Travel waivers issued for Hurricane Irma
Category 5 storm is approaching the Leeward Islands.
While Texas is still dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, a slew of major American airlines have begun releasing travel advisories in relation to another potential storm disaster, Hurricane Irma.
Earlier today, the US National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Irma to a Category 5 storm as it barrels toward the Leeward Islands, labelling the system as “potentially catastrophic”.
The Center issued official hurricane warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra.
At this stage the storm is forecast to track over Puerto Rico on Wednesday evening, passing by the Dominican Republic and Haiti 24 hours later, before reaching Cuba on Friday, with outer edges of the hurricane possibly making landfall in the Florida keys as early as Saturday.
“Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days,” the advisory stated.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday in preparation for Irma’s arrival.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines have all issued travel advisories pertaining to Hurricane Irma and will waive change fees for travelers to re-schedule affected flights, free of charge. However, these allowances do not include Florida or mainland US.
Similar alerts were issued ahead of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall on Texas’ Gulf Coast less than a fortnight ago.
“As the storm’s path becomes more defined, the airlines are likely to be proactive about canceling flights and issuing waivers for Florida and other areas in the Southeast,” IBM Global Business Services director of weather strategy Paul Walsh told CNBC.
If you are travelling in or through affected areas, check your airline’s travel advisory for the latest information and subscribe to any mobile and email notifications available to stay up-to-date.
Compare travel insurance policies in preparation for your next trip.