Airlines including United, Delta and Southwest have posted flight waivers for travelers concerned about flying amid the threat of approaching Hurricane Sally.
Sally, which was upgraded Monday from a tropical storm to a Category 2 hurricane, is likely to bring “life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and flash flooding” along the Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said. The floods could span from the western Florida panhandle to southeastern Mississippi, it noted in a tweet Tuesday morning.
Sally has weakened slightly, as maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 90 mph, with higher gusts, according to an update from the Hurricane Center early Tuesday morning.
But the storm is expected to re-strengthen later Tuesday and become a dangerous hurricane when it moves onshore along the north-central Gulf coast.
Sally’s center will move near the coast of southeastern Louisiana later today, and make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning, the Hurricane Center said.
Visit each airline’s website for the latest updates on your flights and change fee procedures, as it’s typical for plans to change given the changing nature of storms.
American Airlines passengers traveling to, through or from airports in the Southeast U.S. may have their change fees waived if they meet certain conditions. They must have purchased tickets by Sept. 13; be scheduled to travel Sept. 15 to 16; and can travel between Sept. 13 to 21, among other conditions.
Delta is also waiving change fees for customers with flights scheduled Sept. 14 to 16 across a swath of airports in the Gulf region.
“Delta’s meteorologists are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Sally that could impact travel through six Gulf Coast stations,” according to a notice on Delta’s website. “The airline has issued a travel waiver that allows customers with flexibility in their travel plans to make a one-time change to their itinerary without incurring a change fee.”
JetBlue’s waiver covers passengers traveling to or from New Orleans through Sept. 15 who booked their flights by Sept. 13. New flights must be booked by Sept. 20.
Customers flying Sept. 14 to 16 to certain Southeast airports won’t face additional charges if they update their travel plans within two weeks of their original travel date and stick to the same origin and destination cities.
Spirit currently has a travel waiver for passengers traveling to or from New Orleans through Sept. 16. It is waiving change fees through Sept. 20.
United is waiving change fees and fare differences for United flights leaving on or before Sept. 20 across airports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida (a full list is available on the airline’s website under Tropical Storm Sally). Travelers must have already purchased tickets by Sept. 12, with flight dates between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16. In order to receive the waiver, they must also reschedule in the same cabin and between the same cities.
Contributing: John Bacon, Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY
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