Airlines rush to get people out of Florida before storm cancellations

Flight cancellations coming out of South Florida could begin as soon as Friday. In the meantime, there's been a mad rush to get a flight out.

While many airlines added flights ahead of Hurricane Irma and price caps for flights out, they're also telling people not to go to the airports unless they already have a confirmed ticket.

The fear is once the weather gets bad, nobody is flying and people will be trapped at the airport.

Several people had to cut their vacations short and changed their travel plans to try to get out of Florida early ahead of Irma. While others who live in the Sunshine State there are coming to the DFW area just trying to get away.

Teddi Litman lives in an evacuation zone in Miami and has been on the phone with airlines since Tuesday trying to get out as Hurricane Irma gets closer to Florida. 

“I said get me any city out of Miami,” she recalled. “He said, ‘There's one for Dallas-Fort Worth.’ I said I'll take it. I don't know anybody in Dallas, but I'll take it. I'll take anything.”

Litman plans to ride out the hurricane in DFW but says some neighbors decided to ride it out.

Others, like Kelly Austin and Gabriel Heinze, changed their vacation plans to try to get home before Irma hit.

“They were closing the airport down two hours after we left,” Austin said. “So ours was one of the last flights to come out of Nassau.”

Travelers say Miami International Airport is chaos.

“Miami was packed. Check in alone was like over an hour,” Heinze said. “The only option was coming through Dallas. Tomorrow evening, I'm taking a flight back to Buenos Aires.”Heinze said. “The only option was coming through Dallas. Tomorrow evening, I'm taking a flight back to Buenos Aires.”

But not everyone has been able to get out.

Melba Royal of Wylie is stuck in San Juan Puerto Rico after vacationing with her husband and friends. Their flight was canceled. The earliest available option to get home isn't until next week.

“We're very stressed. We just can't sleep,” said Joel Freeman, Royal’s dad. “We're praying and stuff, you know. That's all we can do.”

Airlines like American are adding additional flights to get people out of Florida but say there are limited seats available.

American Airlines alone has canceled more than 2,400 flights ahead of Irma.

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