A Twitter user became everybody's hero after noticing that at least one airline company appeared to be charging passengers thousands of dollars for one-way tickets out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Leigh Dow was trying to help her friends find an affordable plane ticket for their daughter when she started browsing the web for airfares. As she visited Expedia.com, she noticed that a ticket on Delta had gone from $547.50 to more than $3,200, prompting her to take a screenshot, The Washington Post reports.
Sharing the image on Twitter, Dow shamed Delta Airlines for the high ticket cost.
Thanks to the very public scolding, thousands of Twitter users retweeted her, prompting the airline to take note of the incident. Once Delta officials responded, Dow talked to a customer service representative who helped her get her friends' daughter a ticket out of Miami for a much more reasonable price: $315.
Still, Dow noted that all airlines had been announcing “severely inflated” prices, with the exception of Southwest Airlines.
Having gone through Hurricane Andrew, Dow said she knew that a one-way ticket under these circumstances may cost up to $500. Still, the fares were reaching the $1,700 range.
According to Delta spokesperson Trebor Bankstetter, the company isn't sure why Dow found a ticket going for over $3,000.
“We have not increased prices in response to the hurricane,” Banksletter said.
Still, few airlines decided to bring the cost down so more people could leave the state safely.
Seeing so many people trying to leave Florida ahead of the hurricane, JetBlue was one of the few companies that took a stance, capping its ticket prices in all Florida cities to make sure everyone could leave.
As passengers attempted to evacuate due to Irma, the company claimed that it would only charge a maximum of $99 for all tickets up to the last available seat for any direct flight. For connecting flights, the company would only charge up to $159 up to the last available seat. The company has also announced that more flights have been added to its schedule to meet the demand.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, celebrated JetBlue's stance, saying that “[g]iven that many Floridians are struggling to get out of harm’s way, this is welcome news.”
He also said he hoped others would do the same.
Thankfully the person Dow was trying to help was able to leave the state without shelling out thousands for a ticket. Still, it took her some time spent in front of the computer complaining about Delta's seemingly outrageous ticket costs for her to get the help she needed.
After this ordeal, she said she learned her lesson, and that going forward, she will reach out to a real person, as things can turn out quite differently in those circumstances. Perhaps, we should all be doing that from now on.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Joshua Rott