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Everyone's mad at airlines for raising prices in Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. But did they?

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Posted at 12:30 PM, Sep 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-09 13:32:22-04

Hurricane Irma continues to damage and flood areas of the Caribbean, leaving nine dead in the wake of its path, CNN reported.

The Category 5 storm now heads for smaller Caribbean islands and will likely strike the southern Florida coast by the weekend.

Videos of the storm’s destruction appeared across the internet on Wednesday, showing how much the storm damaged St. Martin with its 185 mph winds.

Floridians have expressed worry over the storm, CNN reported.

"If you decide to stay in the Florida Keys, you are on your own," Roman Gastesi, administrator of Monroe County, told CNN.

Those looking to leave Florida and the Caribbean spoke out in frustration Wednesday as they noticed airline ticket prices soared higher than expected, reaching levels of nearly $3,000.

 

But three major airlines told BuzzFeed News that this is all a misunderstanding and not a purposeful act.

American Airlines, for example, told BuzzFeed that the airline company is trying to add more flights to its schedule to accommodate those who are trapped.

"We are doing everything we can to get our customers out of the way of Hurricane Irma," Katie Cody, senior manager of communications at AA, told BuzzFeed. "We’ve been able to add a flight or two when we can, but it’s a puzzle to move in additional planes."

American Airlines later capped pre-tax fares at $99, Buzzfeed reported.

United Airlines told BuzzFeed that the high prices for its flights were caused by a system glitch, listing first-class seat prices for economy seats.

"We haven’t changed the ways we price our flights," the United spokesperson said. "We’ve added additional flights out of Florida, but those flights are mostly sold out. We don’t have a very large operation down there."

Delta shared an update with its customers, capping flights for $399 to and from Southern Florida. The company will also waive any baggage and pet-in-cabin fees.

Meanwhile, JetBlue reduced fares “in areas in the hurricane’s path” to $99 to $159 (including government taxes and fees), according to the company. Most seats are sold out.