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Southern California Fires Close Major Attractions, Alter Airline Fees

October 24, 2007

Southern California Fires Close Major Attractions, Alter Airline Fees
Oct. 24, 2007 –Wildfires in Southern California have forced more than 350,000 people to flee their homes, with more than 1,300 homes destroyed and many businesses, including popular tourist attractions, closed. Airports remain open today in Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, Burbank and Santa Ana and many airlines are waving fees for those affected.

According to Travel Pulse Daily, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, Legoland and SeaWorld are all closed. The Wild Animal Park has fire and wind damage, and some animals were evacuated.

The Port of San Diego offices are closed and cruise operations at the port will be conducted as conditions allow. Princess Cruises and Cunard are headquartered in Santa Clarita but remained open and operational Tuesday.

According to USA Today, most airlines serving Southern California are waiving fees for passengers who need to reschedule flights in or out of the area.

United is waiving change fees for customers with tickets booked through Thursday and traveling to or from the 10 airports they service, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Carlsbad.

US Airways is letting customers with tickets through Friday change tickets for free. Customers can delay their trip for up to seven days, but they can’t change the length of their stay. US Airways flies into airports such as Burbank, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Delta is waiving fees for tickets for travel through Thursday. Tickets must be rebooked on or before Thursday for new travel departing by Oct. 29. Delta serves eight airports in the region including Santa Barbara, Orange County and Ontario. If passengers can’t meet these guidelines, they can cancel their reservation and apply the value of their ticket toward the purchase of a new one up to a year after the date the original ticket was issued. Passengers can get their money back if a flight is canceled.

American, which serves six airports in the region, is waiving change fees for ticketholders who reschedule their trips through Nov. 1. Airports that American serves include Burbank, San Diego and Palm Springs.

Continental is letting passengers holding tickets for travel through Thursday reschedule or reroute trips without penalty. Final travel must be completed by Oct. 29.

JetBlue is handling flight-change requests on a "case by case" basis and Southwest is evaluating its policy daily.

The American Red Cross has set up a service for evacuees to register their status and for loved ones to search for evacuees. Call 1.800.REDCROSS or go to

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