1,700 Flights Canceled Friday, As Storm Heads For Carolinas

THEir travelers will face a third day of widespread flight disruptions as Hurricane Ian, now a Category 1 storm, bears down on the Carolinas.

By 9 am Eastern Time, more than 1,700 flights had been canceled in the United States for Friday, following two days with more than 2,000 cancellations each.

While Florida is now the storm’s rear-view mirror, the Sunshine State’s airports are still in recovery mode with nearly 500 outbound flights canceled today, according to data from FlightAware, an app that provides flight tracking data. The largest number of cancellations are at Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport, where 266 and 103 flights, respectively, are canceled.

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At Georgia’s Savannah/Hilton Head Airport, 69% of flights are canceled, while just over the South Carolina border, the smaller Hilton Head Island Airport is closed until Saturday morning. Charleston International will remain open until winds reach 35 knots or greater, but 90% of flights have already been cancelled. Moving north, more than 200 flights are axed at Charlotte’s two airports.

“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge today along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas within the Storm Surge Warning Areas,” said an early-morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane force winds are expected along the coast of South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina by this afternoon.

Major airlines are issuing travel waivers allowing passengers flying in or out of affected airports to rebook without paying the fare difference.

But the rules for changing tickets differ from carrier to carrier, including different lists of affected airports and rebooking deadlines.

American Airlines’ updated alert covers 11 airports in Georgia and the Carolinas. Passengers who bought a plane ticket before September 28 for travel through October 3 to, from or through any of the listed airports must rebook by October 3 for travel through October 10.

Delta Air Lines’ updated alert now covers 21 airports in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Passengers who booked their tickets before September 27 for travel through October 3 may rebook without an extra fee if the original ticket is purchased by October 6.

United Airlines’ alert applies to 11 airports in Georgia and the Carolinas. Travelers who booked their original tickets by September 27 for travel through October 3 must rebook by October 10.

New travel alerts issued by Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways cover six and four airports in Georgia and the Carolinas, respectively.

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