Hurricane Florence: US airlines lift rebooking charges as storm looms

Major U.S. airlines are adjusting their travel policies as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast as a Category 4 storm.

American, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines have issued travel alerts that allow customers who have tickets for flights that could be affected by Florence the chance to rebook without incurring extra costs. Typically, air carriers will charge passengers who change flight dates, but tend to loosen these policies when adverse weather is expected to delay or cause flight cancelations.

The world’s largest airline, American, is offering customers traveling from nine airports in North Carolina, six in South Carolina, six in Virginia and two in Georgia to change without a fee if they bought a ticket prior by Sept. 10 and are scheduled to travel Step. 13 – Sept. 16, 2018.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP. 6.53 +0.14 +2.19%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 34.51 +0.34 +1.00%

New York-based JetBlue is waiving change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling Sept. 13 – Sept. 15, 2018 to or from Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia, if they booked their flight on or before Sept. 10. Passengers can rebook their flights for travel through Sept. 20, 2018, while those with canceled flights can opt for a refund, according to the airline.

Southwest, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, is allowing changes free of charge for customers holding travel reservations Sept. 12 – Sept. 16 who are flying to or from Charleston, South Carolina; Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina, Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. The Texas-based airline said flyers can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original travel date and city pairs.

United Airlines is waiving change fees and any difference in fares for new flights departing between Sept. 10 and Sept. 16, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin and between the same cities. The changes include flights to, from or connecting through four airports in South Carolina, six airports in North Carolina, five in Virginia and Savannah, Georgia. The airline said rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines also issued a travel waiver for seven airports in North Carolina, five airports in Virginia, three airports in South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, for customers traveling on Sept. 11 – Sept. 16. Tickets must be reissued on or before Sept. 20 and rebooked travel must begin no later than that date, according to the airline. When travel is rescheduled after Sept. 20, 2018, the change fee will be waived. Final travel must occur by the end of ticket validity or a year from the date of original issuance.