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Airlines Allowing Free Ticket Changes Due to Weather

This satellite image taken Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 and released by NASA shows Hurricane Madeline, left, and Hurricane Lester over the Pacific Ocean in a composite built from two overpasses by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite. The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning as the storm dubbed Madeline churned west Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, toward the island, urging residents to rush through preparations to protect themselves and their property and expect hurricane conditions within the next 36 hours. (NASA via AP) ORG XMIT: NY115

Some airlines are allowing customers to rebook flights without fees due to severe weather in the southeast and Hawaii.

As Hurricanes Madeline and Lester power their way to Hawaii, airlines are taking note of the potential flight delays and cancellations due to related storms in the state.

Five major airlines—American, United, Hawaiian, Delta, and Alaska — are offering travelers to and from Hawaii who have flights for Wednesday or Thursday to change their flight free-of-charge or to receive a refund if they decide not to fly. That doesn’t mean the original flight will be cancelled, though – the goal here is to give travelers more flexibility in hotel and travel plans.

“We want to limit the number of displaced customers on the front end,” Delta Air Lines spokesperson Michael Thomas told the LA Times.

The east coast is getting hit with bad weather, too, courtesy of Tropical Storm Hermine. As a result, Delta, American, Southwest, JetBlue, and United are offering a similar deal — if someone is traveling on a day expected to be impacted by weather to certain locations in Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas, they can change their tickets with no fee. The typical cost to change flights is about $200, USA Today reported.

Hurricane Madeline is expected to hit Hawaii on Thursday morning. Hurricane Lester may weaken, but will still hit the islands. In order to alter a flight, check with the airline to see what days and routes are covered, then rebook within the dates allowed or cancel completely.

[Photo: EPA / NASA Earth Observatory]

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