Florida is staring down one of the most powerful storms in modern history in Hurricane Irma, and Americans are struggling to escape the blockbuster storm’s path.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for some of southern Florida’s most iconic locations, including the low-lying Florida Keys, but there are still a number of foolish Floridians looking to ride out the storm as it prepares to pound the Sunshine State. These stubborn stalwarts are being warned by Governor Rick Scott that they shouldn’t needlessly risk their safety in the face of Irma, declaring that you “can rebuild homes”, but not lives.
For those who are financially burdened by the immediate threat, discount airline JetBlue has extended a helping hand to the state of Florida by offering $99 tickets to anyone looking to get out of the path of the category 5 storm.
“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 tragedy is certain to strike in a nation as large as the United States, it is often comforting to discover the ways in which our people band together in times of adversity.
Irma isn’t just threatening Florida either.
The National Weather Service isn’t exactly sure where Irma will make landfall, but some predictions have the storm riding along the east coast, heading north, and that is spooked the authorities in South Carolina who have already issued a state of emergency ahead of the storm.