Adjusting Plans to Fly During Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew Is on Its Way — Make Sure You’re Not.

Huge hurricane between Florida and Cuba. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Hurricane between Florida and Cuba. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Between work, kids, bills, and dinner, it’s easy to miss breaking news. In case you’ve fallen victim to a busy everyday life, (like most of us) we’re here to update you on the hurricane that might dampen upcoming plans. Hurricane Matthew is a 145-mph storm that has torn through Haiti and is about to hit the southeast coast. [1]  Some states in the region are declaring states of emergency. Residents of both Florida and the Carolinas are flocking to their local stores to stock up on bottled water, non-perishable goods, and other emergency supplies.

Even if you’re not directly in the storm’s path, it may affect upcoming travel plans. Anyone flying to Cuba, Haiti, the Bahamas, or any state in the southeast, might have to have a change of plans, or at the least, a change of planes, as flights are being canceled or delayed. We have two important pieces of advice to consider if you have plans to travel towards Hurricane Matthew.

Check if Your Airline is Offering Travel Waivers

Rarely will airlines allow you to change your flight without a fee. In wake of the Category 4 storm, select airlines are offering travel waivers to flyers who’s flights may be affected by Hurricane Matthew.   Anyone traveling with United Airlines to one of the 5 at-risk airports in Florida between now and Friday has the option to change their location with change fees and price difference waived by the airline.[2] We suggest taking up this offer if you qualify.  Other airlines are following suit. Delta Airline flyers headed to the Carribean between now and Wednesday can waive change fees. This deal also applies to those landing in Florida between now and Thursday. Other airlines, such as JetBlue and Southwest, are holding similar offers. [3] Be sure to contact your airline provider to see what your options are.

Look Up Your Flight’s Status Before Heading to the AirportClose up of airline flight monitor showing gate and departure time with shallow depth of field

Most airlines provide an area on their website to check the status of their flights. Save yourself the stress of arriving at the airport only to find  your flight has been canceled or delayed. This should be practiced anytime you travel, but it especially important in the presence of Hurricane Matthew. Although anyone flying to or from Florida is probably most vulnerable to unexpected changes, other southeast states like Georgia and the Carolinas may be susceptible to delays due to weather.[4]

Stay Grounded

Hurricane Matthews is a serious storm, but there is no need to panic. Taking the suggested action above can help ease the stress of a storm during your travel dates. The storm does not seem to be reported lasting longer than Friday. Airlines are trained to handle events like this, so they are ready to serve your needs during this unexpected change. In the words of the ever popular slogan: Keep calm and carry on.