Hundreds more flights cancelled as Hurricane Dorian swings north

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Airports in Florida reopen but storm still disrupting travel along U.S. East Coast

CBC News · Posted: Sep 04, 2019

A passenger talks on the phone as American Airlines jets sit parked at their gates at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport in January 2016. The airline has issued a travel alert for 20 U.S. airports because of Hurricane Dorian. (Susan Walsh/The Associated Press)

The impact on travelers from Hurricane Dorian lessened somewhat on Wednesday, even as the devastation from its wind and rain has yet to hit the U.S. mainland.

According to aviation monitoring website Flight Aware, U.S. airlines cancelled roughly 900 flights departing from or landing near the storm, which is currently off Florida’s east coast.

Those cancellations come on top of thousands more since the weekend, when the storm made landfall in the Bahamas.

Several airports in Florida closed as a precaution earlier this week, most notably Orlando’s, which handles tens of thousands of visitors every day.

Orlando International Airport closed on Tuesday but reopened around midday on Wednesday once it became clear the city would likely be clear of the worst of the storm as it heads north and east.

Theme parks were back to regular operating hours, for the most part. Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort opened for a full day on Wednesday after having closed early Tuesday. SeaWorld Orlando was reopening mid-morning Wednesday after being closed all day Tuesday.

Airports in Florida may be breathing a slight sigh of relief, but the anxiety is just moving north to new cities that could be in the storm’s path.

American Airlines has issued a travel alert for 20 U.S. airports, including eight coastal airports in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Additionally, due to the size, strength and location of the hurricane, we will continue to experience a disruption to our operation throughout the week, specifically on flights that operate along the East Coast,” the airline said.

So far the impact on Canadian flights has been fairly limited, though WestJet, Air Canada and other charter airlines have cancelled a handful of flights to the area and rebooked passengers as a precaution.

Ottawa issued a travel advisory for the entire region on Wednesday, urging Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to a large area of the U.S., from Florida up to Virginia.

Flight information monitors show all flights cancelled as Orlando International Airport was closed on Tuesday and into Wednesday. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

With files from The Associated Press