Fort Myers airport to reopen with limited operations on Wednesday, 10/22. Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers will reopen on Wednesday for what it describes as "limited commercial operations."
Flights will operate between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Security checkpoints will open at 7 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.
The airport cautioned that services within the terminal will be limited as recovery from Hurricane Ian continues. Drinking water won't be available until Lee County lifts its boil-water notice. In addition, concessions will have limited food and water and might be short on supplies.
Rental car companies will also have limited operations.
The airport is advising travelers to contact their airline for information on specific flights.
Some cruise lines give a break to hurricane-affected customers
Cruise lines are offering a mix of refunds and future cruise credits (FCCs) for washed-out Hurricane Ian sailings, plus some lines have contingencies for cruisers who can't sail due to hurricane hardship.
Virgin Voyages guests scheduled to take a future cruise who are unable to travel due to hurricane-related situations can request a future cruise credit and book a cruise for another date.
MSC Cruises guests claiming hurricane hardship can reschedule their cruise with no penalty, accept a future cruise credit or request a refund. The cruise line said it will handle cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis.
Carnival Cruise line is offering guests a full refund and a 25% onboard credit if they were supposed to sail on one of its three canceled voyages on the Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral on Sept. 30, Carnival Paradise out of Tampa on Sept. 29, and Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville on Sept. 29.
Guests who were booked aboard Norwegian Getaway's canceled nine-night Sept. 29 voyage out of Port Canaveral will receive a full refund in the original form of payment. NCL will tack on an additional 25% future cruise credit.
This is an important subject that should concern us all. Travel Agencies being held responsible for giving refunds to customers for flights purchased through us. Please read thoroughly. We need to send letters to our representatives in office and raise our voice on this most important legislation.
Questions and answers about the DOT's refund rule for agencies By Mark Pestronk
Q: I understand that, under the DOT's proposed rule, travel agencies would be legally responsible for making refunds to passengers when the carrier cancels or substantially delays a flight. I have some questions about the implications of what the DOT is proposing. First, as you know, most travel advisors are independent contractors (ICs) of host agencies, so is it the IC or the host that would be responsible?
A: Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, travel agencies are called "ticket agents," and the refund duties would apply to "ticket agents." The term is defined as a "person that as a principal or agent sells, [or] offers for sale ... air transportation." The word "person" means an individual or a legal entity.
Note that the definition is not limited to ARC or Iatan appointees, nor it is limited to the entity that issues a ticket. Rather, it refers to any person who "sells" air transportation. Therefore, the refund duty could certainly apply to the IC as the seller, although the DOT may intend it to apply only to the officially appointed entity, which would be the host. Perhaps the DOT will clarify this issue in the final rule.
Q: Second, I understand that the rule would apply to all U.S. airlines as well as foreign airlines on trips to or from the U.S. If a foreign airline goes out of business and shuts down without making refunds, as they have been known to do, would the agent really be on the hook for the refunds?
A: Yes. The travel agent and the airline would be jointly responsible, which means that if the airline failed to make a refund because it had no money, the agent would have to do so.
Q: Third, if the airline does not make a required refund, when must the agent make the refund out of his or her own pocket?
A: When a refund is due because of a cancellation or substantial delay, and the passenger declines to accept a future travel credit, the carrier would have seven days to make a credit card refund and 20 days to make a refund when the passenger paid by check or other cash equivalent. The same deadlines apply to agents. I realize that result makes no sense because the agent won't know whether the carrier made the refund by the time the deadline rolls around, so perhaps the DOT will clarify this issue.
Q: Fourth, if the agent makes a refund, what is the mechanism for getting reimbursed by the airline?
A: There is no mechanism. At present, if a ticket is nonrefundable, the agent is not allowed to refund it. Presumably, that restriction will change if the DOT rule goes into effect, but if the airline disagrees with the agent's decision, the agent has no recourse.
Q: Fifth, if the rule is adopted, won't most agents just stop selling airline tickets?
A: I have no doubt that the rule would have such an effect,even though it would hardly be in the public interest.
For current travel restrictions for Europe: