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The western United States has been ravaged by wildfires this year, particularly along the California coast. Terrifying satellite images from NASA’s Earth Observatory show that the latest series of fast-moving fires, including Thursday morning’s Camp Fire 90 miles north of Sacramento, is visible all the way from space.

Now the worst fire in California history is beginning to disrupt air traffic operations at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). United and American have already issued waivers, and other airlines are monitoring the situation to consider following suit. The official airport SFO Twitter account stated Friday that “Butte County wildfires are impacting some flights at SFO. The devastating wildfires are causing unhealthy air quality conditions, reduced visibility, and widespread smoke and haze. SFO is experiencing some delays and cancellations. Please check with your airline for flight details.” Saturday morning’s inbound flights were experiencing delays averaging around 48 minutes due to compromised visibility, according to FlightAware. In further bad news, the San Jose Mercury News meteorologists anticipate that lack of wind means that the smoke will stick around at least through the weekend.

370-odd miles to the south, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has yet to be directly impacted by the separate wildfires raging in the region, although the smoke cloud can be clearly seen from the airport.

Interested in donating to wildfire victims and relief? You can earn United miles while you’re at it by donating to any of several organizations that have partnered with the carrier.

This post has been updated to clarify that the smoke visible at LAX is from the Southern California wildfires.

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 amextravel.com.
  • 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
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
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.