Hurricane Matthew dampens vacations, business for Triangle travelers

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Thousands of flights have been cancelled ahead of Hurricane Matthew (WTVD)

Even before it makes landfall, Hurricane Matthew is creating a storm of uncertainty for potentially millions of passengers across the country.

According to FlightAware, airlines cancelled 1,522 flights in the U.S., including dozens to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Additionally, FlightAware counts at least 1,234 flights delayed at other U.S. airports.

Five airlines at RDU offer non-stop service to seven Florida airports, including Orlando (MCO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Miami (MIA). Only a few of those flights got off the ground Thursday, including one from Miami that landed at RDU just before 1:00 p.m.


Jessica Vargas, who lives in Cary, was visiting family in Puerto Rico but had to cut that trip short.

"I was so happy, I prayed the whole flight," Vargas quipped to ABC11. "It was very turbulent and I looked outside and all I saw was gray."

North Carolina, of course, is also a destination for some travelers - and a potential target for Hurricane Matthew. Fred and Carol Heffzinger arrived at RDU from Cincinnati today because they booked a weekend trip to Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington.

"In the Midwest you don't think about hurricanes," Carol Heffzinger lamented to ABC11. "So instead of going east, we'll go west. We've never been to Asheville."

Airport officials say ticketed passengers should check with their airlines for any weekend travel, regardless if the destination is in the southeast. Airlines are offering to waive change fees for some travelers because of Hurricane Matthew.

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