US Airlines Begin Preparations For Hurricane Zeta

US Airlines have begun preparations for the landfall of Hurricane Zeta on the US Gulf Coast. The hurricane has been upgraded to Category 2 strength, meaning that it could impact operations at many coastal airports. Airlines have begun offering flight and date change waivers for flights in the next few days to or from airports in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

American Airlines
US airlines have begun preparing for the disruptions caused by the pending hurricane. Photo: Photo: Vincenzo Pace |

Big three begin preparations

As Hurricane Zeta starts to make landfall in the US at the time of writing, airlines have started preparing for disruptions. The storm has been upgraded to a Category 2 and the information below could be subject to change depending on the storm’s impact.

American Airlines is allowing all passengers flying between 27th and 29th October to rebook without extra charge for travel between 26th October to 1st November. This applies to all fare classes as long as the cabin, destination, and origin remain the same. The affected airports are Alexandria (AEX), Baton Rouge (BTR), Fort Walton Beach (VPS), Gulfport (GPT), Lafayette (LFT), Mobile (MOB), New Orleans (MSY), Panama City (ECP), and Pensacola (PNS).

Since change fees are now gone, passengers affected can also rebook by 29th October for travel any time in the next year but will need to pay any fare difference.

Delta and United
Airlines are allowing passengers to rebook with no charges in the coming days. Photo: Getty Images

United is allowing all passengers booked for travel on October 28th and 29th to fly without any charges before 31st October, as long as the cabin, origin, and destination remain the same. The policy extends to flights to and from the following airports, Baton Rouge (BTR), Gulfport (GPT), Lafayette (LFT), Mobile (MOB)​, New Orleans (MSY), Pensacola (PNS)​, Panama City (ECP)​, and Ft. Walton Beach (VPS).

Delta, too is offering free rebooking for passengers due to fly on the 28th and 29th of October if they fly on or before 1st November. Passengers can also fly after 1st November but will have to pay any applicable fare difference. This policy is in place for the same nine airports as American Airlines above.

Low cost airlines also step up

Southwest Airlines is offering the most flexible waiver, allowing passengers who are flying on 28th and 29th October to rebook onto any flights in the next 14 days. The origin and destination must remain the same. This policy covers flights from New Orleans, LA (MSY), Panama City, FL (ECP), and Pensacola, FL (PNS).

Frontier is offering passengers flying to/from New Orleans (MSY) on 28th October, one free rebooking for travel in the next 14 days. Meanwhile, JetBlue is offering passengers flying to/from New Orleans (MSY) on the 28th or 29th a free rebooking for travel through 1st November. Spirit Airlines is yet to provide any updates on travel waivers due to the storm.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737
Southwest is offering the most generous travel waiver. Photo: Vincenzo Pace |

As with every hurricane, the situation is fluid and policy dates are subject to change in the coming dates. Any passengers affected should reach out to their airlines to make a change to their itinerary.

What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comment section.