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Airline policy SWISS waives rebooking fees as Irma surges towards Florida


Swiss International Airlines is waiving rebooking fees for passengers travelling to or from six airports in Florida and the Caribbean as Hurricane Irma bears down on the region. 

Karin Müller, a spokesperson for SWISS, said the airline’s waiver policy offers passengers one rebooking free of charge on tickets issued for travel between September 6 and September 11. The waiver policy applies to travel to or from Miami, Tampa and Orlando in Florida, as well as Havana and Varadero in Cuba and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. 

The policy also applies to other airlines which are part of the Lufthansa Group, including Lufthansa itself and its regional partners: Eurowings and Germanwings, Edelweiss Air, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines. 

Müller added that all flights to the region affected by Irma are operating as scheduled but that SWISS is “monitoring the situation very closely and is in contact with the local authorities in order to react promptly to any new developments if required”. The airline plans to reassess the situation over the course of the day on Thursday, she said. 

Several North American air carriers had already put fee waiver policies in place for the Caribbean and parts of Florida on September 5 or before, and American Airlines – which has a hub in Miami – indicated that it is beginning to cancel both domestic and international flights at that airport as well as others that it serves in Florida. 

In the hours before it issued its rebooking policy, SWISS fielded numerous questions and concerns from customers via social media, many of whom were calling on the airline to waive rebooking fees. 

Irma, a powerful Category 5 hurricane, is expected to be the most powerful storm to hit the Atlantic coast of the United States in more than 10 years. It is expected to make landfall in South Florida between Friday night and Monday and has already devastated several small islands in the Caribbean.

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