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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Irish holidaymakers in hurricane-battered Florida 'waiting for airports to reopen' - Aer Lingus

Destroyed roofs at a residential areas are seen as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Destroyed roofs at a residential areas are seen as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A truck is seen turned over as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Aer Lingus
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Irish holidaymakers in Florida may have to wait until Wednesday to escape Hurricane Irma and travel home, Aer Lingus said.

The airline said they are being "flexible" with their schedule following the deadly hurricane, but said they will need to wait for the airports in the state to reopen and be declared as safe.

A truck is seen turned over as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A truck is seen turned over as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, Aer Lingus Director of Communications Declan Kearney said they brought their Orlando flight forward by five hours on Saturday to ensure people's safe journey home before the airports closed.

"The current situation is both Miami and Orlando airports are closed for business," Mr Kearney said.

Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang

"We've subsequently cancelled yesterday's operation to Miami and today's to Orlando.

"There is a flight to Orlando tomorrow and a flight to Miami on Wednesday. The situation is evolving and really is subject to the availability of the airport's infrastructure.

Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang

"Tomorrow's flight is still in question," Mr Kearney added.

Although the airports are due to open tomorrow, Aer Lingus still need to receive confirmation on the conditions at the airport, including fuelling facilities and whether staff will be present.

Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang
Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami, Florida, U.S. September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang

Mr Kearney said the people who are impacted by the cancelled flights will either be flown at another date or given a full refund if the flight is cancelled.

He advised passengers to keep checking aerlingus.com for updates and said the airline is being as "flexibile as possible".

"The focus us getting people to where they want to be.

"We left Florida five hours earlier on Saturday and managed to communicate with the passengers and they got out before the airport shut.

"There are people coming out on the next available flight from Miami on Wednesday.

"The question is really about Orlando's flight tomorrow," Mr Kearney added.

Hurricane Irma has now been downgraded to a Category 1, tropical storm rating.

If you're affected by the above, you can contact dcalnan@independent.ie or contact@independent.ie

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