Preparedness & Recovery

Airlines Control Prices to Facilitate Florida Exit Ahead of Hurricane Irma

American Airlines capped single leg flights out of Miami, Fla., at $99, while JetBlue reduced fares on remaining seats on flights in the areas expected to be impacted by the weather to between $99 and $159.

by Phil Demers, MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. / September 7, 2017
AP

(TNS) - Major airlines are announcing various measures designed to control prices to help people get out of Florida and the Caribbean ahead of Hurricane Irma.

American Airlines capped single leg flights out of Miami, Fla., at $99, while JetBlue reduced fares on remaining seats on flights in the areas expected to be impacted by the weather to between $99 and $159, plus tax.

Delta capped prices on its flights to and from southern Florida and Caribbean at $399.

An American company press release on Wednesday said the majority of its flights out of the area of Miami have sold out, but announced intentions to add more.

The price caps will remain, according to all three airlines, through Sept. 13.

The massive storm sustained category 5 winds of more than 180 miles per hour as it hammered the Caribbean Islands on Wednesday into Thursday, causing massive damage and leading to 10 confirmed deaths so far, according to media reports.

National Weather Service says the hurricane, which was passing near the Dominican Republic and Haiti on the way to the Bahamas on Thursday morning, could make landfall in Florida on Sunday.

"Take this seriously, have a plan," Gov. Rick Scott said. "The cone has our entire state. And this thing is bigger than our entire state right now."

Mandatory evacuation orders had been issued in Monroe County and parts of Broward County as of Wednesday. Depending on the hurricane's path, a total of more than 6 million people could be subject to similar evacuation orders.

Evacuation orders were already straining the area's two lone highways north -- I-95 and I-75 -- Thursday morning, according to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

More evacuations of southeastern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas are expected to be issued in the coming days.

"The entire southeastern United States better wake up and pay attention," Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long told CNN.

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