People still looking to evacuate Florida before Hurricane Irma hits have another option as a private jet company opened its flights to the public to help more people escape the storm.
Delta said it was adding flights and would use larger planes to add more than 2,000 seats for passengers in Irma's path in Florida - including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando - and the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
Irma's arrival marks the second time in as many weeks US airline operations will be disrupted by a powerful storm. These flights, though, were already sold out or almost sold out.
United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and other carriers are closing up shop at Florida airports after flying as many passengers as possible out of the path of the storm and giving their staff time to prepare. Are the airlines price gouging people who are trying to get out of Hurricane Irma's way?
Following the PR nightmare, Delta capped flight prices at $399 Wednesday afternoon.
But while airlines offered some cheap flights out of south Florida after complaints, passengers said that did little good if all the flights were fully booked or canceled. For Thursday flights were costing as much as $1,260, and for Friday the going rate was around $573, according to Kayak numbers.
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Lopinto also says airlines can file different fares every hour, so they have the ability to bring down the price for tickets. "I don't think that's fair", Slabaugh said.
"Following meetings with airline partners, MCO will cease commercial ops at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, 9/9/17", the airport wrote on Twitter.
Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who had been pressuring airlines to aid in evacuating Florida residents, spoke with airline executives on Thursday and urged them to add more flight outs of Florida.
Airlines' customer service practices have come under fire in recent months, and just a year ago, US carriers were cleared in a federal investigation regarding exorbitant fare mark-ups in the wake of a deadly Amtrak derailment that drove up demand for air travel on some routes. The airport said that 17 scheduled flights were cancelled for Friday, September 8, 2017, a number likely to change.
Resumption of service will be based on airport and roadway conditions and the airline's ability to get its employees to work., American said. Many cancellations were reported to and from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and to the Houston area, still affected by Harvey.
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