Hurricane Harvey: Houston airports closed, nearly 6,000 cancellations

As a reminder, if you are in Hurricane Harvey’s path, please do not call 911 unless it is a life threatening emergency. Last updated: Monday 10:20AM CST (GMT -5)

Houston, one of the largest aviation hubs in the United States, has had nearly all flights in and out of the city suspended due to Hurricane Harvey, with both airports cut off from the city’s road networks and flights unable to takeoff or land due to weather.

The storm is expected to bring over 50 inches (1.27m) of rain to the Houston area by Wednesday, wreaking havoc on the city and surrounding areas.

Over 1,400 flights were cancelled on Sunday, along with an additional 1,400 each day through at least Wednesday, for a total of almost 6,000 flights cancelled due to the storm just in/out of Houston.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

IAH, Houston’s largest airport and main international gateway, has escaped relatively unscathed from the storm, but is cut off from the city due to flooding on the inbound and outbound roads. Reports from the ground say that the airport is like an “island” in the flood. The airport has been closed since around 10am CST (GMT -5) Sunday except for humanitarian flights, leading to over 4,000 cancellations and counting, according to FlightAware.

United Airlines has started relief flights into the airport, with UA2761 on Sunday being the first to land at the airport. The Boeing 777-300ER flew in from Chicago, bringing supplies and aid for the relief effort in the surrounding area.

The flight left back to Chicago this evening with 315 stranded passengers onboard.

Credits: FlightRadar24

Two Boeing 777-300ER flights are expected to leave to Houston on Monday, plus a number of Boeing 737 flights, carrying relief and evacuating passengers.

Sources have told Layoverhub that United is ready to dedicate up to 15% of its fleet for relief logistics, and has already cancelled all flights in and out of IAH through tomorrow night. 15 percent of United’s fleet translates to over 110 mainline planes — an large number for a gigantic relief effort.

The airport has been closed by the FAA until Thursday, August 31st, due to Hurricane Harvey.

Hobby Airport (HOU)

Hobby Airport, Houston’s smaller commercial airport, has been closed to flights since around midnight on Sunday morning, when the airport began to flood due to storms in the area. Since then, the closure has been stretched until Wednesday, August 30th at 8:00am, with no flights being permitted to operate to/from the airport, except for emergency air traffic.

Sources have said that parts of the airport are under four feet of water, with no way in and out. In addition, taxiway and runway lights at the airport are not functional, making operations even harder (if they were possible in the current storm).

Over 500 Southwest passengers were airlifted from Hobby Airport earlier this evening, in a “humanitarian rescue mission” coordinated between the airline and the Federal Aviation Administration. The five Boeing 737 aircraft left the airport before sunset, due to a lack of working airport lights. Ten Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s are still stuck at the airport, however it is not known how many other aircraft are on the ground. It is not known how many other passengers are stuck in the airport, if any.

Airlines cancelled 323 flights out of Hobby today, with 337 cancelled for Monday, and the entire schedule expected to be cancelled for Tuesday. While operations are expected to resume August 30th, the FAA stating that the date would be the “earliest” that flights will be able to resume is not encouraging to those flying around that date.

What can I do if I am traveling to/from the region during the storm?

Most, if not all airlines that operate flights to/from Houston are waving change fees for passengers who were scheduled to fly to airports in the region through August 31st (for Alaska Airlines customers, through September 3rd, and for Delta customers, through September 4th). Most airlines are requiring flights to be rescheduled within a week or two of the original departure date, however, check your airline’s website for information on how to request a change to your itinerary.

Most airlines are also allowing passengers who are scheduled to fly into/out of Austin, TX and San Antonio, TX to change their flights without any fees. American Airlines and United Airlines are also allowing passengers traveling to most destinations in South Texas and Louisiana to change their flights as well.

If your flight has been cancelled, most airlines will allow you to receive a refund, but check your airline’s website for information.

Are you affected by the storm? Tell us your story at layoverhub@gmail.com. Featured photo by ABC.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*