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What To Do If The Tragic LAX Shootings Disrupt Your Travel Plans

by on November 1, 2013 · 5 comments

in Points Guy Pointers

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If you’re anywhere near a TV, radio or computer, you’ll have seen that the major news story of the day was that a gunman attached Terminal 3 at LAX and killed a TSA agent and wounded seven others before being shot himself (details are still coming in, so the numbers may change as the story develops).

LAX was brought to a standstill this morning.

LAX was brought to a standstill this morning.

The attack occurred at the airport’s Terminal 3, which houses Virgin America, JetBlue, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit and V Australia. That terminal has been locked down indefinitely, and the entire airport was shut down for a matter of hours but is expected to reopen shortly. Needless to say, however, it has disrupted a whole day of travel at the nation’s second-largest airport and the 6th largest in the world, so a lot of travelers are going to be facing some major delays and cancellations.

Passengers evacuated at Terminal 3 - photo by Tory Belleci.

Passengers evacuated at Terminal 3 – photo by Tory Belleci.

With that in mind, I thought I’d put together a resource to help you navigate the system issues today and get your travel plans back on track after this tragic incident.

And to all of you out there who are traveling today and in the coming days, be careful and be safe!

ALLEGIANT

Allegiant doesn’t have anything about LAX posted on its Travel Advisory page, but you can check your flight status here. It appears most of this airline’s flights out of LAX are in the morning and left before the incident, and tomorrow’s are still scheduled on time.

JETBLUE

You can find the most up-to-date information on fee waivers here. Here’s the official line from their Travel Advisory, though:

Operational delays at LAX are very likely today due to events there.  Please check the status of your flight online before leaving for the airport. If you are booked to travel today to or from LAX and you would like to change your flight to Long Beach, CA or Burbank, CA, or change your departure date to Nov. 2, please click here to make the change without charge or call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583).

FRONTIER AIRLINES

You can find Frontier’s travel advisories here. Here is the official statement:

“Frontier has cancelled flights today, and a travel advisory has also been issued. Please check your flight status before coming to the airport.”

Frontier has enacted the following guidelines for travel to/from Los Angeles for all customers scheduled to travel November 1-2, 2013, who purchased tickets on or before Noon MT November 1, 2013.

You may make one itinerary change; rules and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived. Origin and destination cities must remain the same.

  • Changes must be made by Midnight MT, November 2, 2013.
  • Travel to/from Los Angeles must be completed on or before November 6, 2013.
  • If customers would like to reschedule their travel beyond November 6, 2013, the change fee will be waived, but the difference in fare will be collected.
  • If your flight has been cancelled or is delayed by more than 3 hours, you can access our ticket refund request form online.

Cancelled Flights

  • Flight 402: Los Angeles to Denver
  • Flight 404: Los Angeles to Denver
  • Flight 405: Denver to Los Angeles
  • Flight 411: Denver to Los Angeles
  • Flight 412: Los Angeles to Denver
  • Flight 413: Denver to Los Angeles
  • Flight 414: Los Angeles to Denver

SPIRIT AIRLINES

Spirit has offered an advisory and cancellation/change policy, which you can access here.

“For customers holding reservations for travel to, from and through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today, November 1, 2013, Spirit Airlines will waive the change fee and difference in fare, provided that customers rebook their travel plans for tomorrow, November 2, 2013.
Customers who wish to move their travel beyond November 2, 2013, will not be charged a change fee provided they travel on or before November 6, 2013; however any difference in fare will apply.
Customers can make changes to their reservations on Spirit’s website at www.spirit.com under the “Manage Travel” tab.
Customers may also call the Spirit Reservations Center at 801-401-2222 to make their flight changes.
Customers may check for the latest flight updates in the “Flight Status” section of Spirit’s homepage.”

VIRGIN AMERICA

Find the latest news and updates on the travel advisories page here, but the official statement is this:

“Terminals have been evacuated and LAX flights are suspended at the moment.

More updates and details to follow, but travelers should expect flight delays and check Flight Status.

Travel waiver: Virgin America is waiving any associated change or travel fees through November 15 for confirmed Los Angeles guests* impacted by today’s incident. Impacted Los Angeles guests can also receive a full credit file. Guests may change or cancel by calling 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474).** Please note that we’re currently experiencing high call volume, so we recommend that guests re-book online at http://www.virginamerica.com/change-flight.html

Travel Agents: No waiver code is required if changes/cancels/exchanges are made within the restrictions of the current policy. All inventory must be rebooked within the same cabin of service.

*Applies to any available seat within the same cabin of service.
**Any guest calling within the United States has access to a complimentary telecommunication relay service by dialing 711.”

Just note, right now the site is saying you must change your flight by tomorrow, November 2.

Huge crowds formed as the airport was shut down for several hours.

Huge crowds formed as the airport was shut down for several hours.

And now for the other non-Terminal 3 airlines.

AMERICAN AIRLINES

American’s travel advisory is posted here. The airline is offering customers the ability to change their flight plans if traveling through LAX.

Due to the situation at the Los Angeles International Airport, American Airlines offers you the convenience to change your plans. You may change flights as shown if your itinerary includes any of the listed airports and you are ticketed to travel on AA flights.

If you are traveling to, through or from:

  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

On the following dates: November 1, 2013
And your ticket was issued no later than: November 1, 2013
You may travel: November 1 – 2 , 2013
Original inventory required? No

The ticket reissue charge will be waived for one ticket change.

To change travel dates or for questions regarding destination changes, contact our Reservations personnel at 1-800-433-7300 within the United States or Canada. If you are calling from outside the United States or Canada, please check the Worldwide Reservations Numbers page.

DELTA

You can find Delta’s most current Travel Advisory information here. As of now, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund.

Eligibility is only for customers with an original ticket issue date on or before November 1, 2013. Check flight status frequently for up-to-the-minute info about your flight plans, or get updates sent directly to your wireless device or email with Delta Messenger.

If your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund. Even if your flight is not canceled, you may make a one-time change to your ticket without fee if you are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the following destination(s) on Delta, Delta Connection®, or Delta-coded flights during the specified time periods listed below.

You can now edit your itinerary here at delta.com, or you may contact Reservation Sales to make changes to your itinerary. Additional collection in fares may apply. See Conditions & Restrictions below.

Affected airports include:

Burbank, CA (BUR)
Long Beach, CA (LGB)
Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Ontario, CA (ONT)
Orange County, CA (SNA)

Tickets must be valid on November 1 and reissued before November 4 for travel commencing no later than November 4.

SOUTHWEST

Southwest, which operates out of Terminal 1, appears to be back on track, though most of its flights into and out of the airport appear to be taking off and landing about 1-2 hours late. You can check your flight status here.

UNITED

You can find all this information on United’s Travel Notices page. As the situation progresses, though, you can get all the up-to-date information on weather and operations at the airline’s Operations page. You should be able to make changes online, or by calling 1-800-864-8331.

If you are traveling today on United through LAX, you can route through the following alternative airports:

  • Burbank, CA (BUR)
  • Ontario, CA (ONT)
  • Orange County, CA (SNA)
  • San Diego, CA (SAN)

The airline will also issue you a refund (on all tickets including agent, consolidator and awards) if your flight is 2 hours delayed or canceled. Cancellation and change fees as well as fare differences will be waived if you change your ticket for anytime now through November 2.

US AIRWAYS

The airline has posted its current travel advisory and policies here but none are posted. It appears from checking flight statuses that US Airways, which operates out of Terminal 1, is running its flights again though they all seem to be 1-2 hours delayed. You can change your trip online at usairways.com/manageyourtrip. If you need help, please call 800-428-4322.

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  • Andrew

    Very informative and timely..Appreciate the details.

  • Joseph

    thank you, I’m flying out of LAX tonight and this was perfect.

  • TripValue Gal

    Thank you for gathering all of this helpful information for affected flyers. I fly Virgin America out of Terminal 3 all the time.

    Speaking of VA, what a super airline. I read recently that major airlines are resorting to holding unused gates in order to shut out Virgin from being able to fly into more airports. I have been deviating through cities they offer just to be able to fly Virgin.

  • Anon

    I fly into terminal 3 next Thursday, you think this all will be cleared up by then?

  • LA Dave

    Delta has been great in helping me out. I was scheduled out last night but I was pretty sure the delay would’ve caused me to lose my connection. Catherine rebooked me onto a flight at 6:30am today.

    Caution security lines were long at terminal 5 even at 4:15am.

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