What to Do If Your Flight Is Cancelled Because of a Hurricane
With some 3,630 flights cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, your recent travel plans may have been impacted before, during, or as the storm and its aftermath unfurls. Maybe you didn't have plans to travel but the hurricane has you wondering what the protocol is if your flight is cancelled because of the weather. Here's what you need to know.
First off, don't expect hotel accommodations and meal vouchers. "If your flight is canceled due to weather events — including tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, fog, and floods, to name a few — airlines have policies in place to accommodate travelers. The first thing you must know is that you will not receive any compensation or sleeping accommodations from the airline for the cancellation since it was what is considered an Act of God outside the carrier's control," writes Benet Wilson on TripSavvy. "And when weather events happen, there are usually hundreds of flights that are affected, so you're not alone."
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If your flight is cancelled, it's best to reach out directly to your airline, since policies and rebooking protocol vary between air carriers. In light of Hurricane Florence, travel company KAYAK put together a handy list of airline's landing pages for the storm here.
Delta, for instance, has a generous policy for those traveling in areas along Hurricane Florence's path even if your flight wasn't cancelled: "If you wish to cancel your trip as a result of a flight cancellation or significant delay (90 minutes or more), you are entitled to a refund for the unused portion of your ticket. Even if your flight is not canceled, you may make a one-time change to your ticket without fee if you are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the following destination(s) on Delta, Delta Connection®, or Delta-coded flights during the specified time periods listed below," the company states on its website.
Meanwhile, United is issuing travel waivers for customers to change to an alternate flight without a fee, and waiving the fee for bags and in-cabin pets for destinations impacted by the storm. One thing the airlines won't tell you on their travel alerts page? Keep cool, be kind to airline personnel, and take deep breaths.
For more advice, check out 5 Important Things Every Traveler Must Do If Their Flight Is Cancelled or Delayed.