Hurricane Ophelia Nears Landfall on Ireland Coast — Airport Updates and More Waivers

Oct 15, 2017

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Hurricane Ophelia is less than a day away from a direct hit on the Irish coast near the city of Cork. The weakening cyclone is expected to pound Ireland with hurricane-force winds on Monday. The Met Éireann — Ireland’s National Meteorological Service — has extended its highest possible “Status Red” weather alert to cover the counties of Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.

As of the 11am Eastern update on Sunday, Hurricane Ophelia has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 mph. This is in line with the previous forecasts as the storm undergoes an extratropical transition. Further weakening is expected in the critical hours before landfall. However, the cyclone is expected to make landfall on the Irish coast with 75 mph top sustained winds.

2017.10.15.11 Hurricane Ophelia 3-day cone

The winds will be exacerbated by the storm’s very fast northeastward movement, currently at 38 mph. This forward speed and the wind shearing that the hurricane is facing will make conditions much worse on the eastern side of the storm.

The center of circulation is expected to make landfall at 1pm Irish Time Monday (note: the times listed in the map above are Atlantic Standard Time, which is the same as Eastern Time right now). Let’s take a look at airport- and airline-specific impacts and travel waivers.

Cork Airport

The major airport closest to the center of the hurricane’s forecasted landfall point is Cork (ORK). The airport has taken to Twitter to tell passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline, but “avoid traveling to [the airport] on Mon[day] unless absolutely necessary.”

Shannon Airport

Shannon (SNN) notes the Red Warning covering the west coast of Ireland and asks travelers to “check your flight status with your airline before making your way to the airport.”

Dublin Airport

Located on the stronger east side of the storm, Dublin Airport (DUB) is listed in most airline travel waivers (below) and might see significant delays even though it’s further inland. For now, the airport is just advising passengers to check flight information before coming to the airport:

Airine Travel Waivers

As of 11:40am Eastern Time Sunday, the following airlines have released travel waivers:

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: October 16
  • Airports affected: Dublin, Ireland (DUB)
  • Must have bought your ticket by October 14
  • Rebook travel anytime between October 15-20
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

British Airways

British Airways has already cancelled 43 flights for Monday. Most of these are in/out of London’s Heathrow (LHR), as the airline notes there will be a “reduction in the number of aircraft from all airlines that can land each hour at Heathrow.”

  • Travel dates: October 16
  • Airports affected: Dublin (DUB), Belfast (BFS)
  • “Due to strong winds forecast for Monday and Tuesday, we are giving customers travelling to or from Dublin or Belfast on Monday the option to move their travel dates.”
  • Travel dates: October 17
  • Airports affected: Aberdeen (ABZ), Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), Leeds-Bradford (LBA), Manchester (MAN) or Newcastle (NCL)
  • “Customers travelling to or from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester or Newcastle on Tuesday can also opt to change their travel dates.”


  • Travel dates: October 15-16
  • Airports affected: Dublin, Ireland (DUB)
  • Ticket must be reissued by: October 18
  • Rebook travel must begin no later than: October 23
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond October 23, 2017, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply. Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue.
  • If travel is not able to be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance.


  • Travel dates: October 16-17
  • Airports affected: Dublin, IE (DUB); Edinburgh, GB (EDI); Glasgow, GB (GLA); Manchester, GB (MAN); Shannon, IE (SNN)
  • Rebook travel anytime through October 20
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

Aer Lingus

Despite being based in Ireland and having numerous flights likely to be affected by the storm, Aer Lingus hasn’t issued a travel waiver. On Twitter, the airline is responding to all inquiries saying that there is “no changes to [its] schedule.”


Similarly, Ryanair hasn’t issued any travel waivers and “flights are operating as scheduled.”

Featured image by Charles McQuillan/Stringer via Getty Images.

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