Last flight from Orlando International Airport leaves at 5 p.m. Saturday

Hurricane Irma halts departing flights

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager , Jennifer Ortega - Reporter
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando International Airport officials said Thursday that the last pre-Hurricane Irma flight will leave from the airport at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Many airlines are preparing for the monster storm, which was packing 180 mph winds as of Thursday morning.

American Airlines announced Wednesday that it will shut down operations at five airports in South Florida.

Most airlines are waiving fees for travelers who need to change their flights because of the storm.

A lot of people at Orlando International Airport scrambled to get last-minute tickets to dodge the storm. Several people News 6 spoke with said their vacations, and in some cases even their honeymoons, were cut short.

"We were expecting to enjoy a very nice honeymoon in Naples, and we had to drive up to Orlando this morning," Tomma Disano said.

Disano and her husband said they were staying in Naples when their hotel started to evacuate, forcing them to get a last-minute flight back home to Rhode Island.

"The timeshare we were staying in was evacuating. We had to be out today," she said.

"If we waited one more day, we wouldn't have got a flight," David Disano said.

The airport announced that Thursday flights will stop Saturday and that people who are traveling need to check in with their airlines for updates. The closure is making airline seats run out fast.

"I live in Miami and they told us we had to evacuate, so I just tried to drive up north and catch a flight," Cesar Durat said.

Duart said he drove through traffic from Miami to Orlando overnight to get somewhere safe. He said he got a good deal with the $150 ticket.

"I wasn't planning on flying today, but we found a flight and went ahead and booked it," Duart said.

Many are just crossing their fingers, hoping their flights don't get canceled or delayed before Hurricane Irma nears the coast of Florida.

"Hopefully, our flight will take off on Saturday or we can get on a flight tomorrow," Mina Raja said.

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.

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