Airlines

Airlines offering change fee waivers due to wildfires

Airlines are offering change fee waivers and refunds in response to the California wildfires.

Some airlines are also helping out with emergency relief efforts for those affected by the fires.

See the links and tweets below for specific dates and details of the alerts airlines have posted.

 

Wildfires seen from space. Courtesy NASA

American Airlines  – The travel alert posted on November 11 offers change fee waivers for passengers booked travel to, through or from Burbank, California (BUR), Los Angeles, California (LAX), Oakland, California (OAK), Sacramento, California (SMF) and San Francisco, California (SFO) through November 13, 2018. Waiver is available for rebooked flights through November 18, 2018.

American will also give you 10 miles for every dollar you donate to the American Red Cross on donations of $25 or more.

Here’s the latest information from Hawaiian Airlines:

JetBlue is offering to waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling through Tuesday, November 12, to/from the Burbank (BUR), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF) and San Francisco (SFO).

The wildfire travel advisory for Southwest Airlines currently applies to flights booked through November 16 to, through or from Burbank (BUR), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF), San Francisco (SFO) and San Jose (SJC).

“Customers who are holding reservations on the abovementioned dates, and want to alter their travel plans may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with our accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge,” Southwest says on its website.

Here’s the most recent information on wildfire waivers from United Airlines:

Airlines are likely to update their policies regarding waivers and refunds as the fires continue.

If you’ve got travel planned to or through California, be sure to check your airline’s website or social media channels for the latest information.

And stay safe!

Airlines offer change fee waivers as Hurricane Michael roars in

 

 

 

Many airlines are offering waivers on change fees for passengers with booked flights to, through or from cities likely to be hit by Hurricane Michael.

Full refunds are available from some carriers as well.

 

This Weather Channel map should travelers make many travelers sit up and take notice.  Airlines certainly are.

Here’s a link to travel advisories from American Airlines and JetBlue and Tweets from some other airlines that have issued weather alerts.

If you’re getting on a plane soon, check with your airline for cancellations and complimentary changes you might be allowed to (or need to) make as this storm does its thing.

Airlines growing their own food? It’s a thing.

Airlines growing their own food? It’s a thing. Korean Air recently invited me to visit the company’s ranch in South Korea where they farm livestock,  chicken, veggies, fruit and bottle their own water to serve to passengers.

Other airlines have farming projects underway as well.

I have story – with lots of photos- from my farm visit on USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky. Here are some highlights of the story.

Back in 1972, when beef was in short supply in South Korea, the then chairman of Korea Air’s parent group bought a 3,700 acre ranch on South Korea’s Jeju Island.

Imported Angus cattle got things started, but now the herd is about 2,200 Korean native cattle known as Hanwoo.

Meat from these animals, and from the farm’s flock of approximately 6000 free-range chickens, is sent to Korean Air’s flight catering kitchens in Seoul for use in meals served to first and business-class passengers.

In addition to raising cows and chickens, the ranch also produces fruit, vegetables – and bottled water – for Korean Air passengers.

The water bottling plant at the ranch has been operating for 35 years and there they make and fill cups and bottles of the airline’s branded ‘Hanjin Jeju Pure Water.’  The water is pumped from 1,070 feet underground and filtered through layers of the island’s volcanic rock.

Other airlines explore agriculture

In 2015 JetBlue debuted a large milk-crate garden outside Terminal 5 at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport. Potatoes, vegetables and herbs grown there are donated to local food banks.

Japan Air Lines is creating a ‘you-pick’ agritourism attraction on land near Tokyo’s Narita International Airport that is scheduled to open in 2020. The carrier hopes to add food grown on that farm to in-flight and lounge menus.

And Emirates is having the world’s largest vertical farming facility built near the Dubai airport.  At full production, the daily harvest from the the 130,000-square foot facility should be about three tons of pesticide-free leafy greens that will be used in many of the meals Emirates Flight Catering prepares for 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges.

 

Updated airline travel alerts: Hurricane Florence and others

As Hurricane Florence, and others, move in, airlines are canceling flights, updating their travel advisories.  In many cases airlines are expanding the dates change fee waivers are being offered.

Some airlines are waiving bag fees and pet fees for travelers leaving affected southeast cities and capping the prices for the last seats on certain flights.

Courtesy The Weather Channel

Courtesy The Weather Channel

Here are live links to the updated travel advisories from many domestic airlines. Many International airlines with flights into the affected areaas are canceling flights and offering waivers as well

As of Wednesday morning, September 12, here are some of the airlines that have posted notices.

These likely aren’t all the airlines adjusting schedules and suggesting passengers wait until the storms blow over. And it’s very possible that the dates these waivers cover will change as the hurricanes blow through.

If you’re flying somewhere this week be sure to check with you airline before heading to the airport. Airports may say they are open, but all their scheduled flights are canceled. Read the rules for refunds and pay attention to the dates covered. Most airlines are offering no-fee refunds and waived changed fees for flights that are rebooked for another time.

Alaska Airlines: A travel alert is posted for flights to or from Charleston (CHS) and Raleigh-Durham (DUR) for those with flights through September 16. Alaska also has an advisory for its flights to and from Hawaii, due to Hurricane Olivia.

American Airlines has a travel advistory posted covering 23 airports in the southeastern United States for those with tickets through September 16. American also has travel advisories posted for flights to an from Hawaii due to Hurricane Olivia and to the Caribbean due to Hurricane Isaac.

Delta Air Lines has travel alerts posted for more than a dozen southeast U.S. airports for travel scheduled through September 16 due to Hurricane  Florence,  for flights to or from various airports in Hawaii due to Tropical Storm Olivia and for flights to the Caribbean due to Hurricane Isaac.

Seven southeast airports are affected by the travel alert posted by Frontier Airlines 

Tropical Storm Olivia is affecting flights for Hawaiian Airlines, which has posted travel waivers as well.

The travel advisory for JetBlue affects flights to and from eight east coast airports through September 16.

Southwest Airlines’ travel alert covers 9 east coast airports its expects to be affected by Hurricane Florence through September 17 and . The airline is also offering travel waivers for San Juan Puerto Rico (SJU) and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (SJU) due to Hurricane Isaac.

United Airlines’ travel fee waiver covers 16 airlines in the southeast U.S. due to Hurricane Florence. Travel alerts remain posted for the airlines’ flights to and from Hawaiian airports and for flights affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Southwest Airlines tighens rules on emotional support animals

Southwest Airlines is the latest airline to tighten its policies on passengers traveling with trained service and emotional support animals.

The new rules go in to effect Monday, September 17, 2018.

Under Southwest Airlines’ new rules, each customer will only be able to travel with one emotional support animal (or ESA) and ESAs will be limited to only cats and dogs.

During travel, the airline will always require each ESA to be kept in its carrier or be kept on a leash.

Customers traveling with ESAs will continue to be required to present a complete, current letter from a medical doctor or licensed mental health professional on the day of departure.

As part of these new policies, Southwest is also recognizing fully-trained psychiatric support animals (PSAs) as trained service animals.

The airline said it informally accepted PSAs as trained service animals in the past. Now the airline will formally accept this type of service animal. PSAs are animals that are specially trained to perform a task or work for a person with a mental health-related disability. To travel with these animals, the airline will require only a credible verbal assurance.

When it comes to traditional trained service animals, Southwest says it is going to adopt the DOT guidelines and accept only dogs, cats, and miniature horses.

“For the health and safety of our Customers and Employees, unusual or exotic animals will not be accepted,” the airline said in a statement and, “As is the case today, the Customer with the disability must be able to provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.”

“We welcome emotional support and trained service animals that provide needed assistance to our Customers,” said Steve Goldberg, Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality said in statement, “However, we want to make sure our guidelines are clear and easy to understand while providing Customers and Employees a comfortable and safe experience.”

Southwest’s new rule announcement comes affter Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, and United have also updated their policies.

What do you think of the new rules? Fair?