While some airlines have been accused of jacking up last-minute fares to monstrous levels as Hurricane Irma approaches, JetBlue said Wednesday it is lowering theirs, and offering added flights.
American Airlines made a similar announcement to Business Insider, saying it was capping fares on flights heading out of Florida at $99.
A check of JetBlue’s website as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday showed flights to New York City from Fort Lauderdale for the same price — $99. Return flights were also $99.
The problem: Outgoing JetBlue flights Wednesday and Friday were sold out, although there were still some available on Thursday.
American told Business Insider it had “limited seats remaining before the storm hits.”
Other airlines have been criticized for hiking one-way fares as much as ten-fold. Some would-be fliers were venting their frustrations on Twitter Wednesday.
In Florida, price gouging is illegal following a declared state of emergency. However, airlines are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation and are not subject to Florida’s price gouging statute.
Attorney General Pam Bondi has activated a price gouging hotline for consumers who believe they have been victims of unlawful hikes. Bondi’s office said via a statement that it is “receiving complaints about airline tickets and making phone calls to airlines requesting voluntary compliance.”