Flights and cruises cancelled due to Hurricane Irma
How the category 5 hurricane is affecting travel throughout the Caribbean.
Earlier this week, the US National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Irma to a category 5 storm, labelling it one of the worst to hit the Atlantic.
Already its destruction is phenomenal. Having lashed Puerto Rico, it's now threatening the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
Airports at Key West, Antigua and St Kitts have been closed and more are anticipated to follow over the weekend.
Airlines serving the area, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest and United, have issued travel alerts across airports in the Caribbean and have cancelled flights. They are also offering to waive change fees to allow passengers to re-book affected flights.
Flight cancellations and additional services
American Airlines has cancelled several departures and arrivals to Florida, Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, St Thomas, St Croix Island, San Juan and Providenciales. The airline has been adding extra flights from these destinations bound for Miami to ensure the safety of its passengers.
From Friday, the airline is winding down operations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Orlando and West Palm Beach and will cease operations over the weekend. Flights scheduled to arrive in Miami on Friday from Europe and South America have been cancelled.
Delta Airlines has cancelled St Thomas and St Maarten flights on Thursday and Friday flights. It has also also been adding flights and upsizing aircraft to transport passengers from Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Punta Cana, Nassau, Freeport, Sarasota, Orlando and Key West to its hub in Atlanta.
Operations from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are expected to close on Friday and are expected to remain closed over the weekend.
British Airways also added flights to Antigua in the wake of Hurricane Irma's arrival earlier this week. The airline is currently keeping flights to the region under review.
Altogether over 1,600 flights to the Caribbean have been cancelled and more are expected to follow this weekend.
If you are travelling in or through the area, contact your airline for the latest information or to re-schedule your flight.
Cruise cancellations and diversions
In a similar vein, many cruises have also been cancelled or re-routed from the path of Hurricane Irma. MSC cruises has diverted MSC Divina to sail directly to Miami ahead of a possible port closure. MSC Divina's next sailing on 9 September has been cancelled. Guests booked onto this cruise have been offered the chance to re-schedule or cancel their journey for a full refund and discount on a future cruise.
Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line have also cancelled future cruises and are bringing cruises currently in the area home earlier in advance of the storm. Select future cruises have also been delayed.
Hurricane Irma is expected to pass the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday and reach Cuba by Friday. It's projected to make landfall in the Florida Keys as early as Saturday.
If you're travelling to Florida soon, you might want to reconsider your plans. You might also like to review your travel insurance policy to ensure you are covered for claims relating to Hurricane Irma.
A current list of flight and cruise cancellations is below. We will continue to update it as information becomes available.
Cancelled and rerouted flights
|American Airlines||8 September|
|British Airways||8 September||More info|
Cancelled and delayed cruises
|Cruise||Cancellations and delays|
|Disney Cruise Line|
|Carnival Cruise Line|
|Norwegian Cruise Line|
|Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line|