Airlines

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?

Southwest Airlines has served its last little bag of peanuts

 

Southwest Airlines has served its last little bag of peanuts.

Earlier this month Southwest Airlines announced that, in the interest of the health of passengers with peanut allergies, the airline would stop serving peanuts during flights starting August 1.

“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA,” the airline said in a statement, “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights…Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight.”

 

To mark the day, Orlando International Airport set aside a display case containing the ‘relics of aviation history.’

Will you miss the peanuts?

Delta Air Lines’ new uniforms. Passport plum and all

Delta Air Lines’ 64,0000 uniformed employees will look different.

It is the new uniforms created by fashion designer Zac Posen and produced by Lands’ End that we’ve been hearing about and now get to see in the sky and in airport terminals being worn by  Airport Customer Service, Delta Cargo, In-Flight Service, Ground Support Equipment Maintenance and TechOps employees.

Delta didn’t just give Zac Posen the contract and say “Come back when you’re done.” Here’s the process the airline says it used to get from the old uniforms to here:

  • A Cross Divisional Uniform Committee made up of 24 employees from each frontline division helped guide the three-year uniform creation and development process
  • 80+ employee focus groups that Zac Posen and Lands’ End teams attended
  • 165+ changes made based on direct employee feedback
  • 73 hours spent collecting data via job shadows by Zac Posen and his design team
  • 52 stations across the globe involved in focus groups and job shadows
  • 1,000 employee wear testers who put the uniform to the test over 3 months and across 5 continents
  • 30,000+ survey responses and emails from employees
  • 64,000 uniformed employees across 300+ stations around the globe
  • 60,000+ Wings and Name Bard handmade in the U.S. by Engage2Excel
  • 200+ show options available via Zappos at Work
  • 3+ years in the making
  • 25,000+ employees fitted
  • 1.2M items were produced for the May 29 launch

Delta’s uniforms used to be navy and red. Now they’re Passport Plum – a shade said to flatter every skin tone – Cruising Cardinal, Groundspeed Graphite, Traveling Thistle and Skyline Slate – and have signature details incorporated such as a collar on the women’s blouse that is inspired by the wing of an airplane, and pockets for passports and pens.

Here’s Delta’s new in-flight safey video, with special appearances by – the new uniforms:

This summer everyone may be at the airport

The Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the busy summer travel season and it looks like a lot of people will be spending a lot of time in airports.

According to the trade group Airlines for America (A4A), a record 246.1 million passengers — an average of 2.68 million per day — are expected to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.

That number is up 3.7 percent from last year’s record of 237.3 million passengers.

Below is the group’s handy infographic that explains what’s in store.

A4A’s tally doesn’t include the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but if you’re headed to the airport this weekend keep in mind that security checkpoint lines are apt to be longer than usual (I’ve gotten a couple of  alerts from my my airline already, which makes me a bit nervous) with many kids and out-of-practice travelers in the mix.

As always, arrive early and pack your patience.