NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hurricane Ian is expected to impact travel as many families might be planning to spend their fall break in the Sunshine state.
Some airlines have already announced accommodations:
- American Airlines issued a travel alert for 20 airports in the western Caribbean and Florida. That allows customers whose travel plans are affected by Hurricane Ian to rebook without change fees.
- Southwest Airlines customers with tickets to, from, or through Floridian cities impacted by Ian can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby.
- Delta has issued a travel waiver for those who may be impacted by the storm effective now through September 30th.
A Nashville International Airport official said there were six daily flights departing from Nashville to Tampa this week. Tampa’s airport is suspending operations at 4:00 central time.
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“It used to be that airlines sort of tried to fly as long as it was safe to fly and then once the winds pick up, everything was just kind of stuck wherever it was, all the planes and people out of position, and then they had to figure it out later had to sort of get everything going again, so maybe less impact before the storm, more impact after the storm,” said national travel expert Seth Kaplan. “What they do nowadays, is they sort of proactively cancel a whole lot of flights, I mean, sometimes thousands of flights.”
His advice for travelers includes staying flexible during this time and let your airline know you’re flexible. Tell them any kind of flexibility you have in terms of using alternate airports, times, or dates. He says don’t rely on technology: Try to show up to the airport with a print out of your itinerary just in case technology fails.
“You always have to be creative in terms of helping the airline help you and tell them any kind of flexibility you have in terms of using alternate airports,” Kaplan said. “Also let them know that. These days airlines do a pretty good job of automatically looking for the next seat on the same route that you’re flying but but they don’t they don’t know how flexible you’re willing to be. So you want to tell them that.”