Hurricane Matthew Affecting Connecticut Residents' Travel Plans

Several travelers at Bradley Airport on Thursday are a bit anxious about how Hurricane Matthew is affecting travel plans.

Several flights to Florida were canceled this morning and airline staff have been trying to accommodate passengers and help them reschedule flights.

Melvin Guzman, of Stuart, Florida, was in Hartford for a kidney transplant program and is trying to catch a Southwest flight to West Palm Beach, where his family lives within walking distance to the beach. He missed the flight when it boarded 45 minutes early.

“It hurts because you know, that’s my family that’s there. I know it’s going to be a bad storm,” Guzman said. “I went from airline to airline to airline and United wanted $1,600. I can’t do that.”

Hurricane Matthew has brought high winds and flooding to Jamaica and Haiti and Guzman’s main concern is flying debris.

“No windows are boarded up at my house, nothing. I know there’s going to be flying debris. I just have to wish for the best right now,” he said.

Other passengers are anxious to get to Florida for other reasons. The Mozzicato family is heading to Tampa for a family reunion and they’ve been watching the weather for days.

“Up to last night we almost thought of changing our flights and cancelling, but we said no, we have to. It’s a family reunion, our family is down there, it’s more important, who cares about a hurricane,” Larry Mozzicato, of Broad Brook, said.

The family is hoping for the best and they have indoor activities planned in the event the weather is bad.

Peter and Brenda Marchese, of East Hartford, are just trying to get away.

“It’s good to get out of Connecticut. It really is. Just to get away,” they said, even if the weather is bad where they are going.

”We’ll make it good. We’ll have a great time no doubt,” they said.

All five airlines at Bradley are offering to reschedule flights for free.

Travelers are urged to keep check the status of your flight.

American Airlines is allowing customers to change their trips with no chance fee if they are traveling to or through several airports in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the Bahamas and the Central Caribbean.  

Delta waived change fees on flights to, from and through the Caribbean between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 that may have been impacted by Matthew. Flights Thursday and Friday in or out of eight Florida cities as well as to and from several airports in the Carolinas and Georgia can also be changed without incurring a fee. Customers who wish to cancel a trip as a result of a flight cancellation are entitled to a refund. 

JetBlue Airways said passengers flying Thursday through Sunday to or from eight cities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina can change planes without a fee or additional fare. A similar offer covers Caribbean travel through Thursday. 

Southwest Airlines will allow customers with flight reservations scheduled to arrive or depart cities that have been affected by or will be in the storm's path between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7, to re-book a new trip or travel standby within 14 days of their original travel date.  

United Airlines said it would waive change fees and any difference in fare for customers scheduled to fly Wednesday through Friday to, from or through five airports in Florida. The waiver has also been extended to several airports in the Carolinas and Georgia. 

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