Gouging? Delta's $3000 fare to escape Hurricane Irma

Faith Castro
September 12, 2017

United States airlines are adding extra seat capacity and implementing ticket fare caps on flights in Hurricane Irma's destruction path, as evacuations continue in Florida.

The website Consumerist.com reports a Delta flight from Miami to Phoenix jumped this week from $500 to $3,000. Before coming to the airport, please confirm that your flight is still operating.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m. Thursday: Orlando Sanford International airport will suspend commercial flights after 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

No flights are scheduled Monday from several major airports in Florida, including Miami International, as officials assess damage from Hurricane Irma.

All American flights remain canceled through today at 12 other Florida airports, as well as Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.

More than 3,800 US flights scheduled for Monday were canceled by late morning, and more than 9,000 since Saturday, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Almost 65% of all gas stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market were without fuel on Saturday, according to estimates from crowdsourcing platform GasBuddy.

"We want those trying to leave ahead of the hurricane to focus on their safe evacuation rather than worry about the cost of flights", JetBlue spokesman Philip Stewart told the Miami Herald. The airlines with the most flights canceled are Allegiant Travel Co.

More news: Irma: Flooding hits Jacksonville, Charleston and Savannah

Marilyn Funk of Palmetto Fla. arrives at Albany International Airport after escaping from the impeding Hurricane Irma on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Colonie, N.Y.

"This will be a devastating storm for central Florida, Tampa, Fort Myers, Naples (and) all the way down to Key West", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Saturday afternoon. They pair said people should always evacuate.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp., and Spirit Airlines Inc. all gained at least 2 percent in midday trading. Tampa International Airport also remains closed.

Diaz, who grew up in Miami but is in school at Andrews University in MI, scoured Expedia.com Tuesday afternoon for a flight for her mother, adult cousin, 71-year-old grandmother, 11-year-old sister to NY.

Hurricane Irma is disrupting travel across much of the U.S. Southeast even as the storm loses force.

The number of planes being moved out of Florida will rise if airports in northern and western areas of the state are hard hit, said Mead & Hunt's Blissit.

"Heavy winds and rain Monday [are] expected to impact some flights", the airline said.

"So it's not a weather issue that canceled the flight", he said. The earliest arrival of these winds is now expected around late Friday night/early Saturday morning.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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