Airlines cancel over 1,000 flights ahead of Hurricane Matthew

ABC NEWS -- As Hurricane Matthew bears down on the southeastern portion of the country, residents of coastal communities in the south are not the only ones preparing their next move.

Airlines and airports are working around the clock to weather the storm and ensure a quick restoration of their schedules.

More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled so far, and hundreds more will follow through the week.

Airports typically shut down their runways when cross winds reach much higher than 30 mph. Current projections from ABC News' meteorologists indicate gusts are expected to be more than triple that during the worst moments of the storm.

Airlines are already cancelling flights at major airports in the path of the storm. Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, all significant air travel hubs, will likely halt operations for hours during the storm.

In an effort to make sure planes will be in the right place after the storm ends, some airlines have cancelled Wednesday afternoon flights.

With large operations in Miami and Charlotte, American Airlines will see the most cancellations. The country's largest airline has cancelled over thousand flights so far, with reduced operations stretching all the way to Saturday.

Delta Air Lines has scratched roughly 120 flights to and from South Florida airports. The airline says it anticipates restarting operations Thursday evening or Friday morning in the region. Operations for airports north of West Palm Beach will be determined Thursday morning.

United Airlines told ABC News it is cancelling just over 60 flights to or from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Decisions for airports north of that will be made in the coming day or two.

JetBlue and Southwest Airlines did not provide their number of cancellations for this story.

The airlines are offering travelers waivers to change fees if the severe weather impacts their travel dates. These waivers are applying to states as far north as North Carolina.

You should check with your airline before flying this week within the Southeast or if you wish to change your travel dates due to the storm.


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