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Navigating Hurricane Idalia: Florida Travel Disruptions

In travel news for August 30, 2023 we have updates on Hurricane Idalia’s effects on travel. 

Hurricane Idalia has kicked up more than just winds and waves as it touched down in Florida; it's causing a whirlwind of changes for travelers too. Here's what you need to know if you're planning to fly or sail in the area.

If you're thinking of flying into or out of Florida anytime soon, hold on to your boarding pass. Many airports, such as Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater, Sarasota, and Tallahassee are closed until further notice. The Federal Aviation Authority says they might open on Thursday, but that depends on how much damage the storm causes.

Southwest Airlines' schedule is the most messed up, with around 200 flights off the board. But they're not alone; United, Delta, and American Airlines have also had to ground flights, tallying up to roughly 300 cancellations and about 200 delays. Airlines such as Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and United are are letting passengers change their plans for free for a limited time.

If you're on a Cruise or planning one soon, keep an eye on your itinerary. Hurricane Franklin is also stirring the waters in the Atlantic, meaning some cruise lines are changing their routes to stay out of the storms' paths.

Carnival Cruise Lines has shuffled the deck on several of its ships. Carnival Conquest is skipping Key West and sailing to Bimini, Bahamas, instead. Carnival Magic, which left Norfolk, Virginia, will now stop at Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport, Bahamas. Carnival Legend will be skipping Bermuda and is heading to Nassau and Freeport.

Other Cruise lines are also making detours. Celebrity Equinox decided to spend time in Jamaica instead of the Grand Cayman. Meanwhile, Disney Cruise Line changed the Disney Fantasy's stops, but it will still go to Castaway Cay on Friday as planned. MSC Cruises made some changes too, like MSC Meraviglia going to Nassau instead of Miami.

Given the uncertainty, it’s best to keep a close eye on flight and Cruise updates. If you've got flexible travel plans, taking advantage of free changes is a good idea. And for those with no choice but to stick to their plans patience will be key to navigating these disruptions.

In the days ahead, the storm will move on but the travel chaos might not. Keep checking in with your Travel Advisor, airline,  or Cruise line for the most up-to-date information, and remember that safety should always come first.

So whether you're taking to the skies or setting sail, be aware that Hurricane Idalia has turned the travel scene in Florida upside-down. Make sure to adjust your travel plans and expectations accordingly, because as we all know, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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