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If you live near the coast and a massive hurricane is heading more or less straight for you, it isn’t unreasonable to want to book the next flight out of town. The only problem is that you are working with a limited time window and lots and lots of your friends, neighbors, and visiting tourists are doing the exact same thing. In advance of Hurricane Irma, I personally saw flight prices out of South Florida jump yesterday from under $100 on some routes to $500 – $1,000 within a matter of hours.
Some cry price gouging, some point to simple supply and demand, and I think that what happened with prices is probably just what the airline computers are programed to do when tickets start selling like hot cakes. I don’t see likely malicious intent in what happened with flight prices on most airlines, but sometimes doing the right thing means throwing out the computer and the way business is usually done.
JetBlue did the right thing. They have locked the price on flights out of cities in the potential path of Irma at $99 for nonstop flights and $159 for connecting flights through September 13th. They are reportedly also adding flights to the schedule where they have aircraft available.
The $99 cities include cities in Florida plus SAV, CHS, PAP, PLS, POP, SDQ, PUJ, STI, LRM, HAV, SNU, CMW, HOG, NAS.
Even if you are physically safe from the life-threatening dangers of a hurricane, it can be absolutely miserable to live in the conditions that follow the storm with power lines down, muck everywhere, stores closed, gas in short supply, and more. While able-bodied adults are needed to get things back on track, I can 100% understand why you would want to get those who won’t be able to participate in the immediate recovery effort out of town.
I still see some $99 JetBlue flights available out of Florida, but not very many, so don’t hesitate to book whatever you find if you want to hop on a flight ASAP.
I’m currently on a plane with spotty WIFI so I can’t test as many routes as I would like, but if you find good availability to a certain city for $99, please feel free to share in the comments section!
Huge kudos to JetBlue for doing the right thing even when they didn’t have to. Be safe guys, these storms this summer are no joke.
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