Travel Alert August 2020: Tropical Depression Laura Causes Airlines to Update Travel Waivers

If the eastern United States is in your travel plans over the next couple of days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Tropical Depression Laura, whose effects will be experienced by residents in portions of at least 14 states and two provinces.

Travel Alert August 2020: Tropical Depression Laura Causes Airlines to Update Travel Waivers

Tropical Storm Laura

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Depression Laura — which is currently centered in Royal Township in Arkansas approximately 40 miles northeast of Little Rock and is moving north northeast at 15 miles per hour — are 35 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as just short of the threshold of a tropical storm.

Despite its weakening, the areas which will be most impacted by Tropical Depression Laura may likely experience flash flooding from up to six inches of heavy rain, locally damaging winds with gusts up to as strong as 40 miles per hour at times, and possible electric power outages. A few isolated tornadoes are possible as well.

Hurricane Laura was an extremely strong Category 4 hurricane when landfall occurred at Cameron in Louisiana at approximately 1:00 in the morning Central Daylight Time earlier today, Thursday, August 27, 2020. Extensive damage to structures — as well as hundreds of thousands of people without electrical power — occurred as a result.

In addition to a girl who was 14 years old when she was killed by a falling tree in Leesville in Louisiana, at least 20 people in Haiti and three people in the Dominican Republic were killed while Laura was a tropical storm in the Caribbean region earlier this week; and it knocked out electrical power to greater than one million people.

Laura became the earliest tropical system in the Atlantic Basin which was named with an L, breaking a weather record held by Luis, which formed on Tuesday, August 29, 1995. The tropical season of 2020 has been more active than normal with 13 named storms.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from the eastern United States over the next couple of days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are eight airlines which have issued travel alerts — or are at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this weakening tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for 13 cities in five states for Tuesday, August 25, 2020 through Saturday, August 29, 2020; and Wednesday, September 2, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for eleven cities in five states for Tuesday, August 25, 2020 through Friday, August 28, 2020; and Monday, August 31, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for nine cities in three states for Wednesday, August 26, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020; and Tuesday, September 1, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Little Rock and Memphis for Thursday, August 27, 2020 through Friday, August 28, 2020; and Friday, September 11, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Houston and New Orleans for Tuesday, August 25, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020; and Thursday, September 10, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for New Orleans and Houston for Wednesday, August 26, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020; and Tuesday, September 1, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for New Orleans and Houston for Monday, August 24, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020; and Thursday, September 3, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for New Orleans and Houston for Tuesday, August 25, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020; and Wednesday, September 2, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air Canada has issued a travel alert for Houston for Wednesday, August 26, 2020 through Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Summary

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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