In expectation of Hurricane Earl affecting the weather, airlines have begun waiving fees, offering customers the option to re-book their flights or refund their tickets, and ways to keep up to date with the weather and flights.
The country's biggest airline, Delta Air Lines is offering free one-time changes to customers whose flights may be affected by weather from Hurricane Earl. Changes to origin and destination, however, may result in a fare increase at the time of rebooking Its weather advisory encourages its customers to postpone or reroute their travel to avoid expected East Coast flight delays. Customers whose flights are cancelled can submit for a refund.
Customers currently booked on Delta-ticketed flights to, from or through 21 cities Thursday and Friday, September 3 and 4, can immediately change their trip for before or after their original travel, for travel by September 11, 2010. The 21 cities include Baltimore, Bangor, ME, Boston, Charlottesville, VA, Hartford, CT, Jacksonville, NC, Manchester, NH, Nantucket, MA, Newark, New Bern, NC, Newburgh, NY, Newport News/Williamsburg, VA, New York (JFK/LGA), Norfolk (VA), Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence (RI), Richmond (VA), Washington D.C., White Plains and Wilmington (NC).
Flight delays are most expected September 3 and 4, when Delta's flight may be reduced to minimize delays. The airline encourages its passengers to check their flight status online, before arriving at the airport, where the weather and other updates will be available.
Continental Airlines offers its passengers to options to reschedule without penalty. The airline reports customers' fastest and most convenient way to change their flight is through its website, continental.com. Customers who have booked flights to, from or through affected airports through September 5, 2010, can book a one-time date or time change to their itinerary without penalty providing rescheduled travel originates by September 19. If a flight has been canceled, passengers can request a refund in the original form of payment.
The airline expected delays and cancellations of flights at sites, including Newark Liberty International Airport and suggests travelers may wish to delay their trip. Passengers can get the latest flight information and operations summary online by entering their confirmation number and last name in "Manager Reservations." They can also get automated flight status information at 800-784-4444 or by calling the airline's reservation line at 800-525-0280.
Customers may also choose to receive TripAlert messages about changes to their flight's departure and arrival times. Passengers who are OnePass members can customize their TripAlert setting through their One Pass profile. Travelers who are not members may receive their message through email by providing an email address when making their initial flight reservation. If an email address is not available, the airline will try to reach them by phone.
Affected passengers of AirTran Airways can make free changes without penalty on the airline's website. AirTrain is also taking into consideration the National Hurricane Center's forecasts for Tropical Storm Fiona, as well Hurricane Earl. Customers booked to/from affected airport from September 1 through September 4, 2010, can change their flight, in the easiest way on the airline's site, or at 1-800-AIR-TRAN.
Airline customers traveling to/from the following airports have the option for penalty-free changes, including San Juan, Puerto Rico, Richmond (VA), Raleigh-Durham (NC), Asheville (NC), Newport News-Williamsburg (VA), Washington D.C. (Dulles and Reagon), Baltimore-Washington (NYC), Philadelphia and Boston.
Passengers can change their flight to an alernate date starting one day prior to their original travel day through three days after their original travel date. AirTrain may make neccessary flight schedule according to the situation.