Hurricane Laura Heads Towards The United States

A significant storm in the Gulf of Mexico is brewing. Hurricane Laura is currently lurking off the coasts of Texas and Louisana. It expected to intensify into a Category 3 storm. Officials predict the hurricane to make landfall over southeast Texas overnight on Wednesday. They are urging people to get prepared, and airlines are doing their bit to help.

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Hurricane Laura is heading towards the Gulf states and airlines are offering impacted passengers fee-free changes. Photo: George Bush Intercontinental Airport Newsroom

Hundreds of flights in and out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston over Wednesday and Thursday are canceled. Airlines are relaxing fare rules and doing what they can to help impacted passengers.

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The big airlines’ waivers cover a swathe of airports

American Airlines is allowing passengers booked to fly in or out of 13 airports between August 25 and August 27 to rebook without charge to fly between August 25 and August 31. The airports included in this waiver are Alexandria (AEX), Baton Rouge (BTR),  Beaumont / Port Arthur (BPT), Gulfport / Biloxi (GPT),  Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Houston Hobby (HOU), Key West (EYW), Lafayette (LFT) Lake Charles (LCH), Mobile (MOB) Monroe (MLU), New Orleans (MSY), and Shreveport (SHV). Passengers must travel in the same cabin as originally booked, and the routing cannot change.

Over at United Airlines, passengers ticketed to fly in or out of nine airports on either August 26 or 27 can rebook to travel up to (and including) September 1 without penalty. The relevant airports are Baton Rouge (BTR), Beaumont/Port Arthur (BPT), Gulfport (GPT), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Lafayette (LFT), Lake Charles (LCH), Monroe (MLU), New Orleans (MSY), and Shreveport (SHV).

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Over 300 flights have been canceled at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Photo: George Bush Intercontinental Airport Newsroom

Delta Air Lines has similar waivers. Passengers ticketed to fly in or out of certain airports between August 25 and August 27 can rebook without charge to fly between August 25 and August 30. Delta is also allowing passengers a full credit valid for one year from the original issue date for the unused ticket’s value.

Delta’s waiver covers travel to and from the following airports; Alexandria (AEX), Baton Rouge (BTR),  Gulfport / Biloxi (GPT), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Houston Hobby (HOU), Lafayette (LFT), Monroe (MLU), New Orleans (MSY), and Shreveport (SHV).

The low-cost carriers also step up

Southwest Airlines’ waivers target passengers traveling to or from New Orleans and George Bush Intercontinental Airport at Houston. The New Orleans waiver covers travel booked on or between August 24 and August 27. The Houston waiver covers travel booked on or before August 25 and August 27. Impacted passengers can fly within two weeks of the original travel date without charge. The routing must remain the same.

Spirit Airlines is also focusing on New Orleans and Houston airports. Passengers ticketed on flights operating on or between August 25 and August 27 can rebook without charge for travel through to September 2. But Spirit Airlines notes a fare difference may apply.

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Frontier Airlines is offering one of the more generous waiver policies. Photo: Frontier Airlines Newsroom

Similarly, Frontier Airlines’ waivers apply to the same two airports. Passengers ticketed to travel between August 24 and August 27 may make one itinerary change. The airline says rules/restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will get waived. Passengers will need to travel by September 3. Frontier Airlines will also allow passengers whose flights got canceled to get a refund.

Authorities note the situation in the area is fluid at the moment. The airlines may amend the dates surrounding their waivers if the situation deteriorates further. Impacted passengers should contact their airline.

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