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The Houston airports are now officially re-opened, but sadly that doesn’t mean that most flights are making it in or out. Being officially re-opened is a huge step in the right direction, but it is just one of many steps that have to be taken before things even resemble normal around here.
Let’s talk about Hobby first. Hobby is officially open as of 4PM on Wednesday, but its main airline, Southwest, says they won’t be operating flights in or out of Hobby until at least noon on Saturday. In other words, this is a step by step ramp up situation and even once things do start, there is an untold numbers of folks who have been waiting a week to get in or out.
Southwest specifically is allowing customers who were scheduled to fly in or out of Hobby to change their origin or destination without paying any additional charge to Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, or San Antonio if their original dates of travel are August 24 – September 12, 2017.
Delta has said that they hope to restart flights out of Hobby on Thursday, and out of IAH tonight.
On the north side, IAH is also officially reopened today as of 4PM, and they expect a phased return to normal service, with full service expected by this weekend. A spot check of their main carrier, United, shows that indeed most flights are still cancelled tomorrow, and even into Friday a large portion are already cancelled. In fact, their website states that If you have an upcoming United flight that includes travel through Houston, they recommend postponing your travel until conditions improve. That sums things up quite nicely I believe.
I do see a United flight to Chicago still trying to get out tonight, one to Chicago still on track tomorrow morning on a fancy United 777-300ER, and a 767 still set to go to Newark tomorrow afternoon, but most flights just aren’t going to get off the ground for the next few days, even to the hub cities.
My in-laws are hoping to get out on United on Friday, but I’d put their odds at 50/50 since many flights that day are already cancelled, and more could join that fate.
Things are moving in the right direction, but until then I hope you are putting your credit card’s trip delay and cancellation coverage into full effect.
The airlines are requesting that you check the status of your individual flight before heading to the airport. If your flight is not scheduled to depart, it is likely best to try rebooking over the phone or online rather than head to the airport if at all possible. That said, I know many are anxious to finally get out of Houston, so my fingers are crossed you get on one of the first flights out if that is your goal.
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