Hurricane Matthew: More Airlines Waiving Fees For U.S. Flights

LATEST UPDATE HERE: Airlines change-fee waivers expand north as Matthew nears (Wednesday, Oct. 6)

Air travelers were keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Matthew as forecasts continued to show it tracking toward the U.S. East Coast later this week.

Underscoring the ominous forecast, several big U.S. airlines have extended their Matthew-related change-fee waivers to cover U.S. airports.

That all comes as Matthew churns through the Caribbean and looks increasingly likely to at least come close to Florida and other East Coast states. A U.S. landfall remained a possibility by late week, though the storm’s projected path still had a large degree of uncertainty.

For now, Matthew forced airlines to cancel some flights to Caribbean islands like Jamaica, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos.  U.S. fliers headed to those regions this week should prepare for disruptions.

The complete cessation of flights is likely for parts of Cuba and in the Bahamas, where the nation's busiest airport has already said it will suspend all flight operations sometime Wednesday. Other airports in the nation were halting flights Tuesday.

The U.S. State Department had issued travel warnings related to Matthew, advising Americans in parts of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Bahamas to leave ahead of the storm, if possible.

By Tuesday afternoon, the nation's three biggest airlines -- American, Delta and United -- had all added certain U.S. destinations to their change-fee waivers. JetBlue had done the same. Previously, all the Matthew-related change-fee waivers of U.S. airlines had been limited to Caribbean destinations.

Generally speaking, the change-fee waivers allow customers to make one change to their itineraries without paying additional charges or fares. The fine print varies by airline and by destination.

More airlines will likely issue waivers for U.S. airports as Matthew continues to track closer to the U.S. coastline.

Scroll down for links to the waiver policies in place at U.S. airlines as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 4. (UPDATE: See the latest update to airline waiver policies here)

Allegiant Air

As of Tuesday afternoon, Allegiant said on its website: “The Allegiant operations team is closely tracking Hurricane Matthew, as well as the local weather systems throughout Florida. At this time, no flights have been affected. All flights are currently being operated as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the weather and communicate with affected passengers as needed. Passengers scheduled to travel to or from Florida on Allegiant should continue to monitor this page for updates, or sign up for flight alerts here:https://www.allegiantair.com/flight-alerts."

American Airlines

Florida cities: Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Key West, Melbourne, Miami Orlando, West Palm Beach.

Caribbean destinations: Covers several cities in Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked for the following dates: Varies by destination

Full details: American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

Florida: Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Key West, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach.

Caribbean: Covers several cities in Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked for the following dates: Varies by destination

Full details: Delta Air Lines

Frontier Airlines

As of Tuesday afternoon, Frontier said on its website: “We are monitoring the storm and its possible impact. As the week progresses, and forecasts become more reliable, we’ll be posting further updates.”

JetBlue

Caribbean: Covers several cities in Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos.

U.S. cities: Charleston, S.C.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Fort Lauderdale; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando; Raleigh/Durham; Savannah, Ga.; West Palm Beach.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked for the following dates: Varies by destination

Full details: JetBlue

Silver Airways

Covers numerous destinations in the Bahamas.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked on the following dates: Oct. 4-5

Full details: Silver Airways

Southwest Airlines

Covers Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Nassau, Bahamas.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked on the following dates: Varies by destination

Full details: Southwest Airlines

Spirit Airlines

Covers Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Waiver extends to flights originally booked on the following dates: Oct. 2-3

Full details: Spirit Airlines

United Airlines

Florida cities covered: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach

Waiver extends to flights originally booked on the following dates: Oct. 5-7

Full details: United Airlines

USA Today


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