Update: More Travel Alerts For Hurricane Irma — The Strongest Hurricane Yet This Year

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


If northern islands of the Caribbean Sea and southern Florida 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, which has strengthened to Category 5 with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.

Update: More Travel Alerts For Hurricane Irma — The Strongest Hurricane Yet This Year

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma churns in the Atlantic Ocean as it heads west towards the Leeward Islands, which are outlined with purple lines. Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

Flights have already been canceled as a result of Hurricane Irma, which is currently approximately 200 miles east of Antigua and moving west at 14 miles per hour. It is the textbook example of a powerful hurricane: compact yet symmetrical, with an eye which is clearly defined.

The northern Leeward Islands are expected to be impacted as early as later tonight with destructive winds, as much as 18 inches of rain, a storm surge as high as eleven feet, dangerous rip currents, rough high surf, beach erosion, power outages, widespread damage to trees and to structures. The outermost bands of Hurricane Irma have already reached the northern Leeward Islands within the past hour or so at the time this article was written.

Hurricane warnings have not only been issued for the northern Leeward Islands; but also for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hurricane warnings have also been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Vieques and Culebra.

Destructive winds, capable of widespread tree damage, power outages, and structural damage can be expected

Guadeloupe is currently under both a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning; and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica.

A hurricane watch is currently in effect for the north coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti — as well as for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to anywhere in the islands of the northern Caribbean Sea and southern Florida 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 15 airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for ten airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Saturday, September 9, 2017; and Tuesday, September 12, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for 33 airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Tuesday, September 12, 2017; and Friday, September 15, 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.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for 24 airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Tuesday, September 12, 2017; and Tuesday, September 12, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for eight airports — four of which are located in Florida — for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Monday, September 11, 2017; and Monday, September 25, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for eight airports in total:
    • Two airports in Puerto Rico and Saint Thomas 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.
    • Two airports in the Dominican Republic and Port-au-Prince 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.
    • Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers for Wednesday, September 6, 2017 through Sunday, September 10, 2017; and Saturday, September 16, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for two airports in Puerto Rico and five airports in Florida for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Friday, September 8, 2017; and Sunday, October 15, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Allegiant Air has issued travel alerts for Puerto Rico and four airports in Florida for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Saturday, September 9, 2017; and Saturday, September 23, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • WestJet Airways has issued travel alerts for the Turks and Caicos Islands and two airports in the Dominican Republic for Thursday, September 7, 2017 through Saturday, September 9, 2017.
  • Sunwing has issued travel alerts for Puerto Plata and Saint Martin or St Maarten, as one flight to Toronto and another flight to Montréal which were originally scheduled to depart Tuesday, September 5, 2017 have been rescheduled to Thursday, September 7, 2017 due to the closure of the airport.
  • Caribbean Airlines has issued a travel alert for Port of Spain for Wednesday, September 6, 2017; and Wednesday, September 13, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • InselAir has issued a travel alert for Saint Martin or St Maarten for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Wednesday, September 6, 2017, as all flights to and from this airport have been canceled.
  • Virgin Atlantic Airlines has issued a travel alert for Antigua for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Monday, September 11, 2017; and Thursday, October 12, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • British Airways has issued travel alerts for five airports for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Sunday, September 10, 2017; and Saturday, September 30, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued a travel alert for Saint Martin or St Maarten for Tuesday, September 5, 2017 through Wednesday, September 6, 2017; and Monday, September 11, 2017 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Links to Travel Alerts for Cruise Lines

As I have received numerous requests pertaining to cruises, here are the links to three cruise lines pertaining to Hurricane Irma:

  • Royal Caribbean International has issued this travel alert which states that two Bahamas cruises have been canceled and that they “are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma’s path and its potential impact to our current and upcoming sailings.”
  • Carnival Cruise Line has issued this travel alert which states that the cruise line is “closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Irma and thus far have made itinerary changes to ensure our ships maintain a safe distance from the storm. In addition we are making preparations for a potential landfall in South Florida. The safety of our guests and team members is our first priority. We will continue to make adjustments as necessary and will provide further updates as they become available.”
  • MSC Cruises has issued this travel alert which states that “Hurricane Irma has now developed into category 5 and is still over the Eastern Caribbean. We are closely monitoring the weather situation. No changes to MSC Divina’s itinerary are required at this point. Next update to follow later in the day.”

Summary

Expect more travel alerts from additional airlines and cruise lines over the next several days to be expanded to areas such as Hispaniola, the Bahamas, Cuba and southern Florida; and I will do my best to inform you if your travel plans are indeed affected.

I will do my best to continue to answer your questions pertaining to Hurricane Irma, as I have done in this article. If I am missing the travel alerts of any airlines or cruise lines, please ask, as I intend to update this article until a new article is warranted.

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.

Do not panic or “freak out” if your travels are to be impacted by this powerful hurricane — just be prepared. 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.

7 thoughts on “Update: More Travel Alerts For Hurricane Irma — The Strongest Hurricane Yet This Year”

  1. srinik says:

    Thanks for the details Brian!
    I have booked AA to Miami on 9/16. Will AA refund if i don’t want to travel now due to hurricane?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      September 16 is beyond the current travel waiver dates, srinik; so probably not…

      …but that is based on the currently available information. If for some reason the hurricane is prolonged or the damage it caused is extensive, your travel date may be included.

      I would call American Airlines and ask. Your request may be accommodated anyway.

      What do you have to lose by calling and asking?

  2. manuela vaturi says:

    Brian, when would you expect any communication from airlines for passengers travelling to Cuba to be published? At the moment flights are still on schedule. I’m flying on sunday september 10th. if my flight is not cancelled do you believe is worth travelling or it will be a distressed situation and not pleasant for my journey?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Several airlines have already issued travel alerts for Cuba, manuela vaturi — including six airports in Cuba with American Airlines; four airports in Cuba with JetBlue Airways; one airport in Cuba with Southwest Airlines; and one airport in Cuba with United Airlines.

      Please click on the links in the article for further information; and I plan on writing an updated article sometime later today.

      1. manuela says:

        Thank you

  3. TERRY BONICH says:

    we are traveling to lisbon,portugal to go on a cruise on sept9 saturday from Miami Intl airport at 4:15p.m. but Tap airlines say they don’t have a cancellation order for this flight ? Do you think they will be flying anyway? It is so disturbing they want me to reschedule but is impossible since the whole trip has to be re-done

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is cutting it close, TERRY BONICH.

      Hurricane Irma is not scheduled to arrive in southern Florida until the next morning after your flight; but its effects will likely already be felt at the time of departure of your flight.

      Is re-scheduling to an earlier flight possible for you?

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