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Airlines cancel flights as #HurricaneMatthew approaches US

Travel News

Florida - Airlines are cancelling some flights to the Caribbean and even the mainland US as Hurricane Matthew is expected to spin toward Florida later this week.

By late Tuesday, American Airlines had cancelled about 120 flights through Saturday, a spokesperson said. Nearly half were departures from Miami, mostly to Caribbean destinations.

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People watch waves splashing on the beach at Siboney ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba.

Delta Air Lines planned to check the latest storm-tracking models on Wednesday before deciding whether to scrap any Florida flights, according to an airline spokesperson.

Many US airlines are letting passengers change travel plans without penalty if their trip might be affected by the hurricane, which pounded Haiti on Tuesday and caused flooding that was blamed for several deaths.

* American said it would waive change fees on trips scheduled Thursday or Friday to or from eight cities in Florida. The airline had already offered waivers on trips scheduled through Thursday in several Caribbean nations including Cuba.

* United Airlines said it would waive change fees and any difference in fare for customers scheduled to fly Wednesday through Friday to, from or through five airports in Florida.

* Delta waived change fees on trips through Wednesday in the Caribbean and through Thursday at eight Florida destinations, although differences in the fare would still apply.

* JetBlue Airways said passengers flying Thursday through Sunday to or from eight cities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina can change planes without a fee or additional fare. A similar offer covers Caribbean travel through Thursday.

* Spirit Airlines said it would waive the change fee and fare difference on Florida trips Thursday and Friday.

The offers come with conditions that vary by airlines. Customers usually have just a few extra days to complete their rescheduled trip.

The fee to change a nonrefundable ticket on United, American and Delta is typically $200 (about R2 600) for domestic flights and usually more for international trips.

Travellers whose flights are cancelled can get a refund.

AP

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