Flight Cancellations Top 3,000 in Florida Due to Hurricane Dorian

Sep 3, 2019

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Hurricane Dorian is finally ever-so-gradually pulling away from the Bahamas after coming to a standstill on top of Grand Bahama Island for more than a day. While that news is good for those in the Bahamas, it means that the hurricane is now expected to sweep up the US East Coast, bringing the possibility of significant rain, winds and storm surge to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The movement north is also welcome news for travelers in flying through Florida airports. Already, there have been more than 3,000 flight cancellations since Saturday across just six airports.

The hardest hit airport has been Orlando International Airport (MCO). There have been more than 1,400 flight cancellations since Saturday according to FlightAware’s flight cancellation tracker:

  • Saturday (Aug. 30): 37 cancellations
  • Sunday (Sept. 1): 148 cancellations
  • Monday (Sept. 2): 318 cancellations
  • Tuesday (Sept. 3): 714 cancellations so far
  • Wednesday (Sept. 4): 188 cancellations so far

After initially reporting that it would close on Labor Day as the storm neared, MCO reversed its decision and opened to flights on Monday. However, the airport closed at 2 am on Tuesday morning and planned to remained closed through the rest of the day.

RELATED: The Airports Closed by Hurricane Dorian and When They Plan to Reopen

The airport has posted photos showing the eerie quiet in the terminals on Tuesday:

The second hardest-hit airport by cancellations has been Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) with over 900 flights cancellations as of midday Tuesday:

  • Saturday (Aug. 30): 13 cancellations
  • Sunday (Sept. 1): 44 cancellations
  • Monday (Sept. 2): 549 cancellations
  • Tuesday (Sept. 3): 290 cancellations so far
  • Wednesday (Sept. 4): 30 cancellations so far

As winds moved onshore Monday morning, Fort Lauderdale made the decision to cease operations at noon on Monday. The airport was closed for 24 hours before reopening at noon on Tuesday:

As the storm stayed (just) far enough away, Miami International Airport (MIA) never ceased operations. However, it still has experienced more than 300 flight cancellations since Saturday:

  • Saturday (Aug. 30): 17 cancellations
  • Sunday (Sept. 1): 37 cancellations
  • Monday (Sept. 2): 97 cancellations
  • Tuesday (Sept. 3): 136 cancellations so far
  • Wednesday (Sept. 4): 28 cancellations so far

A number of these cancellations were likely flights scheduled to the Bahamas or other airports that ceased operations.

As the closest Florida airport to Hurricane Dorian, Palm Beach International (PBI) was the first airport to close down for the storm, effective Sunday night at midnight. The airport planned to reopen at 3 pm on Tuesday, but it has now delayed this reopening:

Cancellations are likely to increase with this extension. But, as of midday Tuesday, 191 flights have been cancelled in or out of PBI:

  • Sunday (Sept. 1): 11 cancellations
  • Monday (Sept. 2): 89 cancellations
  • Tuesday (Sept. 3): 85 cancellations so far
  • Wednesday (Sept. 4): 6 cancellations so far

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) hasn’t yet felt the effects of the storm, but its experienced over 140 flight cancellations so far since Monday morning:

  • Monday (Sept. 2): 19 cancellations
  • Tuesday (Sept. 3): 41 cancellations so far
  • Wednesday (Sept. 4): 70 cancellations so far
  • Thursday (Sept. 5): 11 cancellations so far

For now, the airport plans to stay open as Hurricane Dorian sweeps by. But, the airport expects cancellations to continue to pile up:

Through noon on Tuesday, FlightAware has tracked the following cancellations by day by airport for the following six airports:

Airport Saturday
Orlando (MCO) 37 148 318 714 188 3 1,408
Fort Lauderdale (FLL) 13 44 549 290 30 7 933
Miami (MIA) 17 37 97 136 28 2 317
Palm Beach International (PBI) 0 11 89 85 6 0 191
Jacksonville (JAX) 1 0 19 41 70 11 142
Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB) 0 18 62 8 4 0 92
TOTAL 68 258 1,134 1,274 326 23 3,083


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