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.

The fires ravaging Northern California have now claimed at least 11 lives and caused widespread damage across more than 100,000 acres. Residents, tourists and business owners have been forced to evacuate the area, as more than 15 reported fires have continued spreading at a rapid rate because of windy and dry conditions.

According to the Washington Post, the Battalion Chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Jonathan Cox said that the fires are “unprecedented” in how quickly they’ve spread. As of Tuesday morning, fire officials said than more than 1,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the fires that started on Sunday night.

TOPSHOT - A firefighter pulls a hose in front of a burning house in the Napa wine region of California on October 9, 2017, as multiple wind-driven fires continue to whip through the region. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Image by Josh Edelson / Getty Images

Most of the damage has been reported in Sonoma and Napa counties, which are known for their vineyards. Now, instead of grape canopies and lush greenery on rolling hills, a resident described the scene as “Armageddon.” Hilton’s Sonoma hotel was in the direct line of the fire and was destroyed.

SANTA ROSA, CA - OCTOBER 09: Smoke continues to rise from the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on October 9, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Ten people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 1,500 homes and businesses in several Northen California counties. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Image by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Now, as people continue to evacuate the area, travel companies — from airlines to Airbnb — are doing their part to help people stay safe at no cost. At this time, three airlines have issued travel waivers for flights to and from the area. You can find complete details for each of the waivers below:


  • Travel dates: October 9-11
  • Airports affected: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County (STS)
  • Must have bought your ticket by October 9
  • Rebook travel anytime through October 15
  • You may request a refund if you choose not to travel at all.
  • Tickets must be exchanged or refunded on or before October 15.

American Airlines

  • Travel dates: October 9-10
  • Airports affected: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County (STS)
  • Must have bought your ticket by October 9
  • Rebook travel anytime between October 9-13
  • You can’t change your origin or destination city. Must rebook in same cabin or pay the difference.


  • Travel dates: October 9-10
  • Airports affected: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County (STS)
  • ​​​​​​The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before October 13, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.

In addition, Airbnb is offering free stays. Hosts in the affected region are allowed to open their homes for free between October 8 and 30, to house displaced neighbors and relief workers who are there to help.

You can take a look at some of the available housing options for free here.

As of Monday evening, a California Fire spokesperson said that “zero percent” of the fire was contained. On Monday, the world’s only Boeing 747 SuperTanker made six missions to dump fire retardant over the affected areas.

Featured image by Marcus Yam / Getty Images

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
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.