Travelers rearrange flights ahead of Fort Lauderdale airport closing

By Trent Kelly - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Some travelers were rescheduling flights Monday as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport gets ready to close at noon ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

"We were here on vacation, and I'm a little disappointed we have to cut it short. But I don't want to get stuck here. I have to go back to work," Jeff Carbaugh, of New York, said.

The closure impacted thousands of travelers who were looking to leave town after a long Labor Day weekend.

"We were pretty frightened, yeah. We were pretty scared. She had a hard time sleeping," Michael Tia, of Boston, said. 

Tia and his wife were scheduled to fly back to Boston late Monday afternoon. They said Delta was able to put them on an earlier flight with no problems.

"It was pretty easy," Tia said. "We just contacted Delta and they were able to rearrange it for us. We didn't have to pay any fees or anything like that."

Others are glad just to get a chance to go home before the winds start whipping up later in the day.

"It's OK," Carbaugh said. "I'm just glad to be able to go home, you know, and not get stuck."

A Delta spokeswoman confirmed about 55 flights were canceled Monday as a result of airport closures in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Melbourne and Daytona Beach. She said 26 of those flights were departing from or arriving in Fort Lauderdale. 

A JetBlue spokeswoman confirmed the airline had canceled about 270 flights through Monday in preparation for Dorian and its customer support team is working to assist affected customers with rescheduling of flights or refunds.

"For existing customers with scheduled flights through cities affected by the projected path of the storm, JetBlue continues to waive change fees and differences in airfare for rebooking," the spokeswoman said.

Below is a list of airport closures and cancellations in Florida and the Bahamas due to Hurricane Dorian, courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration: 

BAHAMAS

•    Freeport, Bahamas (FPO)
     - Operations expected to resume Sept. 4
•    Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH)
     - Operations canceled; seasonal service was previously scheduled to end Sept. 3
•    Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
     - Operations expected to resume Sept. 3

FLORIDA

•    Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB)
     - Operations expected to resume Sept. 4
•    Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
     - Operations expected to resume Sept. 3
•    Melbourne, Florida (MLB)
     - Operations expected to resume Sept. 4
•    West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)
     - Operations expected to resume the evening of Sept. 3

FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS 

•    Sept. 2: 170 flights canceled
•    Sept. 3: 150 flights canceled
•    Sept. 4: 40 flights canceled
•    Sept. 4: 15 flights canceled
 

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