Airline seats disappearing as Irma approaches Florida

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American Airlines has canceled more than 2,000 flights as Hurricane Irma churns toward the U.S.

While the storm's precise trajectory remained uncertain, airlines preemptively canceled flights in the likely affected regions and put in place travel waivers for customers to reschedule plans. But as they scour the web for cheap flights, they've increasingly come upon a disappointing reality: most airlines have been charging well over $1,000 for round-trip flights to other US destinations.

While U.S. airlines are being hit across the board, the top loser on Thursday was JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU).

The National Hurricane Center on Thursday issued a hurricane watch for the southernmost part of Florida, the first that Irma has prompted in the United States.

In 2015, after Amtrak 188 derailed near Philadelphia, DOT investigated allegations of price gouging among five airlines: American, JetBlue, Delta, Southwest and United.

There remains a wide margin of error for Irma's late weekend path.

Are airlines price-gouging people flying out of Florida? He said a 737 nearly certainly would have been lost in the storm. "So we may actually tomorrow get people coming in from either hotels or people who need to be evacuated". "I can't imagine having to pay that".

Alfonso said her family had stocked up on canned food and water and just Tuesday bought a battery-powered radio from Walgreens.

It's basically a worst-case scenario for automatic airline systems that are presenting, very literally, the last few seats available on flights. They use algorithms to adjust prices constantly based on supply and demand. "And our flight and ground crews were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat". American Airlines is reportedly capping its departure tickets at $99 from September 10 until September 13.

"It's the largest operation impact we've had in the company's history", said Levy.

The impending storm cut short the vacations of many visitors, including William Menegazzo, a 27-year-old physician from Porto Allegre, Brazil.