Flights and cruises cancelled as Hurricane Ian hits Florida

By Marco Marcelline
Home » Flights and cruises cancelled as Hurricane Ian hits Florida

Thousands of flights and several cruises have been cancelled as Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida after already devastating the western end of Cuba. 

The category three hurricane has packed speeds of up to 120mph and has now reached the coast of Florida. More than two million people in the US state are under evacuation orders as officials brace for what they say could be the peninsula’s first direct hit from a hurricane since 1921.

Two TUI flights to Florida from Bristol and Manchester have been cancelled as a result of the closure of Orlando International Airport until 1030 EST on Friday.

In a statement on its website yesterday, TUI said: “We plan to operate these flights to Florida once the airport has reopened. We are in close contact with Melbourne-Orlando Airport and we will be updating customers as soon as we receive any further information. 

“We are in the process of contacting customers due to fly tomorrow to let them know their options.  

“Customers who would like to change or cancel their holiday can contact our customer care team on 0203 451 2688. 

“Our teams are also working to source overnight accommodation for customers due to return from Melbourne-Orlando Airport tomorrow on flights TOM123 (MLB-MAN) and TOM853 (MLB-BRS) tomorrow. They will be updated directly in resort. 

“We apologise for the disruption to our customers’ holidays and we’d like to thank them for their understanding. 

“For any TUI customers already in Florida, our resort teams are also on hand to provide support and we ask them to follow any advice issued locally. Customers can also contact our TUI team 24/7 on +4433 33 365 147.”

Central Florida theme parks have closed until Friday, including all Walt Disney World parks.

Across the US, more than 2,000 flights due to fly from or to the affected areas yesterday and today have been cancelled, while Miami’s International Airport is experiencing severe flight delays and cancellations.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “Due to adverse weather conditions expected to be caused by Hurricane Ian, we are working with airports and partners to minimise disruption but unfortunately some Orlando flights are subject to cancellations. We are contacting affected customers to discuss their travel arrangements and we’d like to thank them for their patience and understanding.  

 “We recommend that anyone due to travel to or from Orlando airport over the next 48 hours check the status of their flight on before going to the airport. Affected customers will be rebooked on to the next available flights or they can rebook on alternative dates, request a voucher or get a refund.”

Meanwhile, the planned Thursday sailings of Carnival Paradise from Port of Tampa and Carnival Elation from Jaxport in Jacksonville have been cancelled until the homeports can safely reopen. 

Carnival Paradise will be remaining in Mexico, while Elation will be staying put in Nassau. 

Norwegian Cruise Line have been forced to cancel Norwegian Getaway’s planned sailing to Florida on its nine-night roundtrip across the Caribbean.

It is reported that guests booked on the cruises will receive a full refund and a 25% future cruise booking discount. 

Reports say Cuba’s electrical system collapsed due to the hurricane, leaving the island and its 11 million inhabitants without power. Two people were killed and buildings across the country were damaged when the storm hit on Tuesday.

UK operator Captivating Cuba, which has up to 40 clients in Cuba at the moment, said the main resort areas including Havana and Varadero were not directly hit.

Captivating Cuba Director Matthew O’Sullivan said he’d received an update from staff in Cuba this morning, confirming that there was no power, but he said all clients were safe and continuing their holiday.

The hurricane is due to make its way north across Florida before weakening over Georgia on Saturday. 

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