Airlines Cap Fares, Waive Pet Fees, Extend Waivers as Hurricane Dorian Strengthens

Aug 30, 2019

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For the latest update on Hurricane Dorian, check thepointsguy.com/hurricane.

As forecast, Hurricane Dorian has rapidly intensified over the warm Atlantic Ocean waters, strengthening to a hurricane with 110 mph winds on Friday morning.

As the dangerous hurricane zeros in on the Florida coast, airlines are extending travel waivers, waiving pet and baggage fees and allowing travelers to delay or outright cancel trips to Florida. Airlines are also capping airfares.

Effective 11am Friday, the National Hurricane Center locates Hurricane Dorian 660 miles east of the Florida coast. The official forecast calls for further strengthening as Dorian nears the Florida coast. Landfall is currently forecast to occur Tuesday morning around West Palm Beach as a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph top sustained wind speeds.

However, there’s significant uncertainty about where it will make landfall. It’s noteworthy that the five-day “cone of uncertainty” on the official forecast encapsulates the entire Florida peninsula.

If the storm ends up making landfall on the east coast of Florida as a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, it would be the first hurricane to do so since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. That infamous hurricane decimated Homestead, Florida, and still stands as one of the costliest hurricanes in history, causing over $25 billion in damage.

Capped Airfares: Both American Airlines and Delta have announced that they’ve capped fares for those trying to escape the storm.

Delta’s cap currently includes 13 airports throughout Florida and into South Georgia. Nonstop fares are capped at between $299 and $599 in economy and $499 and $799 in first class, depending on the distance of the flight. Connecting flights may cost more. The cap covers fares now through September 4.

American Airlines’ airfare cap is less specific. AA has advised that “in order to assist customers who choose to evacuate via air, American has added reduced, last-minute fares for cities that will be impacted by Hurricane Dorian.” Flight searches show that the cap seems to be between $299 and $399 one-way in economy and $499 to $599 in first class.

Waived Pet & Baggage Fees: In addition to waiving change fees and capping airfares, Delta is waiving all baggage and pet in cabin fees for travel to and from seven Florida airports from August 30 to September 4. The latest details can be found on Delta’s waiver page.

Most US airlines have now issued weather advisories for Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Across all airlines, waivers currently cover 16 cities in the US Southeast and five in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos:

The waivers issued for Hurricane Dorian as of 11:00am on Friday are:

In This Post

Alaska

  • Travel dates: September 1-2
  • Covered airports: Fort Lauderdale – Miami (FLL) Orlando (MCO) Tampa (TPA) Charleston (CHS)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: August 29
  • Rebooked travel must occur between August 29-September 9
  • Alaska will waive the change fees and the difference in the price of the ticket if the new travel is booked to or from the affected cities in the same cabin and travel is completed during the new travel dates listed above. Additional taxes may apply. If you choose not to travel at this time, you may deposit the funds into your My Account Wallet for future travel.

American

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: August 29-September 4
  • Covered airports: Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB) 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, Florida (MCO) Sarasota / Bradenton, Florida (SRQ) Tallahassee, Florida (TLH) Tampa, Florida (TPA) West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: August 29
  • Rebooked travel must occur between August 29-September 11
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference. No changes in origin or destination are allowed.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.

American Airlines is now allowing travelers to delay their trip. AA will waive change or cancellation fees to trips that include the listed cities for travel if you:

  • Bought your ticket by August 29, 2019
  • Are scheduled to travel August 29 – September 4, 2019
  • Can travel August 29, 2019 and up to 331 days after your original ticket date
  • Wish to change your origin and destination cities
  • Changes must be:
    • Booked by September 4, 2019
    • Completed within 1 year of original ticket date; difference in fare may apply

BAHAMAS

  • Travel dates: August 30-31
  • Covered airports: Freeport, Bahamas (FPO) George Town, Bahamas (GGT) Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH) Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (PLS)
  • Must have purchased ticket by: August 28
  • Rebooked travel must occur between August 28-September 7
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference. No changes in origin or destination are allowed.
  • Avoid the phone queue. Changes available on both AA’s website and in the AA app.

American Airlines is now allowing travelers to delay their trip. AA will waive change or cancellation fees to trips that include the listed cities for travel if you:

  • Bought your ticket by August 28
  • Are scheduled to travel August 30-31
  • Can travel August 28, 2019 or up to 331 days after your original ticket date
  • Wish to change your origin and destination cities
  • Changes must be:
    • Booked by August 31
    • Completed within 1 year of original ticket date; difference in fare may apply

British Airways

BAHAMAS

  • Travel dates: August 30-31
  • Covered airports: Nassau or Providenciales
  • Rebooked travel must occur before September 7

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: August 29-September 4
  • Covered airports: Miami, Orlando, Tampa or Fort Lauderdale
  • Rebooked travel must occur before September 6

Delta

SOUTHEAST US

  • Travel dates: September 1-4
  • Covered airports: Brunswick, GA (BQK); Daytona Beach, FL (DAB); Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL); Fort Myers, FL (RSW); Gainesville, FL (GNV); Jacksonville, FL (JAX); Key West, FL (EYW); Melbourne, FL (MLB); Miami, FL (MIA); Orlando, FL (MCO); Sarasota/Bradenton, FL (SRQ); Tallahassee, FL (TLH); Tampa, FL (TPA); Valdosta, GA (VLD); West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
  • Tickets must have been purchased by: August 29
  • Tickets must be reissued by: September 10
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 10
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 10, 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.

BAHAMAS

  • Travel dates: August 30-31
  • Covered airports: Georgetown, BS (GGT); Marsh Harbour, BS (MHH); Nassau, BS (NAS); Providenciales, TC (PLS)
  • Tickets must have been purchased by: August 27
  • Tickets must be reissued by: September 7
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 7
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 7, 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.

CARIBBEAN

  • Travel dates: August 26-29
  • Covered airports: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); Santiago, Dominican Republic (STI); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ); St. Lucia (UVF); St. Thomas, VI (STT)
  • Tickets must have been purchased by: August 26
  • Tickets must be reissued by: September 5
  • Rebooked travel must begin no later than: September 5
  • Changes to origins and destinations may result in an increase in fare. Any difference in fare between your original ticket and the new ticket will be collected at the time of booking.
  • When rescheduled travel occurs beyond September 5, 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 is not able to 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. Applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates.

Frontier

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: September 1-4
  • Covered airports: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) Miami, FL (MIA) Orlando, FL (MCO) Sarasota, FL (SRQ) Tampa, FL (TPA) West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)
  • Customers who are ticketed to travel between September 1 and September 4, who purchased tickets on or before August 28, may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.
  • Travel must be completed no later than September 27. Origin and destination cities may be changed. Customers whose flights are cancelled may request a refund.

CARIBBEAN

  • Travel dates: August 26-30
  • Covered airports: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
  • Customers who are ticketed to travel between August 26 and August 30, who purchased tickets on or before August 25, may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.
  • Travel must be completed no later than September 20. Origin and destination cities may be changed. Customers whose flights are cancelled may request a refund.

JetBlue

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: August 30-September 3
  • Covered airports: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Fort Myers, FL (RSW) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) Orlando, FL (MCO) Palm Beach, FL (PBI) Sarasota, FL (SRQ) Tampa, FL (TPA)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through September 10
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before August 29

BAHAMAS

  • Travel dates: August 30-September 2
  • Covered airports: Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through September 7
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before August 29

CARIBBEAN

  • Travel dates: August 28-29
  • Covered airports: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN); Ponce, Puerto Rico (PSE); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); St. Thomas (STT)
  • Customers may rebook their flights for travel through September 1
  • Original travel must have been booked on or before August 26

Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment. Make the change online in the ‘Manage Flights’ section of jetblue.com or by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) prior to the departure time of their originally scheduled flight

Southwest

  • Travel dates: August 26-30
    • Covered airports: Providenciales, Turks And Caicos Islands (PLS); Punta Cana, DO (PUJ); San Juan, PR (SJU)
  • Travel dates: August 27-September 1
    • Covered airports: Nassua, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Travel dates: August 31-September 4
    • Covered airports: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) Fort Myers, Florida (RSW) Jacksonville, Florida (JAX) Orlando, Florida (MCO) Tampa, Florida (TPA) West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI)
  • Customers who are holding reservations to/from/through the cities listed above on the corresponding dates, 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 our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge.
  • Customers who purchased their itinerary via Southwest.com or our mobile app are eligible to reschedule their travel plans online or from their mobile device. Customers who did not purchase a ticket via Southwest.com can call 1-800-435-9792 to speak with a Customer Representative.

Spirit

FLORIDA

  • Travel dates: August 31-September 3
  • Covered airports: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Jacksonville, FL (JAX) Orlando, FL (MCO) Tampa, FL (TPA)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: September 18
  • After this date, the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.

CARIBBEAN

  • Travel dates: August 27-30
  • Covered airports: Aguadilla, PR (BQN); Port-au-Prince, HT (PAP); Punta Cana, DO (PUJ); Santo Domingo, DO (SDQ); San Juan, PR (SJU); Santiago, DO (STI)
  • Modification Charge/Fare Difference waived through: September 5
  • After this date, the modification charge is waived, but a fare difference may apply.

Guests can make changes to their reservations affected by this event by going to our Manage Travel page, or by calling the Spirit Reservations Center at 801-401-2222 to make their flight changes. To make changes to Spirit Vacation packages contact Spirit Vacations at 954-379-8866.

United

  • Travel dates: August 29-September 4
  • Covered airports: Ft. Lauderdale, FL (FLL) Ft. Myers, FL (RSW) Jacksonville, FL (JAX)​ Key West, FL (EYW)​ Miami, FL (MIA)​ Nassau, BS (NAS)​ Orlando, FL (MCO)​ Sarasota, FL (SRQ)​ Tampa, FL (TPA)​ West Palm Beach, FL (PBI)​
  • The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing between August 29, and September 11, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.
  • For wholly rescheduled travel departing after September 11, or for a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

Protect Your Travels

Hurricane Dorian is another reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. When I got stuck in Japan for four extra days due to a typhoon, I was very grateful for the Citi Prestige’s trip delay protection, which reimbursed $1,000 of our expenses.

Unfortunately Trip Delay Protection is being eliminated on the Citi Prestige — and all other Citi cards — for flights booked on or after September 22, 2019. Starting then, I’ll be using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to book my flights going forward. Other top choices are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card — which each offer protection starting with a 6-hour delay. In addition, there are six other cards where the protections kick in after a 12-hour delay.

The information for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Featured image a NOAA media handout via Getty Images

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