Middle Tennessee travelers worry about trips booked in Irma’s path

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hurricane Irma is picking up speed and threatening the northeastern Caribbean Islands and is now a possible catastrophic Category 5 storm.

Meanwhile, local travel agencies have been busy trying to calm the fears of their clients who have planned vacations to Islands in the Caribbean.

Michael Monahan and his wife Carol will be married 50 years next May. He’s hoping to celebrate their golden anniversary early with a trip to the Bahamas.

“We thought we’ll go back to the Bahamas where we were 35 years ago, and we just wanted I guess to relive it again,” Monahan said.

He told News 2 he booked an all-inclusive trip with Dove Travel & Cruises International in Donelson. He and his wife are supposed to catch a red-eye flight on Sunday, but he’s worried not knowing what Irma will do.

“Everything was going really well up until Hurricane Irma decided she was going to inconvenience everyone,” Monahan said.

Travel agent Andy Obot received calls from several clients Tuesday inquiring about their upcoming trip to the Caribbean Islands.

He’s trying to ease their fears.

“I told them that it’s just too early right now because some of them are traveling at the end of the week,” Obot said. “I advise them to keep monitoring, or check back with me as the day go by so that we will be able to know exactly where the Hurricane is heading or if it’s affecting some of the islands in the Caribbean that we have booked them.”

That’s the reason Monahan came to see his travel agent in person.

“I’ve been reading all weekend about Hurricane Irma on a direct collision course with the Bahamas and so it seem like prudent just to really just to touch base with Andy to find out what to do next, what happens if the trip’s cancel, what happens if it’s still on and we find out if the place is not up to par once we get there,” Monahan said.

Obot said that’s why it’s important to purchase travel insurance, but in this case the trip will be covered since it’s not their fault.

“If the flights are cancelled or the hotel we have reserved for them effected, we have to re-schedule them for another time,” Obot said.

Obot told News 2 he has several clients who took a charter flight to the Caribbean Islands and returned home safely on Saturday. He also has several other clients who have trips planned for the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana and Jamaica.

Several flights from the area are expected to be been impacted today through Monday. Southwest Airlines announced flights may be delayed, diverted, and or cancelled because of Irma.

You can keep an eye your flights out of Nashville at FlyNashville.com.

Commercial airline service from Key West International Airport will also be suspended Wednesday evening due to the evacuation of TSA personnel. Read more here.