Airline Travel Issues and Hurricanes

When hurricanes or severe winter storms threaten the US, passengers across the country may be affected. The typical hurricane or winter storm may cause disruption over several states, and may affect flights that fly in the area where the storm may hit.

On rare occasions, a hurricane may devastate a city the way that hurricane Katrina devastated parts of New Orleans in 2005, or Sandy devastated the New York and New Jersey area in 2012. However, hurricanes and tropical storms frequently strike the US, and many of them may affect air travel for one or more days. If you plan to travel by air when a hurricane or tropical storm threatens to strike land, you should take the time to do the following:

  • Check with your airline to see if your flight is affected
  • Check the airline's web site to see if they are posting special notices about the storm
  • Keep track of storm forecasts
  • Be prepared to have your flight delayed, rerouted, or cancelled

Keep in mind that your airline may not offer any compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight. Typically when a tropical storm or hurricane affects operations at an airport, the airline may allow you to make changes without costs or penalty. However, you should check with the airline to see what policy may apply.

The following resources may provide you with additional insights into what you can do to deal with a storm that threatens to interfere with your air travel plans.

Severe Storm Updates
National Hurricane Center
NOAA Severe Weather Overview
Weather Underground

General Weather and Turbulence Data
U.S. Weather Radar
Turbulence Maps
U.S. Lightning Activity
Other Turbulence Data

Flight Tracking and Status
U.S. Flight Delays

Passenger Resources
Delays and Bumping
Making Complaints

Airline Travel Issues and Hurricanes

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Airline Travel Issues and Hurricanes -- Revised: 26 October 2012