Hurricane Irma is expected to reach Florida sometime over the weekend, and with the major storm comes the possibility of major flight disruptions, including at Nashville International Airport where there are daily flights to multiple major Florida airports.
As of Thursday afternoon, American Airlines, which has a hub in Miami, had already canceled more than 2,000 flights in and out of Florida, with more cancellations possible.
Southwest Airlines also canceled flights leading up to the storm reaching the Florida coast, deciding that all flights in and out of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach would be canceled from Friday evening through Saturday, with more delays and cancellations possible.
"A lot of airlines don't want to have to cancel flights they don't have to, they want to get you where you need to go," Shannon Sumrall, spokesperson with Nashville International Airport, said. "It will be hour to hour updating and changing."
Other airlines were waiting until the storm's path and potential impact becomes more clear, but Hurricane Irma could have an impact on the entire country when it comes to air travel.
"Weather in Florida could affect aviation travel all across the country. It's a ripple effect," Sumrall explained. "Just because when a flight is canceled down there, planes get sometimes stuck or relocated. It has ripple effect all the way across the country, so you may be going nowhere near Florida, but you could be impacted."
Due to the possible impact on flights, airlines and airports across the country are encouraging travelers to check their flights prior to leaving for the airport.
"Definitely check with your airline. Each airline has their own parameters of how they handle canceled flights and rescheduling," Sumrall said. "Definitely check in to see what your flight status is."