CLEVELAND– As Hurricane Dorian continues to churn through the Caribbean on a path towards the U.S. mainland many domestic airlines have issued travel advisories for the Labor Day weekend, advising passengers to destinations in its path that they can expect possible delays or cancellations.
As of Thursday afternoon, flights into and out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were not impacted by the storm.
Amazingly, most all of Thursday’s connecting flights for airlines from Cleveland to tropical destinations like Puerto Rico, St. Thomas Virgin Islands, Punta Cana and Nassau, Bahamas, were still departing and arriving on time. The Bahamas is still in the projected path of the storm before it heads toward the Florida Peninsula, with an anticipated landfall there sometime late Saturday or early Sunday.
Marques Jackson and Shannon Jones, of Canton, had planned to leave Thursday morning on Spirit Airlines from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale, but canceled their plans.
“We decided to cancel the flight because my cousin told me that they are planning on evacuating her hotel where she works down there and just not a good idea to fly down there at this time. If you are not in Fort Lauderdale, don’t go to Fort Lauderdale, was my response from her,” Jackson said.
“I lived in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) for a few years and we had a hurricane every year that I was there, so I’m very well aware of the aftermath. That’s why there was no argument with me when it comes to cancelling,” Jones said.
With the National Hurricane Center’s projected path of the hurricane extending into South Carolina, travelers heading to Myrtle Beach for the weekend were also watching the forecast, hoping that the storm would not impact their return flights on Sunday.
“I’m just hoping that it stays south of us while we are there obviously. But we are going to get whatever we get, that’s how life is,” said Paul Swan, of Richfield.
Hopkins airport was advising travelers to consult with their individual airlines for updates about the storm’s impact on their travel and for their policies regarding cancellation of flight plans.
“The airline was very helpful. We spoke to a manager and they took our concern seriously and refunded the full refund on our tickets. They didn’t give us any hassle and then the hotel refunded our money because of the inclement weather. Same with the rental car and a couple of attractions. We were going to go on an air boat ride and a banana boat ride, and they are refunding everything because of weather,” Jackson said.
Andrew Randall’s relatives were also cancelling weekend plans for Florida.
“They decided not to go just in anticipation and the airlines have been moderately cooperative, if not entirely cooperative, considering the flights are likely to be impacted. So they cancelled their trip altogether, subject to getting some airfare back or credit, still to be determined,” Randall said.
Airlines were cautioning that the storm could impact weekend flights through all of Florida as far south as into Mexico.