Airline seats disappearing as Irma approaches Florida

Airlines are adding last-minute flights out of Florida after people snapped up seats to escape Hurricane Irma.

American, United and Delta all said Thursday that they were adding flights leaving from South Florida in the next couple days.

Some airlines capped their fares amid reports of price-gouging. Hotel rooms in northern Florida were reportedly booking up quickly, and some gas stations ran out of fuel.

More than 4,000 flights have already been cancelled through today in the Caribbean and Florida, according to FlightAware.com.

The storm is expected to hit Florida over the weekend.

A JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 takes off from the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla. – AP

Until then, extra flights will help a few thousand people beat the hurricane out of town.
American Airlines said it added 16 flights from Miami to Dallas, New York and Philadelphia — a total of 3,600 seats.

The airline said it would shut down after Friday in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach and on Saturday afternoon in Orlando and cancel flights the rest of the weekend.

A JetBlue spokesman said flights leaving Florida through next Wednesday were sold out. United was sold out through yesterday and added six flights, according to a spokesman.

United expected to cancel most flights to and from southern Florida from yesterday through Monday.

Delta Air Lines had seats on “very few flights” in South Florida but more at airports farther north including central Florida, said spokesman Anthony Black.

Delta said it was adding flights and would use larger planes to add more than 2,000 seats for passengers in Irma’s path in Florida — including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando — and the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. –AP