Hurricane path Idalia: Storm causes flight cancellations at Midway; some flee Florida to Chicago

Flights from Tampa either canceled or delayed

Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Air travelers feel worst of storm has passed in Florida
Some flying to Chicago or traveling to Florida feel the worst of Hurrican Idalia has passed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dozens of flights are canceled at Chicago's airports, as Hurricane Idalia makes landfall, just ahead of Labor Day weekend.

The hurricane is being called extremely dangerous.

At Midway airport, flights from Tampa, Florida are either being canceled or delayed, resulting in a somewhat quiet afternoon.

A flight from Orlando arrived late Wednesday morning.

Some passengers made it out just in time.

With the hurricane making landfall early Wednesday morning, there was a rush of passengers trying to get out of Florida.

By 6 a.m., there were already tens of thousands of people without power.

Jennifer and Christopher Manyek were on their honeymoon in Orlando, Florida, and decided to bump up their return flight home.

SEE ALSO: Core of Category 1 Hurricane Idalia now in Georgia; 1 storm-related death reported: LIVE COVERAGE

"We came three hours early right when it hit at 9 a.m. in Florida; we came at 6 o'clock this morning to get home. Otherwise we'd probably be delayed," Christopher Manyek said.

Their arrival at the airport was smooth, and they said quick thinking by their pilot rerouted them around all of the incoming rain and wind.

"So normally it would have been a two-, two-and-a-half-hour flight, was probably around three hours, but it was smooth sailing because he did that, so we didn't mind the extra time," Jennifer Manyek said.

Chicago native and longtime Florida resident Theresa Garcia is just happy she made it on her flight.

"I was concerned they were going to cancel it!" Garcia said. "On that east side it's not bad."

But for another Florida native, who is in town to celebrate his birthday, this hurricane is just another rain and wind event.

"Before the flight even took off I was out!" Leo Poier said. "Last year, or the year before, it was just rain and wind. I still went out and did what I had to do."

Three more flights leaving to Tampa and arriving from Tampa have already been canceled out of Midway, so travelers are encouraged to check with their airlines before leaving.

As the day went on, more flights set to take off to Tampa and Fort Meyers seemed to be ready to go, as travelers said they feel like the worst of the storm has passed.

Christina Klapper and her husband live west of Tampa, where conditions haven't been too bad aside of some flooding.

But their travel plans are in flux, with hopes of flying into Chicago Thursday night.

"We feel pretty good that's enough time. They usually do a pretty good job with the airports to open them as quick as possible, as long they can get us a plane here we're excited to get out of dodge and have a great weekend in Chicago," Klapper said.