Airline updates in preparation for Hurricane Ike

(September 11, 2008) - According to the latest report from the US National Weather Service, Hurricane Ike is moving toward the west-northwest at approximately 12 mph, and this motion is expected to co

(September 11, 2008) – According to the latest report from the US National Weather Service, Hurricane Ike is moving toward the west-northwest at approximately 12 mph, and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours, with a turn to the northwest expected late tomorrow. The center of Ike will be very near the upper Texas coast by late Friday, and because it is a very large tropical cyclone, weather will worsen along the coastline long before the center reaches the coast.

In response to the potential danger of Hurricane Ike, the following airlines have issued travel advisories.


Continental Airlines is implementing a flight schedule reduction at its Houston hub at Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) for Friday and Saturday. Similar flight reductions are also anticipated at other select Gulf Coast and Texas destinations. Normal operations are planned at the Newark Liberty and Cleveland hubs.

A reduced flight schedule will take effect on Friday, September 12 at IAH. Most mainline jet departures should operate normally until early afternoon on Friday. After that time, Continental does not expect to operate mainline jet flights at IAH.

Continental Express and Continental Connection regional airline flights will be suspended earlier on Friday, starting between mid-morning and mid-day. No Continental, Continental Express or Continental Connection flight operations are expected at Houston on Saturday. Continental has plans to reactivate the hub on Sunday morning, September 14, although some flights on Sunday will remain subject to cancellation.

Customers booked on flights to and from the affected region will be permitted a one-time date or time change to their itinerary without penalty for rescheduled travel. If a flight has been canceled, a refund in the original form of payment may be requested.

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Southwest Airlines will not operate flights to and from Corpus Christi International Airport and Valley International Airport in Harlingen on Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13. The airlines also will suspend its Houston Hobby operations at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, September 12. The airlines plans to resume service to and from Corpus Christi, Harlingen, and Houston will depend upon the status of airport security personnel, facilities, and services.

Southwest Airlines customers holding reservations for travel to and from Austin, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Houston Hobby, or San Antonio from Noon Central Time on Wednesday, September 10 through the close of business Monday, September 15 may change their travel plans and rebook in their original class of service or travel standby (within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs and in accordance with their accommodation procedures) without paying any additional charge. Also, customers holding reservations for a flight that is cancelled to and from Corpus Christi, Harlingen, or Houston Hobby may request a refund for any unused ticket/travel itinerary.

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AirTran Airways is offering passengers with flights booked to/from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, as well as previously announced, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, from noon on September 12 through noon on September 14, 2008, the opportunity to change their travel plans without change fees or fare adjustments. Passengers may adjust their travel plans to an alternate date starting today through seven days from the original travel date.

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