Airlines canceled hundreds of flights for Thursday and again Friday as Hurricane Matthew battered the Florida coast with high winds and heavy rain.
The Fort Lauderdale airport shut down on Thursday morning, and further north the Orlando airport was expected to do the same by nighttime.
FlightAware said airlines had already canceled 1,300 more flights scheduled for Friday. Delta Air Lines said cancellations were likely to spread to coastal Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday.
Many airlines were letting passengers alter their plans and delay travel for a few days without incurring the usual fee for changing a ticket, which can be $200 for domestic flights. Some, including United Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, also said they would waive the fare difference for the new ticket.
At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday, the last flight out was a Southwest jet to Baltimore, which just beat the 10:30 a.m. curtain.
Orlando International Airport officials tweeted that they expected the airport to close to commercial traffic by 8 p.m. and not reopen until Saturday. As the storm closed in, workers tied down jet bridges, lowered cranes in a construction area, and put away vehicles and other equipment.
While airport closings and flight cancelations made it hard to reach Florida, coastal residents from Florida to South Carolina headed north and inland to escape the hurricane. Hotels in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported brisk business.
Amtrak suspended passenger rail service through Friday between Miami and New York and the auto train between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. A line that normally runs from New York to Savannah, Georgia, only went as far south as Washington.
Earlier in the week, several airports in the Caribbean closed, forcing airlines to cancel flights there.
Cruise lines rerouted ships this week to avoid the storm, which in some cases will mean more days at sea or skipping some Caribbean ports.
more recommended stories
Victory Cruise Lines launches all-inclusive cruise-land Yucatán program
President’s Cruise to inaugurate Victory’s 2019.
Mercy Hospital marks 40th anniversary of Yucatan Heart Program
DES MOINES – Des Moines is the.
Canadian company to invest 57 million USD in Yucatán Peninsula beach resort
MONTREAL — Transat A.T. Inc. says it.
Expert warns of large tourist drop for Cancun in 2019
“The number of foreign tourists arriving.
Mexican journalist gunned down in Chiapas (VIDEO)
The public prosecutor’s office of Chiapas.
Mérida, recognized as one of the most important tourist spots in Southeast Mexico
The Municipal Tourism Directorate is currently.
Mérida Restaurant Week kicks off today!
From September 24 to 30, Mérida.
Mérida seeks to provide broader public space Internet connection
The technology management of the City.
The Cancun Declaration: 190 countries committed to preserve the environment
Among the commitments of 190 countries.
Immediate response by Yucatán’s law enforcement authorities as they capture Chicxulub murderers
The immediate and effective response by.