Travelers complain of airfare gouging as Hurricane Irma approaches

Personal Finance


Mark Elias | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An American Airlines Group Inc. 737 jet takes off from Miami International Airport (MIA) in Miami, Florida.

Several airlines say they are taking steps to add capacity or lower prices. Most have also issued waivers to help travelers change plans.

In a statement, industry group Airlines for America said its member airlines — which include American, JetBlue, Southwest and United, among others — “are working around the clock to accommodate customers.”

“Some carriers serving the impacted areas are adding flights and temporarily reducing or capping fares out of cities in the path of Hurricane Irma,” according to the statement.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, an American Airlines spokeswoman said the airline has added flights and shifted to larger aircraft when possible.

“We have not changed our pricing structure, and, in fact have added capacity to help get customers out of the affected areas,” she said.

JetBlue announced Wednesday that it would cap fares for one-way direct flights in select markets that still have seat availability. Those reduced fares run $99 to $159, including taxes, a spokesman said in an emailed statement to CNBC.

“We have added flights to our schedule out of select cities where we have aircraft available,” according to JetBlue’s statement.

Delta did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but in a news release on its site, said it has added flights and increased the size of aircraft on flights out of south Florida.The carrier also said it has been monitoring fares amid rising demand for seats.

“For flights departing south Florida in the next week, Delta reduced its highest fares, typically seen when customers are booking last minute travel when inventory is low and demand is highest,” according to the release.

United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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