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BA flights cancelled as hurricane Maria hits Caribbean Today's News

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British Airways has been forced to delay, re-route or cancel several flights as Caribbean islands brace themselves for a second hurricane this month.

Hurricane Maria has already caused widespread damage to the Caribbean island of Dominica after strengthening to a category five storm last night. It has since been downgraded to a category four after losing some of its power, but it is expected to cause significant damage to several other Caribbean islands that lie in its way.

As a result, St Lucia, Antigua and St Kitts airports have closed, forcing BA to cancel, re-route or delay its flights. The airline has also cancelled its Dominican Republic flights on Thursday. However, an extra flight from Punta Cana to Gatwick was laid on for this morning and passengers due to travel on Thursday have automatically been rebooked onto this service.

The airline is also giving all passengers, due to travel to the affected area, the option to delay their travel up to September 30 or book an alternative destination.

Delta and American airlines haven't yet reported flight cancellations, however, they have both issued cancellation-fee waivers.

A travel waiver has been issued for Delta passengers flying out of San Juan from September 19-26. The waiver also covers customers from St Maarten, St Thomas, and Turks and Caicos with tickets issued from September 5 to December 31.

Delta has capped Main Cabin, one-way nonstop fares at $199 (R2 640) for flights departing San Juan, Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo through September 21 and is temporarily waiving baggage and pet-in-cabin fees for customers traveling to and from San Juan and several other airports in the region.

American airlines is allowing a travel waiver if the passenger bought their ticket by September 18, 2017, is scheduled to travel September 18 - 26, 2017, can travel September 17 - October 2, 2017, don't change their origin or destination city, and rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference.

An operational restart in St Thomas and Puerto Rico is planned for Thursday, but is dependent on infrastructure damage assessments after the storm passes. Flights to St Maarten are expected to resume on Saturday, pending further evaluation of airport and surrounding facilities after hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Limited flights to Key West Airport, which has been closed since Hurricane Irma battered the Florida Keys, are expected to resume on Wednesday. 

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