WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Travelers at Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport included some Wichitans coming home from Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Ian

The storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon. Flying to or near the east coast could be difficult this week as airports across Florida, including Tampa and Orlando, are closed. 

“The time of year that we're traveling, yes, there was a possibility, but we didn't think it was going to happen,” John Stanton, who came back from Disney World Wednesday, said. 

The Stanton Family did not have to change their 7 a.m. flight from Orlando. They said, at first, they were not excited about waking up early, but it all worked out in their favor.

“It started raining pretty…raining pretty hard,” John’s three kids said. 

Erica Pearson, who was on a work trip in Orlando, said her mother is still in Florida. She decided to change her travel plans earlier this week when she heard about the hurricane. 

“Once everything started…hurricane hitting, we all just worked together to help each other find flights and book rooms at airports and just bunk up and help us all get out of there,” Pearson said. 

Pearson re-booked her flights through her airline, Southwest. She was one of the last people to leave Orlando before its international airport closed Wednesday morning. 

“There were like only four arrival flights, which were crew members coming in, and just like two and a half panels of departure flights,” she said. “It was very, kind of an of eerie feeling, but I was just glad to be on one of those flights.”


AAA Kansas representatives told KAKE News that if people were planning to travel to or near the east coast this week, it might be easier to just change flights by contacting their airline directly. 

“If you do have flights scheduled that are heading to that part of the country or connecting through there, definitely check with your airlines and keep an eye on that…as your flight approaches to make sure…what the impact will be and if you need to make alternate plans,” Shawn Steward with AAA said. 

The Wichita Airport Authority also said if plans change, it is best to contact your airline directly. AAA Kansas said to prepare for lengthy delays and cancellations if you decide to travel. 

“If I had to stay in Orlando, I was lucky to have the option to go with my family at the Disney resort, but you know, it's nice to just be home in these types of situations,” Pearson said.