Airports close down before the storm
The window for residents and visitors to fly out of town before the arrival of Hurricane Irma has closed.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport closed Friday night and American Airlines suspended operations at Palm Beach International and other South Florida airports on Friday.
American Airlines canceled flights for both Saturday and today.
“Resumption of service will be based on airport and roadway conditions, including ability of our team members to get to work,” according to an American Airlines statement.
Fort Lauderdale airport officials said their last flight out took off Friday at 7:45 p.m., about four hours before tropical-force storm winds were expected.
Key West International Airport closed Thursday evening with the last plane out an Atlanta-bound Delta flight at 5:50 p.m., according to a city spokesperson.
The Twitter account for PBIA advised travelers to contact airlines regarding flight status. Another tweet warned customers not to plan on riding out Irma at the airport, a point reiterated Thursday by Bruce Pelly, director of the county’s department of airports.
“The terminal is not a shelter,” Pelly said. “We won’t be open for that purpose.”
Cincinnati-based Executive Jet Management, which charters about 100 aircraft nationwide, has seen an unprecedented demand for jets to take people out of South Florida in the past few days, a company employee said.
EJM planned to stop flying in and out of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as Stuart and Orlando, on Saturday. all