Hurricane Matthew was the strongest storm the Atlantic has seen since 2007. After turning northwest from the Caribbean earlier in the week, it left a trail of destruction throughout the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina as it moved up the coast.
Air Travel Disruptions
Airlines nationwide suspended and canceled over 5,000 flights over the course of the storm. JTB USA Business Travel sprang into action with our Trip Disruption Assistance, contacting travelers proactively and re-booking travel. Early on Thursday, Florida began shutting down its airports and by Friday all flights to and from Orlando were canceled, with more cancellations following on Friday. Most of the major airlines (including Delta, American, JetBlue, as well as Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines) offered fee waivers for the travelers booked, those affected can re-book or cancel without incurring charges, which can run upwards of $200. If you were scheduled to fly and your flight was affected by the hurricane, contact your air line for immediate assistance.
Leisure Travel Disruptions
For the first time in 11 years, Disney World closed in anticipation of the hurricane, but quickly after reopened and resumed normal operations. Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney and Princess Cruises all changed their itineraries to avoid the storm’s path. Some lines just skipped a few stops, others reversed their itineraries and headed north to New York and Canada.
Quickly Returning to Normal
About one week after the torrential rains were dumped on the south, flood waters have receded in most places allowing residents to emerge and focus on recovery and cleanup. FEMA has set up disaster recovery centers through the affected areas. Hurricane Matthew survivors may also register for FEMA assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.