Hurricane Idalia is expected to be a powerful and very dangerous Category 4 storm when it hits Florida early Wednesday.
So if you are in the storm’s expected path, make plans and evacuate when advised to.
Airports, airlines, the FAA, and others are responding by closing terminals, rerouting flights and canceling hundreds of others, offering travel waivers, and generally urging travelers to be smart and stay safe.
Airports closing. Or ready to.
As noted in the FAA’s tweet above, several airports closed to all air traffic on Tuesday.
Noting that “TPA is not a shelter,” Tampa International Airport (TPA) closed early Tuesday morning, right after midnight.
“We will reopen when it’s safe to do so, following a damage assessment,” the airport said in its social media posts.
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), closed Tuesday afternoon, hoping to reopen Wednesday at 3 p.m., if possible.
And Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) closed Tuesday evening at 7 pm, with plans to open Wednesday morning at 8 am “pending damage assessment.”
And, for now, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, FL remains open and operational.
Here’s what was posted on the airport’s Facebook Tuesday afternoon:
As of 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 29, most of the airlines at RSW plan to operate a normal schedule this evening and tomorrow. There have been changes on some flights with Breeze, Delta Air Lines and Southwest, so check with them before coming to the airport. We strongly recommend looking at your airline’s website for the best information on cancellations and delays as weather conditions can change quickly.
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) remains open and operational as well and says it remains open “so long as the FAA and the airlines continue to safely operate.”
Airlines canceling flights, offering travel waivers
Of course, even if an airport is open, it doesn’t mean flights are landing and taking off. Hundreds of flights have already been canceled and delayed and there will no doubt be more schedule disruptions in the coming hours and days.
Airlines have posted their travel waiver policies for passengers with tickets to, from, or through, many southeast airports.
Here are links to the travel waiver policies posted as of Tuesday morning:
American Airlines The airline has posted travel alerts and waivers for Bermuda travel in response to Hurricane Franklin and for travel to, from, or through 12 airports in the southeast U.S.
Delta Air Lines has travel alerts posted for close to 20 airports.
Frontier Airlines 7 airports are covered by this travel alert.
Jet Blue The travel alert currently covers a half dozen airports.
Southwest Airlines 11 airports are currently showing a travel alert for Southwest Airlines flights.
United Airlines A travel alert for 9 airports is currently posted on United’s travel alert page.
As always, be sure to check with your airline before heading to the airport.
And stay safe!