah, are now under a mandatory evacuation order.
According to Flightradar, 332 flights were scheduled to depart the Miami and Orlando airports today, with more coming from the area’s other major hubs.
Irma was downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 4 storm early Friday morning.
Commercial flights will cease at West Palm Beach Airport at 7:00 p.m., at Fort Lauderdale’s airport at 7:45 p.m. and at Key West Airport at 8 p.m. on Friday.
To get the latest information on airport operations, the airport advises that people follow its Twitter page @iflymia. “We haven’t determined when we will stop operations at [Orlando International Airport] yet, but the airport is closing at 5 p.m. Saturday”.
Flights in the eastern Caribbean through September 7 and in the western Caribbean through September 8 are also under a fare ceiling.
United was sold out through Friday and added six flights, according to a spokesman.
“Lines at Miami International Airport are 400 – 500 people long”.
Travel waivers are available for eligible United Airlines passengers traveling through specific airports who need to change their travel due to the storm. All outbound flights canceled had destinations of either Miami or Fort Lauderdale.