World & Nation

Flying over the next few days? Here’s how Hurricane Florence may affect your plans

Chicago Tribune

As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas, airlines are encouraging customers traveling through areas in the path of the storm to reschedule travel and are limiting fares and waiving fees in some cities.

Florence is expected to approach the Carolina coast late Thursday or early Friday, and forecasters have warned it could bring catastrophic flooding.

Southwest Airlines said it had begun canceling flights. The airline suspended operations at Charleston International Airport on Tuesday, canceling all flights to or from the South Carolina airport through Friday evening. The airline also has announced plans to shut down service at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina and Virignia’s Norfolk International Airport and Richmond International Airport beginning Thursday, canceling Friday flights as well.

American Airlines canceled 80 flights Wednesday and 485 between Thursday and Sunday at some airports in North Carolina and South Carolina and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.


United Airlines and Delta Air Lines had not announced cancellations as of noonWednesday. Delta said it would evaluate possible flight changes and cancellations as it gets additional information on weather forecasts, potential airport closures, evacuation warnings and conditions on the ground. The airlines said it added more than 1,000 seats by switching to larger aircraft and adding flights to help with evacuation efforts in cities in the storm’s path.

But those carriers are waiving fees for customers who want to reschedule travel through areas likely to be hit by the storm.

United is letting customers who booked trips from or through 16 airports in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia between Monday and Sunday reschedule without paying flight change fees.

Delta waived fees for travelers flying through 16 airports in the same states, and American is waiving fees at 23 airports.


United and Delta also said they would eliminate fees for checked bags and in-cabin pets on flights to or from certain cities, and American is waiving those fees on flights departing certain airports expected to be affected by the hurricane. American, United and Delta all said they would offer fares below typical rates for last-minute bookings in certain cities likely to be affected by the storm.

Delta is barring unaccompanied minors from flying to or through nine airports in the storm’s path between Wednesday and Monday, though children will still be able to fly out of those cities alone.

Some airlines are waiving fees for travelers looking to reschedule flights through cities expected to be affected by two other storms: Olivia, which is headed toward Hawaii, and Isaac in the Caribbean.

Twitter @laurenzumbach

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