Airports shut down due to Idalia; flights across US affected

Several airports are closed and several others have canceled many flights as Hurricane Idalia came ashore Wednesday morning in Florida.

The Delta Airlines ticket area is deserted Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla.
Chris O'Meara/AP

Several Florida airports remained closed on Wednesday while several others had limited operations due to Hurricane Idalia making landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast. 

As of Wednesday afternoon Tallahassee International Airport remained closed. Tampa International Airport, which was was closed on Tuesday and much of Wednesday, is set to reopen for arrivals only. Meanwhile, Jacksonville International Airport remained open on Wednesday, but most flights in and out of the airport were canceled, according to FlightAware. 

Orlando International Airport remained open on Wednesday, but about 12% of flights were canceled and 30% were delayed, according to FlightAware. 

Other airports were undergoing major delays. 

About 46% of flights out of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport were canceled on Wednesday, FlightAware said. Southwest Florida International Airport had 32% of its flights canceled and 35% delayed. 

All told, as of Wednesday afternoon, about 2,675 domestic flights were delayed and 1,029 were canceled.

Category 3 Hurricane Idalia makes landfall along Florida Gulf Coast
Category 3 Hurricane Idalia makes landfall along Florida Gulf Coast

Category 3 Hurricane Idalia makes landfall along Florida Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Idalia worked its way northeast over South Carolina on Wednesday night. Storm surge warnings were in effect in coastal South Carolina.


Idalia brought tropical storm-force conditions to Tampa and Orlando late Tuesday and Wednesday. Tallahassee, which is under an inland hurricane warning, was experiencing heavy rain and gusty winds Wednesday morning. 

Major airlines, such as American and Delta, are issuing travel waivers. These airlines are allowing passengers flying in or out of areas affected by the hurricane to change flights without fees. 

Affected airports include Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Savannah/Hilton Head. 

What is unknown is how well airlines will be able to resume operations when the weather improves. In December, after a massive winter storm cut through the U.S., nearly 60% of Southwest Airlines flights remained grounded for the week after Christmas. The airline blamed system failures in resuming operations following the storm. 

Generally, airlines are not required to pay for expenses incurred by travel disruptions due to weather, such as hotel rooms and meals. However, if a delay or cancellation is the airline's fault, most airlines have plans to offer to pay for expenses, such as meals and hotel rooms, according to a federal government dashboard.