Major airlines restrict flights as Hurricane Ian approaches

Tampa, Florida - Major US airlines are halting their operations in the Caribbean islands and Florida as Ian develops into a hurricane and rages past Cuba.

The arrival and departures board lists numerous flight cancelations at Tampa International Airport before its scheduled closure.
The arrival and departures board lists numerous flight cancelations at Tampa International Airport before its scheduled closure.  © Bryan R. Smith / AFP

The hurricane is rapidly gaining strength before its landfall in Florida.

American Airlines (AAL) has already issued a travel alert on 20 airports that are in the landfall zones of the hurricane.

AA will also arrange for last-minute flights for people wanting to evacuate by air for reduced costs.

The company is also waiving off checked bags fee for up to two bags on certain locations and waiving fees for carry-on pets from the affected locations.

Those who would not fly due to the calamity will be allowed to reschedule their flights without any additional charges.

Another major airline, Delta Airlines (DAL), has updated its website to say there will be no flights from Tampa International Airport (TPA), Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), from Tuesday evening.

Flights will also not operate from Orlando International Airport (MCO) from Wednesday.

All operations are expected to resume from Friday, depending on the conditions.

The airlines are expected to operate in other locations depending on the weather. However, the company has urged passengers to keep checking the website or mobile application for updates on their flights.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) issued updates on its website saying that it will suspend operations in Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Havana, Cuba till Thursday, at least.

Ian has already made its landfall in Cuba.

Cover photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP

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