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American Airlines announced Wednesday that it has cancelled all flights to and from Miami for Saturday and Sunday. Flights to and from Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach were also cancelled. Service will begin winding down on Friday before all operations come to a halt in South Florida indefinitely.
ABC News reports that 640 flights were cancelled in the move. Miami International Airport is American Airlines’ fourth-biggest hub. Charlotte, which could also be impacted by Irma when it moves up the east coast, is also an AA hub.
Here is the announcement from American Airlines:
The latest forecast projects Hurricane Irma to make landfall in South Florida this weekend as a major hurricane. Due to the track of the storm, we will wind down operations on Friday afternoon at our Miami hub, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach. Operations will be canceled throughout the weekend. Additionally, flights that were scheduled to arrive in Miami Friday from Europe and South America have also been canceled. We continue to evaluate operations at other Florida airports, and will make adjustments as necessary. Resumption of service will be based on airport and roadway conditions, including the ability of our team members to get to work. Please review our latest travel alert.
The latest travel alert from the airline notes that change fees for flights to and from the above five airports will be waived if you bought your ticket by September 5 and were scheduled to fly between September 5 and September 12. You can also re-book your flight to a destination city or origin within 300 miles of your original airport. If you had a flight to or from Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Key West, Orlando and Tampa, you can also change your flight without facing a fee.
Irma is now a Category 5 hurricane, as of the 2:00 p.m. AST public advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It has maximum sustained winds at 185 mph and is less than 100 miles from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The latest forecast has it reaching Miami and South Florida by Sunday morning.