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Airlines begin canceling flights in Hurricane Irma's path

Airlines begin canceling flights in Hurricane Irma's path
Passengers wait in line at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter Wednesday at Tampa International Airport. Many passengers were leaving Tampa ahead of Hurricane Irma, which is threatening the Florida peninsula. (Chris Urso/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Airlines are preparing to cancel Florida flights that are in the path of Hurricane Irma.

The hurricane is expected to reach Florida by the weekend. American Airlines says it will begin shutting down operations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach by Friday afternoon and cancel flights through the weekend.

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JetBlue Airways said Wednesday afternoon that it had canceled about 130 flights.

American, JetBlue, United and Delta offered waivers letting customers change travel plans to Florida and the Caribbean without the usual charges for changing a ticket. Dates and covered locations varied.

JetBlue said it reduced one-way fares to $99 to $159 for remaining seats on flights leaving the hurricane's path including Florida and locations in the Caribbean.

FlightAware.com reported that about 170 flights, roughly two-thirds of those scheduled, were canceled by late Wednesday afternoon at Luis Munoz Marin Airport International Airport near San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cancellations at Miami International Airport were minimal Wednesday but already topped 300 flights for Friday, according to the tracking service.

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