With wind speeds reaching sustained levels of 80 mph on Thursday, the storm known as Harvey has quickly graduated to hurricane status and has many on the Gulf Coast preparing for the landfall. Given the dangers of traveling during a hurricane, many flights traveling through Texas and Louisiana may be rerouted and delayed over the weekend. So, if you're wondering what to do if Hurricane Harvey changes your flight, you're certainly not alone. Luckily, there are plenty of resources readily available.
In anticipation of the storm's effects, a handful of airlines are already working with travelers to negotiate possible changes. As of now, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and United are all waiving fees to customers who need to reschedule flights due to Hurricane Harvey.
If you're traveling with Frontier, the airline carrier has posted guidelines for those traveling through Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and NOLA throughout the weekend:
Customers who are ticketed to travel between Thursday, August 24, 2017 and Sunday, August 27, 2017, who purchased tickets on or before Wednesday, August 23, 2017, may make one itinerary change – rules/restrictions regarding standard changes, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements will be waived.
Similarly, United has offered free flight changes between the Aug. 25 and 27 for anyone traveling through airports in the Texas cities of Brownsville (BRO), College Station (CLL), Corpus Christi (CRP), Harlingen (HRL), Houston (IAH), and McAllen (MFE).
If you're worried about the possibility of your flight being changed, and the logistics thereof, the best move you can make is to check the airline's website and see what travel advisory they've posted.
Unfortunately, so far, most of them limit the waivers to flight changes, and don't offer full refunds. So, if you're hoping to cancel your trip altogether and grab a ticket somewhere else for next month — the likelihood is you'll be required to travel within this week, within the price range of your original ticket.
Awaiting these difficulties, on Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of emergency for 30 counties in Texas, saying:
Texans believe in taking action and always being prepared in the event of an emergency. That is why I am taking every precaution prior to Tropical Depression Harvey making landfall. Preemptively declaring a state of disaster will allow Texas to quickly deploy resources for the emergency response effort in anticipation of the storm's hazardous conditions.
"Harvey is expected to landfall around 1 a.m. Saturday, based on the current track. When it does make landfall, it is expected to not move for several days, which is why we expect the rainfall to be the most devastating," ABC News meteorologist Melissa Griffin said. "Some spots could receive over 30 inches."
Be sure to plan ahead if you're traveling in the next few days.