Orlando Airport Expected To Run Out Of Fuel Tonight, Numerous Flight Diversions Planned

Update: tankering in fuel is projected to be sufficient to keep flights operating, limiting the degree of disruption.

Major airports usually have several days’ worth of fuel on site. That’s going to be tested in Orlando, and possibly some other Florida airports, over the next several days. In fact, Orlando International Airport has been projected to run out of fuel Sunday evening and that’s going to interrupt airline schedules according to aviation watchdog JonNYC.

American is planning for tankering fuel, using Miami for westbound lfights and Atlanta, Charlotte, and Jacksonville for flights to the Northeast and Chicago.

These flights become longer, with the extra stop, and mean that some customers will miss onward connections. Some may have to be cancelled, as well, due to crew legality – crew would be working more hours than they’re permitted.

Naturally the issue affects all airlines.

When Russia hacked the Colonial Pipeline, American scheduled long flights out of Charlotte with an extra stop for fuel. They also looked into the feasibility of operating widebody aircraft into Charlotte full of fuel from other hubs and siphoning out the gas.

For shorter domestic flights just carrying more fuel can be enough to operate into and back out of Orlando. But fuel is heavy and carrying extra fuel means burning extra fuel to fly, so it’s a costly inconvenience even for flights that can operate on schedule.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Like the attacks in the Carolinas, it’s possible that this was caused by yet another terrorist infrastructure attack by MAGA acolytes deep down the Q rabbit hole.

  2. Hey @ robbo – a simple google search would have told you (and Gary) that this shortage is attributable to severe weather at sea delaying the delivery of a tanker ship. But you be you and keep on with the silly trolling. OTOH, to give credit where credit is due, my hat off to you for managing to get three paranoid misstatements into a twelve word post. Q would be proud of you.

  3. This may be similar to the situation currently in New Zealand, where delivered jet fuel was contaminated and fuel has to be rationed as a result.

  4. @ Bill and @ Robbo are actually both right and wrong.
    The real issue is less refining capacity for jet fuel due to Russia/Ukraine war. Capacity has shifted to more profitable diesel due to the dislocation from Russia supply.

    @Bill is right in that this particular delay was triggered by the weather, but if stockpiles were normal, this wouldn’t have been an issue. @Robbo could right if you believe Putin wouldn’t have attacked in the first place if he was deterred by a more hawkish President or appeased by a more dovish President that would have possibly encouraged Ukraine to negotiate and surrender to Russian demands at the outset.

  5. Things sure are swell in Brandon’s America. Has DOT Secretary Mayor Pete Buttplug commented on this situation yet? Also, I’ll be at MCO later today. If I see Sam Brinton skulking around the baggage claim, I’m calling the cops.

  6. Whats this Brandon gibberish? The President isn’t responsible for everything that goes wrong in America and it’s childish to say so.

  7. Why are the MAGA Minions trying to blame Biden but ignoring the frigging governor of that infernal hellhole that hangs like a penis off the end of the US?

  8. This is like the baby food problem. No one is watching and planning for hiccups in the system. Just seems like really bad management from the top

  9. @garyleff I’m on that UA MCO-SFO flight. Just landed in DFW, diversion was moved because of potential bad weather in MSY. Luckily I’m ending in SFO so no big disruption.

  10. America is turning into the blue swirl spiraling down the toilet bowl. Will the closet bois still be defending their idiot commander when they’re drowning while waiting on a ship laden with life preservers.? stupid is as stupid does.

  11. What is the matter with you Trumpers? Have you not gotten ANY CLUE as to what is going on in the world? I am really worried about this country because you are all so full of conspiracy theory. And have you not noticed how old Trump himself is? And nuts?

  12. The oil barges I work on in New York harbor were lightering 80% Russian ships before the war in Ukraine. Canada now supplies the northeast with that fuel. The problem with Florida is they have no pipeline so everything is shipped or barged into cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa so weather can disrupt operations. The northeast and mid Atlantic have the Colonial pipeline and deep water ports to rely on. As far as Biden or trump people give them too much credit for anything to do with this issue. It’s all private sector business. If a military base or airbase ran out of fuel then that is definitely on the shoulders of government as they charter their own vessels for delivery.

  13. Tim u r an idiot for saying that. Did you ever hear the term “the buck stops here”. The POTUS claims credit for everything else so he holds responsibility as well when things go wrong. Record inflation, rising mortgage rates, talk of recession. This is your hero! Live with it.

  14. Pam you are the one who is clueless. This has nothing to do with Trump. He has been out of office for two years. This has to do with the current POTUS who can’t seem to get his act together. And news flash many of those who do not support our current POTUS are not Trumpers! Although that does not fit into your narrow little world.

  15. To some on here:

    Do you realize you can have serious problems with the Biden administration and not be a “Trumper” or part of the MAGA movement? That’s where a lot of people are at this point because of policy outcomes…nothing more, nothing less.

  16. @gary – I hate to say it, but the messages here show me that (and I DO truly hate to say this), you should eliminate the comments section. I find myself coming here and getting a good rundown of the state of things from your excellent posts, only to scroll down and have my visit to your website ruined. I know…I know…but you might want to consider it.

  17. The Brandon administration is responsible for growing inflation, high fuel prices and stupid foreign policy decisions that have many residual affects such as the potential of future fuel shortages. There are probably many factors leading to this particular issue, but it’s likely the administration’s hand is mixed in it somewhere.

  18. I have to agree with BobInLA – Gary you should shut down the comments section. It has become a Maga troll target. No point in trying to refute the brainwashed claims. Same spectrum narcissists and enablers are just looking for attention, like their leader. The more chaos, the better. They get validation and endorphin rushes every time someone reacts to their dysfunctional behavior. I doubt you have the free time needed to moderate it constantly to remove the nonsense postings.

  19. VeelnDC ( WA DC) and BobinLA ( Los Angeles CA) want the comment section removed. Instead of trying to understand others anger and distrust of the current administration they respond with the typical liberal snowflake response of shutting down public comment. Disgusting!

  20. There’s a whole world beyond the schoolyard insults – Europe and North Africa can’t get enough petroleum, thanks to the Ukraine war and the bombing of the Russian pipelines in the Baltic (probably by the USA). Hence there’s a worldwide shortage of fuel and the USA is refining proportionally more diesel and less jet fuel in order to keep the trucks on the road.

    Gary you might take a look at the jet fuel refining situation, what will happen if/when the shortages get worse next year?

  21. Everyone take a breath. MCO says everything is ok.


    And to the maga crowd, please calm down and get help. I am an independent, and I have not voted for a Republican since 2016. I am not happy with everything Democrats have done, but when given the choice between voting for a party that runs mostly sane candidates and one that runs way too many candidates who have issues with recognizing reality (and many of their supporters have the same problem), I will choose sanity every time.

    If you are paying attention, this is why the red wave did not materialize. Please, for you, and for our country, please come back to reality.

  22. Really sounds like an Orlando mis-management problem since they are the only one reporting issues. Sad because DeSantis and/or Biden will no doubt have to solve this issue. And if they do then they should take credit for it.

  23. @ CMorgan

    “Instead of trying to understand others anger and distrust of the current administration they respond with the typical liberal snowflake response of shutting down public comment. Disgusting!”

    Firstly, public comment would only get shut down on this blog by @ Gary Leff, and not by the folk you cite in your post. Basically, your whole rant is misdirected.

    Secondly, some comments are indeed removed by @ Gary when he judges them to be inappropriate for his blog. IME such posts are extremely offensive / derogatory / hate inspired racism and discrimination. Yep, some comments are so vile they even get “moderated” on VFTW.

    Thirdly, such vile comments are ALWAYS the product of the right wing commentators and / or those ascribing to the racist dog whistle politics, discriminatory position of both the failed Donald Duckling and the cronies in the GOP herein. Go figure.

    In this particular case, you and your other DRWA buddies are so easily triggered that you don’t even stop to apply whatever minuscule competence in critical analysis you might possess to question and explore the issues raised in the article. Go figure.

    For starters, Orlando International Airport isn’t run by the federal government, but by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Go figure.

    You see, my dopey dumbtard, it only takes one or two basic and easily accessible facts to expose you and your DWRA flock of dabbing ducks as loony tune twats.

    The GOAA is governed by a 7 member board (two local mayors and 5 appointees by the Governor of the State of Florida ). Managing that airport is a Florida gig, buddy, in all of its right wing swampy snappy gator putrid festering gormless GOP-dom. So, any problems with the supply of jet fuel that would reasonably fall into the scope of the airport operator would be a state-based misstep. Ouch.

    Now last time I checked oil refineries in the USA are commercially, not government, run. Those companies producing jet fuel took a hit when the demand for such collapsed during the global pandemic. There was also a shift to diesel (as others have noted). These events occurred during the tRump Dabbling Duck single term of office. If it turns out upon greater analysis that these lead up events (e.g. loss of refining capacity for jet fuel turn towards diesel) are in play, then, applying your theory posted above, that the bucks stops with the POTUS, then you’d have to blame the quirky quacking canard. Ouch.

    Now for a reality check – it has been reported that the immediate issue was bad weather (fog) interrupting supply by ship, which is the mainstay of transporting the stuff to this particular airport (road tankers being uneconomic / impractical, although being reported as used for emergency supply in this case). That raises the question of how the supply / demand equation is managed, per fuel reserves and levels of risk mitigation (control of predictable adverse events) is factored into the system. But it’s sounding like a very local issue on this particular occasion. Ouch.

    To round this off, let’s take a quick look at the national situation, shall we? During the squawking twat’s one term of office, the US Petroleum Reserve declined by 8% (685 to 638 million barrels) and the revenues used to pay down debt.

    It is reported that the lying-beak-brain publicly claimed that the fuel reserve had been “almost empty” for decades. Yep – just another bird brained mistruth. Ouch…!

    So, my little CMorgan, do you actually have anything to add to the topic at hand rather than ranting about snowflakes – enough snowflakes can freeze your sorry butt into oblivion as surely as Jack Torrance lost in the maze during a snowstorm at the end of The Shining.

  24. Platy did not have time to read your “book” was too busy trying to count the # of times you mentioned the former POTUS in one way or another. Have to laugh at how everything for you and your lib posse comes around to DT. It’s like he is still the president! I have nothing to add that would make sense to you.

  25. Wow, the people still spewing trumpie nonsense are defining themselves as unable to process reality and make up their own minds. Trumpism is no longer the debate between conservative and liberal perspectives, Supporting Trumpism now is the defense of hatred, anti semitism and conspiracy theories. In other words you are being exploited.

  26. @ CMorgan

    “I have nothing to add that would make sense to you.”

    One thing is certain – you have added absolutely nothing of relevance to the topic of fuel supplies at Orlando Airport in your posts above.

    Just another (very) Dumb Right Wing American.

  27. And “Platy” you are just another ignorant brain washed woke liberal who just doesn’t get it as is evidenced by all of your previous posts on this and other subjects.

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