Hurricane Dorian: Some airlines offering waivers for flights going through Florida during Labor Day weekend

Travel during Hurricane Dorian
Travel during Hurricane Dorian
Updated: Aug. 30, 2019 at 7:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -Hurricane Dorian is expected to impact travel plans for Labor Day weekend, and especially for those flying through Florida. Now, some airlines are helping passengers make a quick change of plans, if necessary.

U.S. airlines are anticipating nearly 18 million passengers for the long holiday weekend. That’s up 4% from last year.

Hurricane Dorian could affect those numbers, as it’s expected to reach Florida as a category four storm. Experts say this could mean winds as high as 130 MPH, and according to a spokesman with the Miami International Airport, the air traffic control tower there must close if wind speeds are higher than 55 MPH.

This week, American Airlines announced that anyone with flights to or from Florida between Monday and Tuesday, will be allowed to change that flight at no cost, as long as they’re willing to travel on a different day as late as September 10.

There are 13 Florida airports that this applies to with American Airlines:

· Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB)

· Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)

· Fort Myers, Florida (RSW)

· Gainesville, Florida (GNV)

· Jacksonville, Florida (JAX)

· Key West, Florida (EYW)

· Melbourne, Florida (MLB)

· Miami, Florida (MIA)

· Orlando, Florida (MCO)

· Sarasota / Bradenton, Florida (SRQ)

· Tallahassee, Florida (TLH)

· Tampa, Florida (TPA)

· West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)

Your change fee may be waived if you:

· Are traveling on an American Airlines flight

· Bought your ticket by August 29, 2019

· Are scheduled to travel August 29 - September 4, 2019

· Can travel August 29 - September 11, 2019

· Don't change your origin or destination city

· Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference

There are similar travel waivers being offered through United Airlines:

  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
  • Ft. Myers, FL (RSW)
  • Jacksonville, FL (JAX)​
  • Key West, FL (EYW)​
  • Miami, FL (MIA)​
  • Nassau, BS (NAS)​
  • Orlando, FL (MCO)​
  • Sarasota, FL (SRQ)​
  • Tampa, FL (TPA)​
  • West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)​

Original travel date(s):

August 29, 2019 – September 4, 2019

Flight changes:

  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing between August 29, 2019, and September 11, 2019, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.
  • For wholly rescheduled travel departing after September 11, 2019, or for a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

This disruption comes during one of the busiest times of the year to travel, and after an already challenging summer for some airlines.

The summer season in general is considered a busy time for many U.S. airlines, but back in March the FAA announced the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max aircraft after two deadly crashes involving the model just months apart. The mandatory grounding came just before a summer season with a high demand for flights. Several airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights, driving up costs and hurting profits.

Now, as we reach Labor Day weekend – what some consider the unofficial end of summer – airlines are bracing for Hurricane Dorian.

The information provided in this article is subject to change. There could also be some flight cancellations affecting Florida, once Hurricane Dorian’s path becomes clearer.

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