Here's How Major Airlines Will Help Travelers Evacuate Areas Affected by Hurricane Irma
As Hurricane Irma nears, airlines are offering different solutions to help travellers get out of affected areas.
Initially, several major carriers, including United, American, and Delta, were accused of price gouging, taking advantage of travelers trying to leave the affected areas. Following widespread criticism, a number of airlines have put policies in place for the coming days.
Here’s our breakdown of what each airline is offering:
American Airlines announced Wednesday that it would offer $99 flights out of Florida as the hurricane approaches. In a statement to Business Insider, the airlines said that the cap would be in place for “Main Cabin seats on direct, single leg flights out of Florida” for tickets purchased by September 10 for travel until September 13. According to the American Airlines website, change fees will also be waived for a number of flights.
American Airlines will cancel all flights in and out of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach over the weekend.
JetBlue is also offering $99 direct flights from every Florida city where it operates. A price cap of $159 is in place for all of the airline’s Florida connecting flights through September 10. Flights in the eastern Caribbean through September 7 and in the western Caribbean through September 8 are also capped.
According to the JetBlue website, customers with travel planned between September 5 and September 17 can rebook or travel standby without paying additional fees.
Delta has issued a weather waiver, which will allow travellers to change their reservations without incurring a fee. The waiver is applicable through a certain date, depending on the city to or from which the traveller is flying. If travel is rebooked for a later date, the change fee will still be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. New bookings will be capped at $399 out of Florida.
Delta has added flights and switched to larger planes to enable more people to leave the areas expected to be affected by Irma. It has also waived baggage and pet-in-cabin fees for a number of flights out of Florida and the Caribbean.
United has travel waivers in place for a number of affected areas, waiving change fees for travel through certain dates. For travel that is rebooked beyond the limit, a difference in fare may apply. United told Inc. that it will be offering additional flights out of Florida through today, September 7.
Canadian carriers Air Transat and WestJet Airlines have also launched evacuation operations in the Dominican Republic. Air Canada is allowing passengers traveling in affected areas to change their flights free of charge.