Hurricane Idalia Causes Flight Delays And Cancellations Impacts Nationwide

Due to Hurricane Idalia approaching the west coast of Florida, nearly 600 flights were canceled and 1,600 were delayed on Tuesday. Several airports, including Tampa International Airport, have closed to prepare for the storm and airlines have issued travel advisory waivers to affected passengers. Flight impacts could be felt nationwide throughout the week. 


Once the storm passes, airport officials will assess any damage before reopening. Passengers at Tampa International Airport were left scrambling to find alternative airports to fly out of to avoid the storm, as the airport will remain closed until Thursday and possibly longer depending on damage assessments. Tampa Bay Times reported that the airport has secured jetways, equipment, and aircraft in preparation for the storm, which is expected to bring a storm surge of four to seven feet. 

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Three other airports, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, and Tallahassee International Airport, also closed on Tuesday. Orlando International Airport will remain open as the storm is expected to pass northwest of the city. Extra flights were added to evacuate the area, including UA3019 leaving from MCO to Chicago at 10:40 and UA3022 departing for Houston at 12:45. Passengers were advised to verify the status of their commercial flight with their airline before heading to the airport. American Airlines has canceled all flights to Tampa from its east coast hubs, in Charlotte and Philadelphia. 

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Southwest Airlines is also being closely watched as the largest carrier at TPA, with the potential for several disrupted flights throughout the week. The FAA has also warned of increased delays in Atlanta and Denver as major connecting hubs for travelers. Planes evacuated from the storm's path have been parked at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport until the storm event is over. It may take days to get back on schedule once TPA reopens since airlines will need to reposition planes.

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