Hurricane Dorian wreaks havoc on travel, forces cruise ships to reroute, airlines to waive fees
MIAMI (FOX News) - As Hurricane Dorian moves through the Atlantic towards Florida's east coast, a slew of airlines and cruise ships proactively released trip waivers and rerouted itineraries for routes that may be affected by the storm.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, as of 11 a.m. EST on Thursday that Dorian is a Category 1 storm with sustained winds near 85 mph and it is moving northwest at 13 mph. It was located about 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, NHC said.
To that end, carriers including American Airlines, Spirit, Frontier, Delta and Southwest have all issued waivers with unique stipulations for customers traveling to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico area.
Those traveling with American, Spirit and Frontier have the option of rebooking canceled flights with fee changes waived, Travel + Leisure reports.
American has said they plan to waive change fees for customers traveling through Florida, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Barbados, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Saint Lucia, as of Aug. 29.
Likewise, Spirit is allowing passengers to rebooking canceled flights with fee changes waived for those traveling to Florida, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Frontier passengesr, too, have the option of rebooking flights to the area with fee charges waived, though officials warned that some Aug. 29 trips have been canceled altogether.
Beyond those updates, Delta customers heading to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Saint Lucia are allowed to alternatively cancel their trip altogether with the refund credited to a future flight. The carrier has also issued a travel waiver for customers flying through 10 airports in Florida and Georgia.
Southwest customers visiting Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos, more specifically, must rebook a new trip within 14 days of their intended travel date.
As for the cruise companies, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line (DCL) have modified their intended routes for ships departing Florida’s Port Canaveral ahead of the tropical storm, USA Today reports.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas, as well as DCL’s Disney Fantasy ship, will all now alter the route from an eastern to western Caribbean path to avoid Dorian’s anticipated track, according to USA Today.
Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday that they are preemptively closing their private CocoCay island for safety reasons.
Reps for DCL said that they do not anticipate any more changes being made to the Fantasy's scheduled departure on Aug. 31, while they continue to monitor the weather for the Dream ship sailings on Aug. 30 and Sept. 2.
Forecasters believe the storm will strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane by Friday, staying well east of the southern and central Bahamas before making a turn toward Florida by Sunday afternoon.
At that time, the latest NHC forecast is for the storm to be a Category 4 storm as it approaches Florida.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.