This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi Prestige

Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall in Florida in less than 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center now predicts that the storm will make landfall in the state either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. On Friday morning, the storm that left several Caribbean islands “barely habitable” with winds reaching 180 mph and torrential rain was downgraded one notch, to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm.

That being said, Irma is still expected to cause severe damage to Florida and throughout other parts of the southeastern US. Residents and travelers in the path of Irma should take immediate action in order to evacuate the area. Several airlines still have flights available, such as JetBlue’s $99 fares, and some, like Delta, have added capacity in order to get more people out of the storm’s path. Delta even flew a 747, its largest aircraft, to Orlando so it could fit more people in.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 8.44.59 AM

FORECAST

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 8:00am report, the eye of Irma is expected to move near the north coast of Cuba and the central Bahamas between Friday and Saturday. Late Saturday night, the storm is expected to take a turn to the northwest and head toward the continental US — making landfall in the Florida Keys and southern Florida Peninsula either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Since Thursday’s 11:00am report, the speed of the storm’s winds have decreased, but only slightly. Maximum sustained winds are still near 150 mph. While the forecast expects some fluctuation in the storm’s intensity over the next day or two, it’s still expected to remain a “powerful” Category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida. It should, by no means, be taken lightly.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 7.54.52 AM

The following Florida regions are part of the National Hurricane Center’s latest Hurricane Warning: southern Florida, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay. In addition, the Center has issued Hurricane Warnings for central Florida.

One of the major threats at this point — in addition to the wind — comes in the form of storm surges. Southern Florida and the Florida Keys now have Storm Surge Warnings in place, meaning the rising water from the coastline could move inland, causing a “life-threatening situation.”

As for the outlook of the storm after its immediate impact on southern Florida beginning late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Irma is expected to continue moving northwest. In its most recent report, the Hurricane Center says that there’s a chance of direct impact in portions of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. However, at this time, it’s too early to specify exactly the magnitude of the storm and where exactly it will hit.

WEATHER WAIVERS

Many airlines have released travel waivers allowing you to change your travel plans. If you aren’t yet there, these weather waivers will let you rebook your trip to avoid the area until the storm passes. For those in the area, flights are quickly filling up and standby lists are growing. But, you may be able to change your flights to get out ahead of the storm.

Below is a map of all the airports affected by waivers:

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 8.17.59 AM

If you are stuck due to the storm, airlines aren’t going to be responsible for paying for your meals or hotels in the case of weather-related delays/cancellations. That’s why we recommend paying for flights with cards have flight delay/cancellation insurance that can reimburse you for weather issues, including the Citi Prestige ($500 per passenger for 3+ hour delay), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($500 per ticket for 6+ hour or overnight delay) and Chase Sapphire Preferred ($500 per ticket for 12+ hour or overnight delay). TPG staffer JT Genter’s Citi Prestige came in handy a few weeks ago when he got stuck in Japan due to a typhoon-related flight cancellation.

As of this writing, here are the available travel waivers for this storm:

Alaska

  • Travel dates: September 6-12
  • Airports affected: Havana (HAV); Fort Lauderdale (FLL); Orlando (MCO); Tampa (TPA)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 6
  • Rebook travel anytime through September 19
  • You may request a refund if you choose not to travel at all.
  • Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before September 12, 2017.

American Airlines

LEEWARD ISLANDS & PUERTO RICO

  • Travel dates: September 5-9
  • Airports affected: Anguilla Wallblake, Anguilla (AXA); Antigua, Antigua (ANU); Beef Island, British Virgin Islands (EIS); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); St. Croix Island, U.S. Virgin Islands (STX); St. Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKB); St. Maarten, Saint Maarten (SXM); St. Thomas Island, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT); Cap-Haitien, Haiti (CAP); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP); Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (POP); Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (PLS); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ); Santiago, Dominican Republic (STI)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 3
  • Rebook travel anytime between September 4-12
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

CUBA & BAHAMAS

  • Travel dates: September 5-12
  • CUBA Airports affected: Cienfuegos, Cuba (CFG); Camaguey, Cuba (CMW); Havana, Cuba (HAV); Holguin, Cuba (HOG); Santa Clara, Cuba (SNU); Varadero, Cuba (VRA)
  • BAHAMAS Airports affected: Exuma, Bahamas (GGT); Freeport, Bahamas (FPO); Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH); Nassau, Bahamas (NAS); North Eleuthera, Bahamas (ELH); San Salvador, Bahamas (ZSA)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 5
  • Rebook travel anytime between September 5-30 [dates extended]
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: September 5-17
  • Airports affected: Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB); Destin / Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS); 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, FL (MCO); Palm Beach, Florida (PBI); Pensacola, Florida (PNS); Tallahassee, Florida (TLH); Tampa, Florida (TPA); Sarasota, Florida (SRQ)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 5
  • Rebook travel anytime between September 5-30
  • You can change your origin or destination city within 600 miles [mileage extended]. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

GEORGIA & SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Travel dates: September 6-17
  • Airports affected: Charleston, South Carolina (CHS); Hilton Head, South Carolina (HHH); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR); Savannah, Georgia (SAV) [added MYR]
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 6
  • Rebook travel anytime between September 6-30
  • You can change your origin or destination city within 600 miles [mileage extended]. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.

Delta

  • Travel dates: September 5-9
  • Airports affected: Punta Cana, DO (PUJ); San Juan, PR (SJU); Santiago, DO (STI); St. Croix, VI (STX); St. Maarten, SX (SXM); St. Thomas, VI (STT); Turk Caicos ISLS, TC (PLS)
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 12
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 12, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply. Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue.
  • If travel cannot be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance.
  • Travel dates: September 6-17
  • Airports affected: Brunswick, GA (BQK); Charleston, SC (CHS); Daytona Beach, FL (DAB); Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, FL (FLL); Fort Myers, FL (RSW); Fort Walton Beach, FL (VPS); Freeport, BS (FPO); Gainesville, FL (GNV); Georgetown, BS (GGT); Havana, CU (HAV); Jacksonville, FL (JAX); Key West, FL (EYW); Marsh Harbour, BS (MHH); Melbourne, FL (MLB); Miami, FL (MIA); Nassau, BS (NAS); Orlando, FL (MCO); Panama City, FL (ECP); Pensacola, FL (PNS); Sarasota/Bradenton, FL (SRQ); Savannah, GA (SAV); Tallahassee, FL (TLH); Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (TPA); West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) [added BQK, CHS and SAV]
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 30
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 30, the change fee will be waived. However, a difference in fare may apply. Final travel must be completed by end of ticket validity, one year from date of original issue.
  • If travel cannot be rescheduled within these guidelines, customers may cancel their reservation and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original ticket issuance.

Frontier

  • Travel dates: September 5-12
  • Airports affected: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL); Orlando, FL (MCO); Miami, FL (MIA); Fort Myers, FL (RSW); Tampa, FL (TPA); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 4
  • Rebooked travel must be completed by: October 15
  • Origin and destination cities may be changed.
  • One change available. Rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.

JetBlue

Eastern Caribbean

  • Travel dates: September 5-9 [dates extended]
  • Airports affected: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN); Antigua (ANU); Ponce, Puerto Rico (PSE); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); St. Croix (STX); St. Maarten (SXM); St. Thomas (STT)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 4
  • Rebook travel anytime through September 27 [date extended]
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.

Western Caribbean

  • Travel dates: September 6-9 [dates extended]
  • Airports affected: Puerto Plata, DR (POP); Punta Cana, DR (PUJ); Santo Domingo, DR (SDQ); Santiago, DR (STI); Havana, Cuba (HAV); Santa Clara, Cuba (SNU); Camaguey, Cuba (CMW); Holguin, Cuba (HOG); Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (PLS); Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 5
  • Rebook travel anytime through September 27 [date extended]
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.

Florida

  • Travel dates: September 6-11
  • Airports affected: Daytona Beach, FL (DAB); Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL); Jacksonville, FL (JAX); Fort Myers, FL (RSW); Orlando, FL (MCO); Sarasota, FL (SRQ); Tampa, FL (TPA); West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 5
  • Rebook travel anytime through September 27 [date extended]
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.

Southeast Region

  • Travel dates: September 7-11 [dates extended]
  • Airports affected: Charleston, SC (CHS) and Savannah, GA (SAV)
  • Must have bought your ticket by September 6
  • Rebook travel anytime through September 27 [date extended]
  • To rebook travel or request a refund online, click here. If you are already checked in for your flight, call [JetBlue] at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) for assistance with rebooking or a credit.

Southwest

  • Travel dates: September 5-17
  • Airports affected: Charleston (CHS); Fort Lauderdale (FLL); Fort Myers (RSW); Havana (HAV); Jacksonville (JAX); Nassau (NAS); Orlando (MCO); Punta Cana (PUJ); San Juan (SJU); Tampa (TPA); West Palm Beach (PBI) [added CHS]
  • Customers who are holding reservations for flights departing during these dates, and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with Southwest’s accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.

Spirit Airlines

  • Travel dates: September 6-11
  • Airports affected: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL); Fort Myers (RSW); Orlando, FL (MCO); Tampa, FL (TPA)
  • Modification charge/fare difference waived through: September 16
  • Customers can make changes to their reservations by going to the Manage Travel page or calling Spirit at 801-401-2222.
  • [NEW] Travel dates: September 7-12
  • Airports affected: Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR)
  • Modification charge/fare difference waived through: September 19
  • Customers can make changes to their reservations by going to the Manage Travel page or calling Spirit at 801-401-2222.
  • Travel dates: September 5-7
  • Airports affected: Aguadilla, PR (BQN); San Juan, PR (SJU); St. Thomas, USVI (STT)
  • Modification charge/fare difference waived through: September 11
  • Customers can make changes to their reservations by going to the Manage Travel page or calling Spirit at 801-401-2222.
  • Travel dates: September 7-8
  • Airports affected: Port-au-Prince, HT (PAP); Santiago, DR (STI); Santo Domingo, DR (SDQ)
  • Modification charge/fare difference waived through: September 12
  • Customers can make changes to their reservations by going to the Manage Travel page or calling Spirit at 801-401-2222.

United

Bahamas, Cuba, and Dominican Republic

  • Travel dates: September 5-9
  • Airports affected: Antigua, AU (ANU); Havana, CU (HAV); Nassau, BS (NAS); Providenciales, TC (PLS); Puerto Plata, DO (POP); Punta Cana, DO (PUJ); Santiago, DO (STI); Santo Domingo, DO (SDQ); St. Thomas, VI (STT); St. Maarten (SXM) [added ANU, STT and SXM]
  • ​​​​​​The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before September 17 [date extended], as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

Florida

  • Travel dates: September 5-17
  • Airports affected: Charleston, SC (CHS); Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL (VPS); Ft. Lauderdale, FL (FLL); Ft. Myers, FL (RSW); Jacksonville, FL (JAX); Miami, FL (MIA); Orlando, FL (MCO); Panama City, FL (ECP); Pensacola, FL (PNS); Savannah, GA (SAV); Tampa, FL (TPA); West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) [added CHS and SAV]
  • ​​​​​​The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before September 30, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.​​

If you traveling to or from any of the following airports through September 12, United is waiving the fee for your first and second checked bag: Aguadilla, PR, US (BQN); Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, FL (VPS); Ft. Lauderdale (FLL); Ft. Myers, FL (RSW); Havana, CU (HAV); Jacksonville, FL (JAX); Miami, FL (MIA); Nassau, BS (NAS); Orlando, FL (MCO); Panama City, FL (ECP); Pensacola, FL (PNS); Providenciales, TC (PLS); Puerto Plata, DO (POP); Punta Cana, DO (PUJ); San Juan, PR, US (SJU); Santiago, DO (STI); Santo Domingo, DO (SDQ); Tampa, FL (TPA); West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)

International Airlines

Featured image by Miami Herald / Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.