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Hurricane Irma: Florida shuts down air travel

11 September 2017

While evacuees in Florida encounter gasoline shortages as they flee Hurricane Irma, drivers in the rest of the country are still dealing with the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey, which has added more than 30 cents to the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will suspend operations on Friday, wih the last flight departing at 7:45 p.m.

By comparison, Hurricane Ike, which hit Texas in 2008, canceled only 3,400 flights for the airline.

"This is just water coming in from the storm, more on the south end of the airport".

Miami's airport is open for now, though its primary tenant - American Airlines - said it will halt its schedule there by 4 p.m. Friday.

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More are possible as crosswinds make it risky for smaller regional aircraft to fly, Delta Airlines said in a statement. The airline added approximately 400 seats in Miami, 1,110 in Fort Lauderdale, 210 in Orlando and 110 at Sarasota-Bradenton, according to a statement from the airline. All European and South American arrivals for American are canceled on Friday.

"So I'm heading back just to ride out the storm". "We want to make sure that what they don't do is come to port and then unload all those passengers, bring them to the airport when we don't have the aircraft to take them home".

Over the past couple of days, people searching for any remaining flights out of Southern Florida airports have been posting screenshots to Twitter of their highly inflated potential itineraries.

JetBlue Airways and American Airlines are helping people get out of the region before they shut down operations in the state.

AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. American added: "The current travel alert that has been issued allows customers whose travel plans are impacted by Hurricane Irma to rebook without change fees".

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For existing reservations, JetBlue is waiving cancellation fees as well as waiving change fees and differences in airfare for rebooking, reports said.

JetBlue Airways said on Wednesday afternoon that it had cancelled about 130 flights.

"Now I'm being told that my luggage is in Jamaica on the same flight that I was supposed to be on", said Dawson.

Airlines insist that they did not intentionally raise ticket prices. "It can be disturbing, but I think our guys have handled it well".

But there's a catch-22: Thanks to people booking at the last minute, and with only a limited number of flights, ticket prices for the few remaining seats surged, leading to accusations of price gouging. "They're rioting for plywood down there, it's insane", said one traveler.

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Hurricane Irma: Florida shuts down air travel