What Airlines Are Doing to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey
Update 08/30/2017: As reported in the Chicago Tribune, United CEO Oscar Munoz has committed to personally matching up to $1 million in donations to the airline's employee relief fund.
As Hurricane Harvey continues to batter Houston and the surrounding areas, many airlines have stepped up to assist in providing relief to those affected by the disaster. The city's major airports are all shut down, though they are allowing flights with emergency supplies to land. All major carriers have offered travel waivers for flyers affected by the unprecedented storm. Here's a round up of what some of the major airlines are doing to help get Houston back on its feet:
Alaska Airlines has focused its efforts on monetary and mileage donations. The carrier donated $100,000 and 1 million miles to the Red Cross. It will be flying relief workers at no charge to Texas airports that the airline serves. Those with Alaska miles can also donate them to the Alaska Charity Miles pool, and the airline's CEO Shuanta Hyde said that it "will match up to 1 million additional miles to disaster relief for Mileage Plan donations made by [its] guests."
American is offering 10 AAdvantage miles for every dollar donated to the American Red Cross by AAdvantage members though September 24, 2017. You can ensure your money goes directly to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by selecting "Hurricane Harvey" on the donation page. You must donate a minimum of $25 dollars to receive any bonus miles.
Delta Air Lines
On Monday, Delta sent a relief flight carrying water, food, amenity kits and other supplies to Houston (IAH). Along with supplies, the airline sent a group of ground support equipment technicians to help with repairs to jet bridges and other airport infrastructure. After landing, the flight ferried 40 Delta customers and a number of Delta employees and their families to Detroit (DTW).
Southwest airlifted 486 stranded customers and multiple employees from Houston's Hobby Airport (HOU) on Sunday. It flew five 737s after the FAA shut down the airport and all roads leading to the Hobby were closed.
Southwest has donated $500,000 to the Red Cross specifically for Harvey disaster relief.
Spirit Airlines flew in two empty planes from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to the deluged metropolis on Monday with the intention of rescuing those stranded at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). According to the South Florida Business Journal, one aircraft departed for Chicago (ORD), while the other flew to Detroit (DTW). The carrier was able to transport a total of 189 people to safe haven far from the floods and wreckage in Texas.
United Airlines has partnered with multiple disaster relief organization to ferry supplies to the disaster area. Over the past three days, United has flown six widebody planes into Houston (IAH) to bring provisions. On Tuesday, it sent two 777-300ERs full of water, blankets and donated amenity kits to the area. One of the jets was loaded with 36,000 lbs of supplies. Also, the airline operated a flight on Sunday that brought 272 deserted passengers from Houston to Chicago.
United customers have raised over $1 million towards the disaster relief effort and the airline contributed an additional $200,000. It continues to encourage people to donate whatever they can to help those on the ground.
Learn more about what you can do to help relief efforts here.