Airports throughout Florida have been overwhelmed by flight traffic
- Officials are telling passengers not to use MIA airport as a last resort for evacuation
- American Airlines estimated approximately 1,000 passengers are at MIA without a confirmed reservation
- Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport issued a statement that there had been 108 delays and 27 cancellations due to Hurricane Irma
- According to American Airlines, 2405 flights have already been cancelled between Thursday and Monday, September 11, as a result of Hurricane Irma
- American Airlines will begin stopping operations at Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach
- Airbnb offering new Disaster Response Programme for those looking for shelter in the affected areas.
Florida is bracing for category 5 Hurricane Irma, which is barreling towards the southern coast of the US state.
The hurricane is expected to hit before 8am Saturday local time (AST).
Airports throughout the state have been overwhelmed by flight traffic, as passengers try to leave en masse before the disaster strikes.
Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport handle and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport are the 12th, 13th and 21st biggest airports in the US.
But the airports are stalling with too many flights trying to leave at once.
Irma Florida: The hurricane is expected to hit the US state by Saturday morning local time
All three airports have a Traffic Management Program in place, with dozens of departures and arrivals canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
At Miami Airport, hub carrier American Airlines will begin stopping operations this afternoon.
The airline estimates 1,000 passengers are at the airport without a confirmed reservation.
Officials have warned passengers against using the airport for a last resort to evacuate.
American Airlines said a total of 2,405 flights have been cancelled between September 7 – September 11 as a direct result of Hurricane Irma.
Irma Florida: The hurricane has weakened slightly but is still classified as a category 5 system
Update. The one lady serving 200+ people has left. ������ @British_Airways #HurricaneIrma pic.twitter.com/x5lSFWl9qV
— R (@RStorry) September 7, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach will also begin to wind back operations as of today.
Orlando will begin to shutdown on Saturday afternoon, with all Sunday flights already cancelled.
Passengers have taken to Twitter to vent as they wait in long queues at Florida airports trying to get out.
One UK traveller shared video from inside Miami International Airport as he waited for a British Airways flight home.
He wrote: “Busy airport, masses of evacuated tourists, staff doing their best but just not enough of them!
Update, been informed there is a shortage of flight crews. Irma has been expected for a while, poor planning by the airport #HurricaneIrma
— R (@RStorry) September 7, 2017
Irma Florida: Miami Airport has warned travellers not to use it as a last resort to evacuate
Irma Florida: Airports throughout the US state have been overwhelmed with evacuating passengers
“At MIA, @British_Airways flights are overbooked is the message I’m being told, partner flight tickets not valid.
“One person running the @British_Airways desks at the airport. Tickets, Bagdrop, Check In, Club World and First. Poor effort.”
Later he said passengers had been told there was a shortage of flight crews.
After nine hours, he finally made it onto a British Airways flight which was “already late but hopefully leaving soon”.
Airbnb has also launched a new Disaster Response Programme for those in the affected areas.
Those seeking shelter can check houses that owners are offering for free to stay in during the hurricane.