As Hurricane Idalia made landfall along the Gulf Coast region, U.S. airlines and airports took preemptive measures to prioritize the safety of passengers and staff.
According to FlightAware, the number of cancellations on Thursday morning wasn't quite as bad as it was on Wednesday. Airlines know better than to second guess Mother Nature, so they're playing it safe.
In order to uphold the utmost safety standards, the FAA has also shut down air traffic facilities, and airport authorities have closed various airports, including runways and terminal buildings, that are projected to be in the storm's path.
Notable Florida airports like Tampa International Airport (TPA), St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Tallahassee International Airport (TLH), and Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) proactively closed in anticipation of the storm's arrival.
Airlines for America told ConsumerAffairs that these airlines are commited to remaining flexible and will adapt operational strategies according to what the storm does.
Flying into or out of the hurricane zone? A waiver is waiting for you.
In preparation for the bustling 2.7 million passengers boarding aircraft this Labor Day travel period, member airlines of the Airlines for America (A4A) association are extending flexibility to passengers whose travel plans are disrupted by the hurricane.
Many A4A-affiliated carriers have already introduced travel waivers, granting affected customers greater flexibility in rescheduling their flights. To their credit, these carriers are actively revising and updating these policies as the situation develops and not making it a one-time fix.
Here is how participating airlines are taking care of passengers affected by Hurricane Idalia:
Alaska Airlines has issued a travel advisory for customers who wish to change or cancel their flights to or from Fort Myers (RSW), Orlando (MCO) or Tampa (TPA).
Learn more on Alaska’s travel advisory page.
In response to Hurricane Idalia, American Airlines has issued a travel alert for 12 airports in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, allowing customers who are affected to rebook their trips without incurring any change fees.
Learn more on American’s travel alert page.
Delta Air Lines
For customers affected by Hurricane Idalia, Delta has issued travel waivers at 17 airports in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Customers scheduled to travel from August 28 to 31 are eligible for the waiver.
Learn more on Delta’s travel advisory page.
JetBlue will waive change and cancellation fees and fare differences for customers traveling August 29 - 31 to/from Charleston, SC (CHS), Fort Myers, FL (RSW), Jacksonville, FL (JAX), Orlando, FL (MCO), Sarasota, FL (SRQ), Savannah/Hilton Head, GA (SAV) and Tampa, FL (TPA).
Learn more on JetBlue’s travel alerts page.
Southwest is also issuing travel waivers for any customer scheduled to travel August 28 – 31 to/from Charleston, SC (CHS), Fort Myers, FL (RSW), Destin- Fort Walton (VPS), Jacksonville, FL (JAX), Myrtle Beach (MYR), Orlando, FL (MCO), Panama City (ECP), Pensacola (PNS), Sarasota, FL (SRQ), Savannah/Hilton Head, GA (SAV) and Tampa, FL (TPA).
Learn more on Southwest’s travel waiver page.
Flying somewhere into the hurricane zone on United? If your travel is scheduled to travel August 28 – 31 to or from any of these airports, there’s a travel waiver waiting for you: to/from Charleston, SC (CHS), Hilton Head (HHH) Fort Myers, FL (RSW), Destin- Fort Walton (VPS), Fort Myers, FL (RSW), Jacksonville, FL (JAX), Myrtle Beach (MYR), Orlando, FL (MCO), Panama City (ECP), Pensacola (PNS), Sarasota, FL (SRQ), Savannah/Hilton Head, GA (SAV) and Tampa, FL (TPA).
Learn more on United’s travel notice page.
Travelers with tickets for this weekend should check individual airline websites linked above for more details on travel waivers as they continue to update travel throughout the storm’s progression.
Those not affected by the hurricane should keep tabs on their flight's status at FlightAware.com.