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Airlines ask fliers to reschedule due to big storm

NEW YORK — Some U.S. airlines are giving travelers a way out if they want to scrap their plans due to Hurricane Sandy.

JetBlue, US Airways and Spirit Airlines are offering waivers to customers who wish to reschedule their flights without paying the typical fee of up to $150. The offers cover passengers flying just about anywhere from Latin America to New Hampshire.

Most other airlines are monitoring the storm and plan to update passengers later Friday. The airlines have only canceled a handful of flights so far, nearly all of them in and out of Florida and the Caribbean.

Hurricane Sandy plowed through the Bahamas early Friday after leaving 38 people dead across the Caribbean. Forecasters say it could blend with a winter storm to produce a so-called “Frankenstorm” along the U.S. East Coast next week.

Those hoping to fly in or out of affected areas are asked to check their flight status before heading to the airport. To cancel, they should call the airline directly.

The last major storm to threaten airline operations was Hurricane Isaac, which led to a few hundred canceled flights. A major storm on a path along the East Coast is especially threatening to airline operations because traffic there is heavily concentrated in several major metropolitan areas.