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Residents take advantage of flights out of PBIA ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Posted at 9:11 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 07:35:52-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For some, it’s a mad dash to get out of dodge.

With Hurricane Dorian’s path bearing down on Florida — and the unknowns and where it will exactly make landfall — people are not taking any chances and getting out.

The storm is also threatening Florida during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year — Labor Day weekend.

Right now, multiple airlines are waiving change fees for passengers who need to make alterations to the travel plans to and from Florida.

Click the following links to find Hurricane Dorian specific information from each of these airlines:

American Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
Frontier Airlines

However, if you are trying to book a last minute, unplanned flight out of the state, it is most like going to come at a cost.

A quick search on Friday evening found many tickets from Palm Beach International Airport to destinations in the Northeast running between $400 and $900 to $1,000. There are reports that some airlines like Delta are capping prices additional flights from South Florida to Atlanta.

You should check with the airlines to see what your options are.

As of Friday, PBIA said they are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Dorian. Screens inside the terminals have an alert message warning travelers of hurricane conditions early next week.

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“It’s better to be safe than be sorry,” said James Urcioli from New Jersey.

The father of two found himself in Palm Beach County this week to pick up his two sons out an area typically zoned for evacuation in Lake Worth.

“My kids come visit grandma and grandpa every summer and this storm is kind of throwing a wrench into the mix,” he said.

Now he’s having a hard time trying to find a flight home. He said he saw tickets costing him nearly $2,000 just to get them all back to Newark International Airport.

“I’m trying to see if we can rent a car or find a flight out, just going to find the easiest and fastest way to get out of town,” he said.

We found more people who decided it wouldn’t be ideal to stay.

Neil Chauhan and his colleague — who both live in Miami — couldn’t find a flight out from Miami International Airport so they drove to jump on a flight to Dallas with available seats.

“We’re worried about power outages in Miami so we’re flying to Dallas,” he said. “It would have been my first hurricane, so I’m not sure what that would have been like.”

Marianne Cleary had a planned visit to see her elderly mother, which coincided with Dorian’s threat. She was able to secure her mother and make sure she was safe before embarking on her journey home to London.

“I’m really happy I have a flight booked out today. I got really lucky,” she said.

For those staying behind, she has a bit of advice.

“Look after each other and take this as a time to relax. Rest and understand that this is nature,” she said.

Some Palm Beach County locals who made it out to places like Washington D.C. said they are relieved they made it out on a flight before the airports got too chaotic.

“No one knows where the hurricane is gonna strike. It’s supposed to hit somewhere on the east coast of Florida,” said Palm Beach County resident Nelson Navarro.

As the storm gets closer, travelers said you should expect delays and cancellations call your airline for details.

“We just moved to Florida and this is our first hurricane and so we’re away from home, so we have no idea what we’re walking into,” said West Palm Beach resident Tim Smith.