Travel Alert September 2017: Hurricane Irma to Impact Northern Caribbean Islands

Note: Please click here for an article with updated information pertaining to Hurricane Irma.


If northern islands of the Caribbean Sea are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to the effects from Hurricane Irma.

Travel Alert September 2017: Hurricane Irma to Impact Northern Caribbean Islands

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma churns in the Atlantic Ocean as it heads west southwest towards the northern islands of the Caribbean Sea. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Irma — which is currently in the Atlantic Ocean and moving west southwest at a speed of 14 miles per hour — are at 120 miles per hour, which means that it is currently classified as a major Category 3 hurricane.

Although this powerful storm is still approximately 550 miles away, hurricane warnings have already been issued for portions of the Leeward Islands — including Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy — and hurricane watches have been issued for Guadaloupe, both sets of the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Dominica.

Hurricane Irma is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane sometime over the next few days as it is expected to cause beach erosion, rough surf, coastal flooding, strong rip currents, windy conditions and significant rainfall of up to 12 inches in some areas. Power outages and localized flooding is possible.

This hurricane is fairly compact, symmetrical, and has an eye which is clearly defined — meaning that it is a potentially dangerous storm.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to anywhere in the islands of the northern Caribbean Sea over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for four airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Wednesday, September 6, 2017; and Saturday, September 9, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for eight airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Wednesday, September 6, 2017; and Saturday, September 9, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for two airports in Puerto Rico for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Thursday, September 7, 2017; and Monday, September 11, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for two airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Friday, September 8, 2017; and Friday, September 22, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for three airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Thursday, September 7, 2017; and Monday, September 11, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin — as well as travel alerts for three additional airports for Thursday, September 7, 2017 through Friday, September 8, 2017; and Tuesday, September 12, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • WestJet Airways has issued travel alerts for two airports in the Dominican Republic for Thursday, September 7, 2017 through Friday, September 8, 2017.

Summary

This is only the first wave of travel alerts to result from Hurricane Irma. Expect more travel alerts from additional airlines over the next several days to be expanded to areas such as Hispaniola, the Bahamas and Cuba; and I will do my best to inform you if your travel plans are indeed affected.

If you are located in the southeastern United States, keep yourself updated with the latest information so that you are able to evacuate as early as possible if the weather forecast becomes bleak and threatening.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

98 thoughts on “Travel Alert September 2017: Hurricane Irma to Impact Northern Caribbean Islands”

  1. Don says:

    Was planning a family trip to San Juan/Culebra/Vieques for the 16-22 of Sept.

    Would you suggest cancelling? Irma will have passed, but worried about the degree of devastation. How common is this for locals?

    Looks like Hurricane George’s ravaged the islands a while back.

    Thoughts? Insight?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Puerto Rico is expected to be on the south side of the hurricane when it passes to the north, Don. That is actually good news for Puerto Rico.

      There will be damage and possible flooding — but the strength, path and speed of the hurricane as its eye passes to the north of Puerto Rico will determine how much damage will occur.

      Did you already book your reservations and flights, Don? I would call the hotel or resort properties at which you plan on staying and ask them; and I might wait a day or two before deciding whether or not to cancel.

    2. Marlene Martin says:

      Cancel

  2. Julie says:

    We are from Canada and are leaving for Cayo Coco, Cuba on Wed. Sept. 6. Very early am. There are no travel alerts for Cuba yet but Irma is expected to hit Cayo Coco Saturday. I’d like to cancel my trip or go another time. I have trip interruption or cancellation through my credit card but it is only good if there is a travel advisory. Seems irresponsible to send people into harm’s way…. Any advise? Thanks.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Right now is too early to arrive at a decision, Julie. This is because airlines and hotels usually do not issue travel alerts too far in advance unless there is more certainty to the situation.

      Hurricane Irma is not expected to impact Cuba until Friday, September 8 as a Category 3 hurricane; so I would expect the travel alerts for Cuba to be in place by either tomorrow or Wednesday.

      Air Canada currently has no alerts at all at this time pertaining to Hurricane Irma; and no airline has yet issued a travel alert to Cuba. Which airline is operating your flight?

      1. Julie says:

        Sunwing Sir.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          I will keep my eye on Sunwing, which currently has no alerts at this time, Julie.

          Have you tried contacting the airline and asking?

          1. Julie says:

            No, not yet, but I will tomorrow. You’ve been very helpful Brian. Thank you.

          2. Brian Cohen says:

            I only wish I could have been more helpful, Julie.

            Waiting another day will not hurt. Please keep me updated and let me know how else I could possibly assist you…

          3. Shirley says:

            I’m traveling to Havana on Thursday through Alaska Airlines and I’m concerned we’ll get hit with the hurricane while we are over there. Have you heard anything from that airline by any chance? I have tried calling and they said the same thing as far as the travel alert.

          4. Brian Cohen says:

            Strangely, Alaska Airlines still has not issued any travel alerts related to Hurricane Irma at this time, Shirley:

            https://www.alaskaair.com/content/advisories/travel-advisories.aspx

            I would not be surprised if a travel alert was issued by them as soon as tomorrow or later today…

  3. steph kemp says:

    Hi I’m flying from Gatwick England to Antigua on the 7th Sept, should I cancel?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Antigua is quite likely to take a direct hit from Hurricane Irma on Wednesday morning, steph kemp.

      Fortunately for you, you will be able to initially assess the situation prior to your scheduled flight — and airlines should have had travel alerts for Antigua announced by then, which should help you arrive at a definitive decision.

      Are you flying as a passenger on British Airways or a different airline?

      1. ste says:

        Hi I’m flying with Virgin Atlantic

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          The latest update has been released from Virgin Atlantic; and the travel waiver appears to only be good for today, Tuesday, September 5, ste:

          http://www.virginatlantic.com/us/en/travel-information/travel-news.html

          You can either wait a day to see if the waiver will be expanded to include September 7; or you can contact the airline at 0344 209 8711 in the United Kingdom or 1 800 862 8621 in the United States.

          1. stephkemp says:

            thanks so much for your help

          2. Brian Cohen says:

            You are more than welcome, stephkemp.

  4. Robert says:

    Brian.

    We are currently in our Florida home and are scheduled to fly back to our North Carolina home on Thursday. It looks like Irma is going to turn up through the center of Florida about Saturday. Obviously we would prefer to stay in Florida in order to deal with any storm related issues. Is calling tomorrow to early to talk with delta about waiving rebooking fees? Thanks.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Although the storm seems more likely to impact southern Florida as time passes, Robert, calling Delta Air Lines tomorrow is still too early at this time — especially as there are too many variables which can change the dynamics of Hurricane Irma and its path.

      By my experience, Delta Air Lines is usually quite good at being proactive about alerting customers and issuing travel waivers in advance of inclement weather which is expected to impact upon operations. I have visited the Operations Control Center of Delta Air Lines multiple times and have personally met with its dedicated team of meteorologists; and I can assure you that they are constantly and consistently monitoring every aspect of Hurricane Irma.

  5. Shanna says:

    Hello I am taking a flight to New York, Should I be concerned? I plan to fly on Sunday the 10th

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The combination of the Jet Stream and a high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean is expected to eventually steer Hurricane Irma towards the northeast, Shanna — but if this storm has any impact on New York at all, it will not occur for at least another week.

      I would not be concerned as of yet; but definitely keep an eye on this storm and keep yourself updated with the latest information.

  6. Charles says:

    My wife is headed to Miami for work on Wednesday morning and then from Miami directly to London on Friday at 6PM. When do flights usually start to get impacted by hurricanes in the South Florida area? Is it likely she will be able to fly out Friday early evening from Miami? I understand you can’t say with any level of certainty but your insight is appreciated!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      South Florida is not expected to be impacted by Hurricane Irma until this coming Saturday evening at the earliest, Charles.

      At this time, the flight on which your wife will travel should be fine. All flights on Friday out of Miami should be operating normally.

      The only variable which would affect her flight is if the storm increased its forward movement. It is currently moving west at 13 miles per hour; and I do not believe its forward movement will gain much speed while it continues west — if at all. More likely, it may slow down.

  7. Angie Freeman says:

    My sisters and I are scheduled to fly from St.Louis to Punta Cana on Sunday the 10th. I know Irma will be passed by then, but still wondering if it would be wise to cancel trip and reschedule. We have trip insurance. Any insight would be helpful.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Punta Cana is literally on the southernmost edge of possible tracks of which Hurricane Irma could take, Angie Freeman; and the storm is not expected to arrive there until Thursday, September 7.

      This means that at this time, you have three days prior to your departure to decide. I would wait until Thursday or whenever airlines post travel waivers — whichever comes first — pertaining specifically to Punta Cana before arriving at a decision of possibly canceling and rescheduling.

  8. Paul says:

    Brian,

    My wife and I are flying out Wednesday from Toronto to Barbados via West Jet. We have trip interruption, but not cancelation. What do you expect here. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      In my opinion, Paul, Barbados is too far south to be directly affected by Hurricane Irma. I do not expect any travel alerts to be posted by any airline for Barbados.

      Additionally, WestJet has already issued its travel alerts for two airports in the Dominican Republic, which is further north and west from Barbados. If Barbados warranted any travel alerts due to Hurricane Irma, they would have already been issued.

      The outer bands of the storm may reach Barbados as early as tomorrow. Rain, rough surf, and some gusty winds — maybe even the very rare possibility of an isolated tornado — should be the worst effects brought on by Hurricane Irma. If any damage occurs in Barbados, it would be minimal at worst.

      Otherwise, you should experience a mix of sun and rain through Sunday with high temperatures at or near 90 degrees Fahrenheit; and after that, cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm for several days.

      In other words, you should experience mostly typical weather for Barbados at this time of year.

      Enjoy your trip, Paul — and please let me know how it went.

      1. Paul says:

        Thanks for the quick response.

  9. Stacy Rae says:

    We are travelling to FFL on Saturday 9:30pm flight. With jetblue. I’m totally freaked out. Do you think they will cancel flights for Saturday night on Thursday or Friday?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Assuming you are referring to Fort Lauderdale, Stacy Rae, too many variables still exist to confirm exactly what will happen in South Florida…

      …but if Hurricane Irma is expected to impact Fort Lauderdale, travel waivers will be issued by airlines at least one day in advance — often, two or more days in advance of a major hurricane — and with those waivers, you should be able to reschedule or cancel your flight without penalty.

      Please do not freak out. JetBlue Airways is not going to intentionally put you — or any other passenger, for that matter — in harm’s way. The worst you should experience is the minor inconvenience of rescheduling or canceling your flight.

      From where are you arriving? New York would be my first guess….

      1. Bob says:

        Hi Brian,

        Very helpful. Couple of follow up questions. I am also travelling to FLL from BUF on September 9th with JetBlue, departing at 1105am. If the storm is projected for FLL will JetBlue allow us to change our flight to Sunday/Monday/Tuesday at no cost (no change fee or fare increase)? Say the flight on Monday is $600 one-way, can I change the flight I paid $99 for to the Monday flight at no cost to me?

        Secondly, when do we typically become aware of this? Is it one, two, or three days before Saturday? Would you recommend keeping other travel plans as is?

        Thanks,
        Bob

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Greetings, Bob

          As the storm is projected at this time to reach South Florida by Sunday morning, September 10 as a major hurricane, JetBlue Airways should issue a travel alert at least on the day before; or likely two or three days before — but right now is still too early to speculate on what JetBlue will do.

          If a travel alert is not issued for the day on which you will travel and you still feel trepidation on traveling, call JetBlue Airways and ask for a waiver. Officials want people to evacuate an area which is about to be affected by a hurricane — not travel to it.

          Right now, unfortunately, this is a waiting game until then. Please stay tuned…

  10. ncsam says:

    Is there any way to get alerts (via Twitter, text, email, or anything) for when airlines issue these advisories? I’m flying DL Friday from FLL and would like to leave a day early, if possible, but know space will be tight flying on Thursday because of the heavy commuter volume.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Sure, ncsam.

      Just follow Delta Air Lines at its official Twitter account:

      https://twitter.com/Delta

      You will immediately see that they already issued a “tweet” pertaining to Hurricane Irma:

      https://twitter.com/Delta/status/904702447729377280

      1. ncsam says:

        Excellent information, thanks for the prompt reply!

  11. Betsy Justiniano says:

    Am flying from San Juan to Newark on Thursday Sept 7, at 1:45pm do you think this fly is going to be ok. I haven’t received any alerts from the airline.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is cutting it rather close, Betsy Justiniano, as Hurricane Irma is expected to arrive at Puerto Rico sometime Wednesday evening — but then again, that is before the departure time of your flight; so you should have a more definitive answer by then.

      I personally would recommend that you contact the airline and see if you can board an earlier flight without penalty to depart prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

      Which airline is operating your flight?

  12. Nana Akua says:

    Im flying to Bahamas on Friday leaving from NYC is it likely that my flight may be cancelled?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      As the chances of the Bahamas being either directly in the path of Hurricane Irma or north of it are rather good, Nana Akua, I would say that your flight will likely be canceled.

      There is still time to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma, however; and a travel advisory should be issued by Wednesday or Thursday from the airline operating the flight, which will give you plenty of time to cancel or postpone your travel.

  13. Deidre Rossouw says:

    HI. We are scheduled to fly to New York on 16 September and then fly to Miami on 20 September, embarking on a Caribbean cruise (MSC) on 23 September. Do you think Hurricane Irma would be passed and all will be clear by then, or should I start to look at alternative arrangements?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Based on its current track, Hurricane Irma is expected to arrive in the area of South Florida by Saturday, September 10.

      Unless the forward movement slows down considerably from its current 13 miles per hour — or unless it stalls for ten days, which I do not believe has ever happened with a hurricane in weather history — or unless it loops around, the hurricane should be long gone from the South Florida area by the time September 20 arrives.

      Unless significant damage in Miami is caused by the hurricane — or unless MSC has moved their ships out of harm’s way and has not moved them back yet at that time — your cruise should depart on schedule on September 23, Deidre Rossouw.

      Please realize that this is all based on the information which is currently available; and it could change at any time between now and then…

  14. DeLinda Kline says:

    My son is in San Juan and his flight is September 7 @2:20am to Philadelphia. You think he will just make it before the storm

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The storm is scheduled to affect Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 6, DeLinda Kline.

      I would strongly advise that your son catch an earlier flight either today or very early on Wednesday if possible; but contact the airline operating the flight for additional information and confirmation.

      What airline operates a flight at 2:20 in the morning from San Juan?

      1. DeLinda Kline says:

        Frontier airlines. I have no clue what to do neither does my son he’s in a resort by the ocean but its only 2 floors and he said the governor said no one can be on the streets starting at 4am. I’m thinking my son should just go to the airport in a couple hours and stay there maybe its the safest place to be

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          The storm is not expected to reach San Juan until tomorrow night, DeLinda Kline; but tropical storm force winds will surely arrive before then. Your son is covered under the current travel alert from Frontier Airlines:

          https://www.flyfrontier.com/alert/

          If he can change his flight as soon as possible and leave tonight or tomorrow morning, that would be the best scenario for him.

          Just because the building is two stories tall does not mean that it is not safe. If it is built out of strong materials — such as reinforced concrete — it should withstand the storm.

          Your son should seek higher ground — but not the highest ground, as that would expose him more to the storm. Puerto Rico is mountainous in some areas. He probably should head inland rather than at the airport.

  15. Marsha iannalfo says:

    We are currently in Turks and Cacios scheduled to leave Friday morning on American Airlines. There has not been a travel alert issued and the airlines does not have any info for us as to an evacuation plan. What can we expect from the airlines? Will we have to ride the hurricane out .Will,they try to get us out before the storm hits. We are very anxious about our safety. Does anyone know how this gas been handled in the past?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I predict that a travel alert will most likely be issued by American Airlines and other airlines for the Turks and Caicos Islands as early as later today, Marsha iannalfo — and likely by tomorrow.

      The reason why a travel alert has not yet been issued by the airlines is because the storm is still too far away to accurately predict how the Turks and Caicos Islands will be impacted.

      What you can expect from American Airlines is the opportunity to either change or cancel your flight without penalty — but in case you cannot catch an earlier flight because no empty seats are available, the airline might — I repeat, might — accommodate you on a different airline…

      …but just in case, I would prepare now for the worst-case scenario of riding out the hurricane. Ask if the hotel or resort property at which you are staying is considered a bonafide shelter in case of a hurricane. If not, find one now in case you have to evacuate to it later.

      If you are in a hotel which is right by the sea and is officially a shelter, go one or two floors higher from the ground floor to avoid possible flooding or storm surge; and stay away from windows. Ensure that you have essentials such as drinking water, non-perishable food items, and medications. Know the routes to the exits in case you must evacuate. Expect to be without electrical power; so ensure that your portable electronic devices are fully charged and used sparingly prior to the arrival of the storm.

      Employees at the hotel or resort property will give you more specific instructions in the event that you are stranded because of the hurricane; but if you are in a proper shelter during the storm, you should be safe.

  16. Kathleen Roby says:

    Hi just wondering if it will be safe to travel to cayo coco in Cuba on 20th September ?traveling from England on a Thomas Cook flight .

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You will be safe to travel, Kathleen Roby, as Hurricane Irma should be long gone from Cuba by September 20.

      The biggest issue will probably be how much damage — if any — that the hurricane left behind, which can potentially affect your trip; but you can always find out that information once the hurricane leaves the area in or near Cuba.

  17. manuela vaturi says:

    I am scheduled to fly to cuba on Sunday September 10th with KLM. Is it likely that my flight will be cancelled?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Judging from the current data, manuela vaturi, the hurricane is scheduled to reach Cuba by Friday morning, September 8 and possibly not leave until Sunday morning, September 10.

      Unless Hurricane Irma takes a more northerly track, the chances of your flight being canceled are good. Ensure that you have alternate plans ready.

      Right now, KLM has issued a travel alert for Saint Martin (St Maarten / SXM); so keep your eye here for the latest updates:

      https://www.klm.com/travel/us_en/prepare_for_travel/up_to_date/flight_update/index.htm

  18. Kimberly Chandler says:

    We are traveling to San Juan for our honeymoon on the 11th of September. The storm will have passed, but should we still consider cancelling due to likely flooding and damage?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      At this time, I would say you should consider canceling your trip, Kimberly Chandler.

      As a Category 5 hurricane, Irma has become the strongest hurricane so far this year; and San Juan is currently in its direct path.

      Congratulations on your marriage! You will most likely want to celebrate your honeymoon under improved conditions; so if you can change your plans, I recommend doing so…

      1. Kimberly Chandler says:

        Thanks for the heads up. We have no idea where to go for our honeymoon now. My fiances in the military so that will be his only free week before a 9 month deployment! I guess the west coast will be our best bet.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          The most important part is that you and your husband found each other and are now happily married, Kimberly Chandler.

          If your honeymoon is nine months from now, so be it…

          …or, go to the west coast on your first honeymoon and travel to the Caribbean later on the second of many honeymoons.

          Your happiness and safety are of the utmost importance…

  19. J says:

    My wife and I are supposed to be leaving on Sunday September 10th for Aruba from Toronto. Any thoughts?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You and your wife should have no problems, J. Enjoy your trip.

      Did you know that Aruba is rarely ever affected by hurricanes?

  20. Vanessa J. Harris says:

    We are scheduled to fly to Fort Myers via Frontier on Sept 8, drive to Miami port to take a 3-day cruise to Bahamas (ETD: Sept 8, 4PM, ETR: Sept 11, 8AM), our flight back is from Fort Lauderdale on Sept 11 at 7pm via Allegiant. I don’t see any travel advisory yet for our itineraries but what you think? We are freaking out…

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      For future reference, Vanessa J. Harris, never schedule a cruise on the day of your flight landing — for if there is an issue with the flight, the possibility of the cruise ship leaving without you increases significantly. Miami is also known for its traffic. Always try to fly in — and drive in — the day before departure on your cruise.

      Even though your cruise is scheduled to depart as many as two days prior to the storm arriving, do not be surprised if it is canceled. Seas will be rough; and the company which operates your cruise will most likely want to reposition their vessels to safer harbor — not to mention that the Bahamas may likely be affected by the hurricane.

      Allegiant Air has just posted a travel alert for four cities in Florida and for Puerto Rico…

      https://www.allegiantair.com/travel-alerts

      …but Fort Meyers is not yet one of the cities which is included.

      Which cruise line are you taking?

      1. Vanessa J. Harris says:

        Thanks for the advice! Yes, we should have done that but unfortunately, due to limited vacation time, we have to squeeze in our time. Carnival Victory is our cruise line.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Unfortunately, Vanessa J. Harris, Carnival Cruise Line has not issued any specific travel alerts as of yet:

          https://www.carnival.com/travel-alerts.aspx

          You might need to contact them directly to find out more information…

  21. Jenn says:

    I am flying into Mco on September 10th at 4pm from New York. Should I reschedule my trip?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      If you are able to do so now without penalty, Jenn, then yes.

      Otherwise, wait until the airline which operates your flight issues a travel waiver.

  22. Pam Alexander says:

    Hello,

    I was traveling to St Maarten tomorrow on American Airlines from Detroit, my flight was cancelled and re scheduled for Thursday Sept 7th. Sounds like we may be cancelled again…any thoughts on St Maarten?

    Your help is appreciated.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I would try to cancel the flight if you can do so without penalty, Pam Alexander, as that area is expected to suffer a significant impact from the hurricane.

      If not, try to reschedule your flight without penalty as far into the future as possible to avoid the after-effects of the hurricane — such as extensive damage and flooding.

  23. Brittney says:

    Good Afternoon- Your posts are extremely helpful! My family is scheduled to fly from DCA to FLL on Sept. 13th and then to Barbados on the am of Sept. 14th…I’m super nervous and bummed our trip may be cancelled. Any thoughts? I’m not sure if Irma will have passed or devastated FL by then, I’m hoping not. Also, we are considering aborting the flight to FLL and trying to fly directly to Barbados, would that be a better option in your opinion? Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Does the same airline operate the flights to Fort Lauderdale and then on to Barbados, Brittney?

      If so, contact the airline, as the representative may more than likely be more than happy to accommodate you on a nonstop flight from the District of Columbia to Barbados to help you avoid the potential mess in Fort Lauderdale.

      1. Brittney says:

        Thanks for responding. Unfortunately, no it’s Spirit then Jet Blue on to Barbados. Spirit doesn’t fly there so I’m checking Jet Blue now for direct flights from DC.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          You are in luck, Brittney.

          Spirit Airlines just posted a travel alert for Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers literally within the past hour; so you are entitled to change your flight without penalty — but I do not know for sure at this time if you can cancel it without penalty.

          Call Spirit Airlines at 801-401-2222 and see if you can cancel your flight.

          If you are successful, then contact JetBlue Airways — which now has travel waivers for Fort Lauderdale — and see if you can change your flight to a nonstop one. You may have to pay for the difference in airfare; but you should not have to pay any fees.

          Good luck, Brittney — and please keep me updated.

          1. Brittney says:

            Thanks again, that is great news I will check it out. We’re traveling with two other couples and it looks like everyone has a FLL or MIA connection to get into Barbados, which is leading me to believe that nonstop flights there are scarce, not a good sign (sigh). If we all end up having to keep our Florida connections should we cancel and reschedule the trip?

          2. Brian Cohen says:

            Please do not make assumptions, Brittney.

            Call both Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways as soon as possible and get definitive information before being concerned.

  24. sue lurz says:

    I am supposed to fly from BWI to Miami Saturday 9/9/17 then to Barbados. I have trip insurance do you think the weather will be terrible the whole week? Would you cancel

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am guessing that your Baltimore to Miami flight is on American Airlines, sue lurz. If so, you are covered under a travel waiver to change your flight without penalty:

      https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp

      The hurricane is not scheduled to reach Miami by September 9; but the effects of it might already be felt at that time with heavy rains and gusty winds. I personally would try changing to a direct flight from Baltimore, Philadelphia or Washington to Barbados — even if it means paying a fare difference.

  25. sue says:

    I am supposed to fly from BWI to Miami Saturday 9/9/17 then to Barbados. I have trip insurance do you think the weather will be terrible the whole week? Would you cancel

  26. Tatiana M says:

    Hi Brian!

    You’re extremely helpful with all of these detailed responses. Not to be redundant, but I’ve been excited for this trip for so long that I need to ask! I’m headed to San Juan, PR on September 20th-27th. I know that Irma will be long gone, but will my trip be affected?

    Thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The hurricane will be long gone by the time you embark on your trip, Tatiana M; so the only way your trip will be affected by Hurricane Irma will depend on how much damage it leaves behind in San Juan…

      …but tropical storm José is following behind Irma — although I do not believe at this time that it will disrupt your trip.

  27. Tania says:

    Im travelling to dominican, punta cana sept 9 – 16 i am conerned , with what is going on, if i should postpone. but i dont know if i will be able to. im going through air canada

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Air Canada has finally posted alerts pertaining to Hurricane Irma, Tania; and Punta Cana is one of the included airports:

      https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates.html#/20170904

      Although the track of the hurricane is now forecast to skirt by north of the Dominican Republic tomorrow, that does not mean Punta Cana will not be affected by tropical storm force winds, heavy rains, rough surf and high tides.

      You can postpone your flight without penalty now if you want to do that; but if you can, wait a day and see what happens there first before taking action.

  28. Patricia Brown says:

    My daughter and her husband are flying to Antigua on the 20th September I think from Gatwick will they get to know if there trip is to be affected by any damage caused by Irma.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      From what I understand, Patricia Brown, Antigua emerged mostly unscathed from Hurricane Irma; and the main roads there have already been cleared…

      …but please keep an eye on Hurricane José, which is roughly following the track of Irma and could affect Antigua before then.

      I suggest contacting the hotel or resort property at which your daughter and husband are staying and get a direct confirmation from the management there as to the current conditions.

  29. NT says:

    Hi there,
    I am traveling from Toronto to Punta Cana, DR Sept 16-23. With another hurricane following Irma do you think it’s advisable to go or should I cancel? Is it right to assume the weather will be mostly rain at that point still? Thanks in advance.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You should be okay with your trip to Punta Cana, NT.

      Hurricane Irma skirted by north of the Dominican Republic; and Hurricane José is projected to turn towards the north further away from the Dominican Republic.

  30. Darlene says:

    We have plans to go to St. Augustine, Fl. on the 16th, we r in Ga. Should travel be good by then?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Are you driving or flying, Darlene? Either method of travel has its own potential issues.

      The storm is expected to have passed by then. The only possible impediment to your trip depends on how much damage Hurricane Irma will leave in its wake at both your origination and destination.

      1. Darlene Parten says:

        Driving

        1. Darlene Parten says:

          I’m close to Atlanta

          1. Brian Cohen says:

            The track of the hurricane appears to be heading further west than first anticipated, Darlene Parten. That might be good news for Saint Augustine and not necessarily good news for Atlanta.

            Because you are driving, you can afford to wait until Monday or Tuesday to determine whether or not to travel based on additional information not available right now.

          2. Darlene Parten says:

            Thank u.

  31. sara says:

    HI Brian,
    i’m leaving with my family to Punta Cana on Sept 30.. do you think it will be okay and safe to go still?? or should we try to cancel or trip?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      In my opinion, sara, the answer depends on what you are planning to do there and where you are staying — but my initial thought based on available information is that you should be okay.

      Punta Cana was not hit directly by Hurricane Irma; but wind damage and flooding has been reported there.

      If you plan on traveling around the city or the Dominican Republic, sporadic power outages, some residual flooding and road closures may still be in effect at the end of this month — but they will likely not be significant enough to ruin your trip.

      If you are staying at a resort property to enjoy the beach and other amenities and services offered by the resort, you should be fine.

      Contact the place or places at which you plan to stay and ask about their operations for September 30 — as well as about surrounding environs — to arrive at a firm decision.

      1. SARA says:

        Thank you so much for your detailed info Brian! you are super helpful! =)

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          The pleasure was all mine, SARA.

          Thank you!

  32. Kim says:

    Hi, I’m leaving for Miami on the 23-26 is it safe to still go?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You have two weeks before your trip, Kim. You should be okay…

      …but keep yourself updated with the latest news of recovery efforts in Miami, just to be sure.

  33. Tatiana M says:

    I’ve already posted – but now there’s Maria! Headed to San Juan Weds Sept 20th…. what to do?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Change your plans, Tatiana M.

      Tropical Storm Maria is forecast to be a strong Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour on Wednesday, September 20 when it is expected to pass right over Puerto Rico, which is dead center in its path and is expected to take a direct hit.

      Flights will most likely be canceled on that day; and I would not be surprised if the airport closed anyway on that day.

      Even if Puerto Rico does not take a direct hit, it will still feel the impacts — and they are expected to be significant.

  34. Tatiana M. says:

    If we opt to postpone, how many days should we push it out? I.E.: is it silly to try for Friday Sept 22nd? I ask because with a limited time window/funds we’d like to have the trip still happen.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Right now is too early to tell, Tatiana M. More information should be available by Wednesday.

      Portions of Puerto Rico did sustain damage and significant flooding when Hurricane Irma passed to its north. A direct hit would theoretically cause more problems; but that depends on the strength and the path of the storm — as well as the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

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