With Hurricane Irma set to hit Florida this weekend, JetBlue caps prices at $99
With hurricane Irma set to hit South Florida this weekend, naturally many Floridians are preparing to evacuate. Evacuating by car can leave thousands of people sitting in gridlock traffic for several hours — if not days — those who can afford to fly out of the state to safety have been desperately searching for available flights.
Unfortunately, many prices for airfare out of Florida have increased in light of the coming hurricane. But that’s not the case for JetBlue.
According to the Washington Post, JetBlue is offering flights out of various cities in Florida for a flat rate of $99. By making flights more affordable, hopefully it helps more people get out of harm’s way. Of course the flights are booking up like crazy, even though they’re technically available through September 13.
On their website, JetBlue commented on the Hurricane Irma evacuations:
Following updated forecasts tracking Hurricane Irma and announcements from local airport authorities, we currently have canceled 878 flights through Monday, September 11th. We are working to provide additional flights where we can and communicating directly with impacted customers. For customers with existing scheduled flights, JetBlue continues to waive cancellation fees as well as waiving change fees and differences in air fare for rebooking.
Of course airlines have to adhere to weather conditions and take every safety precaution, however a quick little search for one-way flights out of Tampa for Sunday, September 11 still proved fruitful: the $99 fare is still in effect and seats are still available as of Thursday afternoon.
Other airlines haven’t been so generous, it seems. Irate customers have taken to (where else?) the internet to air their grievances about excessive airfare rates for those looking to evacuate the Florida area before the storm hits.
— Leigh (@LeighDow) September 5, 2017
Fares will go up as flights sell out and it’s not unusual to see higher prices for the last few seats on a flight that is in high demand.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) September 6, 2017
The practice of trying to benefit monetarily during a state of emergency is also known as price-gouging, which is actually illegal in the state of Florida. But because airlines are regulated by the federal government, they don’t have to abide by state laws.
All the more reason to be thankful for airlines like JetBlue and their $99 rate — it’s nice to see a company stepping up to do a good deed during a time of crisis. If you need to get out of Florida and are looking for flights, check their website posthaste.