United Airlines cancels flights due to Hurricane Florence

United Airlines issued this statement:

We are preparing for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to impact some of our mid-Atlantic airport locations Friday and into the weekend. Florence, which has slowed down a bit as it pushes west, is currently predicted to make landfall in the southern part of North Carolina as a very powerful Category 4 storm. The storm is then expected to slow considerably or stall with heavy rain and flooding. Portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and/or Virginia could see 15-20 inches of rain or more between Friday and Sunday.

Planning is well underway to ensure our customers, employees and facilities are safe — as always, safety is our No. 1 priority. Our Network Operations Center along with many other teams are hosting regular meetings to address schedule, staffing and customer service needs, stations in the region are running through their emergency checklists and we are in close contact with local authorities ahead of the storm.

We are evaluating schedule changes and cancellations as we receive the most updated weather forecasts, local information on any airport or road closures, evacuation directives from local officials and other activities that may affect our flights. We are in the early stages of implementing schedule reductions that have included the following:

  • Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM) – We have cancelled flights to and from Wilmington starting at 1 p.m. today and into Saturday morning
  • Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) – Because of Charleston’s airport closure, beginning at midnight tonight, we will cancel flights to and from CHS on Thursday and Friday.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR) – We have cancelled all flights to and from Myrtle Beach on Thursday and Friday.
  • Raleigh, North Carolina (RDU) – We plan to continue normal operations to and from RDU into Thursday morning. Our team will continue to monitor weather conditions in the area, and make additional schedule determinations later today.
    • We added a flight from Raleigh Durham to Chicago O’Hare that departed at 1:15 p.m. local time on Wednesday. We reduced fares beyond what a regular last-minute fare would for this flight.
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina (FAY) – We have cancelled all flights to and from Fayeteville on Thursday, Friday, and into the early Saturday morning hours.
  • Washington Dulles (IAD) – We are currently not planning for any immediate issues or schedule disruptions at IAD, but we are monitoring the area closely.

We will post detailed operational plans as they become available. As of Wednesday morning, we suspended service at ILM (Wilmington, North Carolina) starting at 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday and into Saturday morning. We’re also aware that the CHS (Charleston, South Carolina) airport will be closed effective midnight on September 13, so we have canceled all flights to and from CHS on Thursday and Friday. We will continue to firm up all our plans as soon as possible. Customers and employees can expect to see a large schedule reduction at affected stations in the coming days.

We have issued a travel waiver for customers traveling to, from or through the following 16 airport locations that are currently expected to be in the path of the storm, offering them additional flexibility to change or cancel their travel plans, and waiving baggage and pet-in-cabin fees:

  • GSP (Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina)
  • CAE (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • MYR (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
  • CHS (Charleston, South Carolina)
  • ILM (Wilmington, North Carolina)
  • FAY (Fayetteville, North Carolina)
  • RDU (Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina)
  • CLT (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • GSO (Greensboro, North Carolina)
  • AVL (Asheville, North Carolina)
  • ROA (Roanoke, Virginia)
  • ORF (Norfolk, Virginia)
  • RIC (Richmond, Virginia)
  • CHO (Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • SHD (Shenandoah Valley Airport, Virginia)
  • SAV (Savannah, Georgia)

We will include additional airports and dates of travel as we have more clarity on the storm’s path.

In addition, we have taken steps to reduce fares beyond what a regular last-minute fare would be in the following communities in advance of Hurricane Florence:

  • ORF (Norfolk, Virginia)
  • ILM (Wilmington, North Carolina)
  • MYR (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
  • CHS (Charleston, South Carolina)
  • CAE (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • RDU (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina)
  • FAY (Fayetteville, North Carolina)
  • SAV (Savannah, Georgia)
  • RIC (Richmond, Virginia)

Customer service employees are proactively reaching out to those with reservations during the forecasted impact time and rebooking them on alternate flights. We also continue to encourage customers to check their flights on united.com or the United app, as well as local reports on roadway closures or other issues, prior to leaving for the airport.

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