Several U.S. carriers announced travel waivers and partial refunds for travelers with existing itineraries to or out of areas affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The Category 4 storm, which is currently in the Caribbean and heading towards the East Coast, has already forced hundreds of residents in Haiti and Jamaica into temporary shelters.
The U.S. State Department has been issuing travel warnings and is now advising Americans in parts of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Bahamas to leave as soon as possible, pending safe travel plans in place. recommending folks leave before the storm hits, when possible.
Several cruise lines including Carnival and Disney announced several Caribbean-bound ships would be changing routes. A few affected cruisers may be entitled to a full or partial refund.
On Tuesday afternoon, several airlines announced policy updates in the wake of the storm.
American Airlines--Travelers who booked travel to and from several Florida airports, and affected Caribbean locations, will be able to change their trip with no change fee.
Airports included for Florida travel originally scheduled between Oct. 6-7: Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Key West, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, Key West, and West Palm Beach.(rebooked travel must begin by Oct. 12).
Caribbean airports affected include: Cienfuegos, Cuba; Holguín, Cuba; Santa Clara, Cuba; Cap-Haïtien, Haiti; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Kingston, Jamaica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (rebooked travel must begin by Oct. 9).
Delta Air Lines -- The airline will allow affected travelers to cancel their trip or if you experience a flight delay of more than 90 minutes, the airline is offering a full refund for the unused portion of the ticket. Flight still scheduled?Ttravelers flying into or out of certain destinations can make a one-time change to their ticket without a fee.
Frontier Airlines -- Frontier didn’t have any flight changes to announce yet either. As of Tuesday, the airline’s site said, “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 --JetBlue will waive change or cancellation fees and fare differences for customers traveling to and from certain cities in both the U.S. and the Caribbean. Customers with cancelled flights may opt for a refund.
U.S. Airports included for travel originally scheduled between Oct. 6-9: Charleston, SC; Daytona Beach, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Orlando; Raleigh/Durham, NC; Savannah/Hilton Head, GA; and West Palm Beach, FL (Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Oct. 16, prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight).
Southwest Airlines -- The airline says scheduled service for Montego Bay, Jamaica between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5 might be disrupted, as well as its scheduled service to Nassau, Bahamas between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7. Customers holding reservations on those dates to and from affected cities may rebook their itinerary in within 14 days of their original date of travel without a fee.
Spirit Airlines -- Customers can have their ticket charge or fare difference waived through Oct. 14 if they’re traveling to, from or through Fort Lauderdale and Orlando between Oct. 6-7. After Oct. 14, ticket changes can still be made but a fare difference may apply.
United Airlines -- For flights originally booked for travel between Oct. 5-7, United will waive the change fee and any difference in fare for new flights departing on or before Oct. 12. Travel must be rebooked in the same fare class and between the same cities.
Affected airports included: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and West Palm Beach.