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JetBlue, American, Delta cap ticket prices out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma

·Former Correspondent
REUTERS/Mike Blake
REUTERS/Mike Blake

JetBlue (JBLU) is capping its ticket prices in every city in Florida where the airline operates so people can evacuate as Hurricane Irma barrels through the Caribbean.

JetBlue will charge a maximum of $99 up to the last available seat for direct flights and a maximum of $159 up to the last available seat for connecting flights, a JetBlue representative told Yahoo Finance. That includes government taxes.

The airline has also added flights to its schedule out of select cities where they have aircraft available.

For existing reservations, JetBlue is waiving cancellation fees as well as waiving change fees and differences in air fare for rebooking.

“Given that many Floridians are struggling to get out of harm’s way, this is welcome news,” Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said in an emailed statement sent by a spokesman. “I hope more airlines do the right thing and follow suit.”

Other airlines followed JetBlue’s lead.

On Wednesday afternoon, American Airlines (AAL) said it would also cap its airfares.

“While there are limited seats remaining before the storm hits, we will cap our pre-tax fares at $99 for MainCabin seats on direct, single leg flights out of Florida for tickets sold through Sunday Sept. 10 for travel until Sept. 13,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

A spokesman for Delta (DAL) told Yahoo Finance that the airline reduced the price level of its highest fares, which are “typically seen when customers are booking last-minute travel and inventory is limited.”

“In addition, we are waiving change fees for customers who want to change their flight plans due to the forecast. We have full details on the waiver at delta.com,” the Delta spokesman said. “We also are adding flights and increasing the size of the aircraft we’re using on flights to and from San Juan and south Florida, providing more opportunities for customers to leave. New flights are being added to and from San Juan, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West, all to Atlanta (where people can connect to destinations across the U.S.).”

Delta is capping fares at $399 on flights out of Florida and the impacted islands. New flights are being added from Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West to Atlanta, the spokesman confirmed to Yahoo Finance.

United Airlines (UAL) added six additional flights in Florida with airfare capped at $399. Those additional flights have already sold out, according to a spokesperson.

A number of travelers had complained of steep airfares as they scrambled to book tickets to flee the storm. Some had even noticed prices above $1,000.

Here’s what the fares look like on JetBlue’s website at the time of this article’s publication.

Julia La Roche is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.