By Margaret Carrero

LOS ANGELES ( — Travelers throughout the Southland were forced to make alternate plans after airlines canceled all their flights into New Orleans on Tuesday as the city braces for Tropical Storm Isaac.

KNX 1070’s Margret Carrero reports some disgruntled passengers at LAX complained that the cancellations may be overkill.

American Airlines, Southwest and United were among the five airlines that have suspended operations in New Orleans as Isaac continues to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is expected to grow into a Category 1 hurricane – winds ranging from 74 mph to 95 mph – and make landfall sometime late Tuesday night.

The move comes after large cancellations in Southern Florida Sunday due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

One passenger at LAX who managed to catch a plane from New Orleans into Los Angeles on Monday night said the airlines may be overreacting to Isaac.

“It’s not that bad,” he said. “I don’t know why they’re freaking out.”

Airlines are also cancelling flights to Pensacola, Fla., and Mobile, Ala. Those airports are tiny compared to Miami, which is a major gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. Compared to New Orleans, more than five times the passengers pass through Miami on a given day.

All airlines will waive change fees for passengers wishing to move their flight into or out of an affected city to another date. They are also offering refunds to passengers whose flights have been canceled. The specific policies can be found on each airline’s website.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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