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Airlines Cap Florida Evacuee Fares, Deny Gouging

Image: Airlines Cap Florida Evacuee Fares, Deny Gouging

Planes at Miami International Airport. (DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 07 September 2017 06:53 AM

Several airlines capped evacuee fares out of Florida at between $99 and $159 after social media were flooded with complaints of "fare gouging" in the face of Hurricane Irma, while Delta set $399 as its price to flee.

While carriers and airline analyst disputed the social media fare gouging complaints, airlines made adjustments to flights departing Florida ahead of the monster storm, USA Today reported on Thursday.

The airlines and analysts claimed a sudden rush for flights ahead of Irma triggered sticker-shocking airfares and not price gouging, USA Today said.

"Last-minute fares are often more expensive in general," Georgia Hobica, founder of the website Airfarewatchdog, told USA Today. "I don't think airlines would be callous or stupid enough to be consciously jacking up fares.”

"It's just the computer programs doing what they do when it's last minute and seats are scarce. If there's any gouge, it's just the last minute walk-up airfares that are designed for desperate business fliers," Hobica continued.

JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines all announced adjustments in fares out of Florida. JetBlue limited one-way fares for nonstop flights to or from Florida at $99 with connecting flights capped at $159 through Sept. 13.

"We want those trying to leave ahead of the hurricane to focus on their safe evacuation rather than worry about the cost of flights," JetBlue spokesman Philip Stewart told the Miami Herald.

American introduced a $99 cap for main cabin seats on direct flights out of Florida sold through Sept. 10 for travel until Sept. 13,

JetBlue and American also dropped cancellation and change fees for rebooking in Hurricane Irma-connected flights, the Herald said.

A Delta statement said the airline was capping fares at $399 for flights to and from southern Florida through Sept. 13. The airline said it had been examining and adjusting fares in Florida since early this week when it was clear that the state could be targeted by Irma.

The carrier added that it has waived baggage and pet-in-cabin fees for customers traveling to or from the cities covered by a weather waiver issued for the region this week.

The American website said the airlines operations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando and West Palm Beach will be canceled throughout the weekend. Flights starting from Europe and South America that were scheduled to arrive Friday to those areas have also been canceled, American stated.

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Several airlines capped evacuee fares out of Florida at between $99 and $159 after social media were flooded with complaints of "fare gouging" in the face of Hurricane Irma, while Delta set $399 as its price to flee.
airlines, cap, florida, evacuee, fares, deny, gouging
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2017-53-07
Thursday, 07 September 2017 06:53 AM
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