Hurricane Ian starting to impact air travel

American Airlines has already cancelled flights from Charlotte to Key West, Florida.
Hurricane Ian strengthened to a Category 2 storm on Monday.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - By road or air, all eyes are to our south and Hurricane Ian churning toward Florida.

That means travelers in the area need to be on alert this week before heading to the airport.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport was already busy Monday, but the headache could grow more as Hurricane Ian makes landfall later this week.

Travel experts tell WBTV there is not a lot that travelers can do with a weather event like this approaching the area, but it’s important that you’re monitoring airline alerts or talking to your travel agent.

Coverage: Tracking Tropical Storm Ian

Claudia Rodriguez, an air traveler said, “the first one is it going to be any delays, or and if there’s going to be any cancellations.”

The threat of Hurricane Ian is already on the mind of travelers in Charlotte

“As far as stay here if it hits here, I’m staying wherever I am, I’m not going to take the chance,” said Rodriguez.

American Airlines has already canceled flights from Charlotte to Key West, Florida because of storm’s path.

“We’re already seeing the fallout, it’ starting right now, it’s happening as we speak. We know that airlines have already started issuing wavers to those regions that right now that are going to be potentially affected by Ian, or that are being affected right now,” said Tiffany Wright, the Director of Public Affairs for AAA Carolinas.

Given that Charlotte Douglas is a hub airport, Hurricane Ian could cause delays for travelers.

Wright said, “when you have weather events like this, it could cause delays for hours, it could cause delays for days, that’s why it’s so important that you try to do everything that you can on the front end to try to minimize hiccups.”

A few tips:

- Try to be flexible with your trip.

- Call ahead before your trip.

- Be patient if you encounter issues.

- If your flight is canceled, get on the phone with your airline as soon as possible.

AAA said travelers should monitor their airline and be in touch with your travel agent if you have travel plans this week. Experts are not advising people to cancel their flights because the storm’s path is not certain at this point and track could change drastically.

Wright said, “you just have to, for lack of better terms, ride it out, be patient and hope that you can get redirected.”

Meanwhile, Rodriguez is “just hoping for the best.”

AAA tells WBTV that if your flight is disrupted because of Hurricane Ian, you could consider traveling by car if your destination is not in the path of the storm.