Local residents fill sandbags, as Hurricane Ian spun toward the state carrying high winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge, at Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 26, 2022.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Major Florida airports on Tuesday prepared to halt flights ahead of Hurricane Ian’s expected landfall overnight.
Orlando International Airport said it would suspend operations at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Tampa International Airport said it would suspend operations at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The Walt Disney Company and Comcast’s Universal Studios also said they will close their Orlando-based theme parks for at least two days.
The Category 3 storm is expected to make landfall on the state’s Gulf Coast early Wednesday.
Delta, Southwest, American, United, Spirit and JetBlue said they are waiving flight change fees or fare differences for travelers affected by the storm at airports throughout Florida.
Officials at Southwest Florida International Airport, which serves the Fort Myers area, are expecting flight cancellations late Tuesday and throughout Wednesday. They will hold a call with carriers and the Federal Aviation Administration at 1 p.m. Tuesday to discuss next steps as Hurricane Ian approaches.
Southwest said that it is suspending operations Tuesday evening through Thursday in Tampa, Sarasota and Fort Myers.
Airlines generally move their planes out of a storm’s path ahead of its arrival and cancel numerous flights to avoid stranding passengers and crews.
— CNBC’s Sarah Whitten contributed to this article.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.