Last update: 9:50 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 10.
ORIGINAL POST: Hurricane Florence could make a mess of air travel in the U.S. later this week.
Though some uncertainty remained about the exact track Florence would take, it looked increasingly likely that the storm could make landfall along the mid-Atlantic coast by Friday.
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Aside from the possibility of disrupting flights at airports along the coast, Florence could also disrupt flights in interior cities depending how the storm tracks after coming ashore.
Every big airline that flies to the region had enacted a flexible rebooking policy for flyers ticketed to airports likely to be in Florence’s path.
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Southwest will let customers flying though six airports in the Carolinas and Virginia later this week to make one change to their tickets without paying extra. Technically, Southwest never charges change fees on any of its ticket, but the waiver for Florence also allows eligible customers to make a change without paying a recalculated fare.
American is waiving its change fees -- which can cost $200 or more -- flor customers ticketed to fly to 23 airports in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas.
While Southwest's Florence waivers were announced during the weekend, it's taken other big airlines longer toll roll out their own. That's prompted criticism from some on social media who've said they faced change fees and fare differences as they attempted to change flights to deal with the storm.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the carrier had capped fares in the region to prevent prices from spiking as travelers rushed to book seats ahead of the storm.
Airline fares typically rise as flights sell out. While that move allows carriers to charge last-minute business travelers high fares, a run on tickets ahead of an impending storm also could trigger a price surge. That’s prompted some complaints of gouging during previous storms, a charge airlines are eager to avoid. Many big airlines now suspend typical last-minute pricing schemes during such events.
Another airline – ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant – warned on its website that Florence-related disruptions were possible, but it did not say it was offering fee waivers for flights in the storm's path.
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