Tropical Storm Barry is set to wreak havoc on weekend travel - here's what you need to know about flights

Tropical Storm BarrySt. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office inmate workers move free sandbags for residents in Chalmette, La., Thursday, July 11, 2019 ahead of ahead of Tropical Storm Barry from the Gulf of Mexico.AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

  • Tropical Storm Barry is heading for the Gulf Coast, and is expected to make landfall as a hurricane on Saturday.
  • Air travel is likely to be severely impacted.
  • Airlines - including American, JetBlue, Southwest, and United - have issued travel waivers letting some affected passengers change their flights without any fees. Scroll down for details on the waivers, and check back here for updates.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A dangerous storm system in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened on Thursday to become Tropical Storm Barry.

The storm is the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Saturday as a strengthened hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is unusually slow-moving - crawling at just 5 mph as of Thursday afternoon EDT - meaning it has the potential to dump a tremendous amount of rain as it lingers over the same places for extended periods of time.

According to AccuWeather, areas from New Orleans and eastern Louisiana, to parts of Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle are all under threat.

Air travel is expected to be impacted in those areas, though as in many cases of severe weather, effects could ripple nationwide as aircraft are forced to be repositioned or rack up delays due to the storm over the course of a travel day.

So far, American, JetBlue, Southwest, and United have issued travel waivers, allowing those with flights that may be directly impacted to change their itineraries without a fee. However, other airlines are expected to follow.

Scroll down for full details.

If you're traveling this weekend, check this page for updated travel waiver information.

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American Airlines

American Airlines

Passengers flying to, from, or connecting through the following airports on July 11-14 are eligible for travel waivers:

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BTR)
  • Beaumont / Port Arthur, Texas (BPT)
  • Gulfport / Biloxi, Mississippi (GPT)
  • Lafayette, Louisiana (LFT)
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH)
  • Mobile, Alabama (MOB)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)

The waiver applies as long as you reschedule your flight for anytime between July 11–18 between the same cities and in the same cabin.

To change your flight, contact airline reservations at 800-433-7300, or make the change online yourself by clicking "change trip" when you pull up your flight details.

JetBlue

JetBlue

Travel waiver applies for passengers flying to, from, and connecting through the following airports on July 11-13:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)

The waiver applies as long as you reschedule your flight for anytime between July 11–20 between the same cities and in the same cabin.

To change your flight, contact airline reservations at 800-538-2583, or make the change online yourself by clicking "manage flights" when you pull up your flight details.

If your flight ends up being cancelled, you can also opt for a full refund.

Southwest

Southwest

Travel waiver applies for passengers flying to, from, and connecting through the following airports on July 9-13:

  • Panama City Beach, Florida (ECP)
  • Pensacola, Florida (PNS)

And the following airports on July 9-14:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)

And these airports July 10-14:

  • Corpus Christi, Texas (CRP)
  • Houston, Texas (HOU)

The waiver applies as long as you reschedule your flight for anytime within 14 days of the original travel date between the same cities and in the same cabin.

To change your flight, contact airline reservations at 800-435-9792, or make the change online yourself by using the Southwest app or website.

United Airlines

United Airlines

Travel waiver applies for passengers flying to, from, connecting through the following airports on July 11-14:

  • Alexandria, Louisiana (AEX)​
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BTR)​
  • Ft. Walton Beach, Florida (VPS)
  • ​Gulfport, Mississippi (GPT)​
  • Jackson, Mississippi (JAN)​
  • Lafayette, Louisiana (LFT)​
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH)​
  • Mobile, Alabama (MOB)​
  • Monroe, Louisiana (MLU)​
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)​
  • Panama City, Florida (ECP)
  • ​Pensacola, Florida (PNS)​
  • Shreveport, Louisiana (SHV)​

The full waiver applies as long as you reschedule your flight for anytime between July 11–21 between the same cities and in the same cabin.

You can also reschedule travel for after July 21, or change the departure or destination city. The change fee will still be waived; however, you may have to pay the difference between your original fare and the new one. Your new travel date must be within one year from the date the ticket was originally issued.

To change your flight, contact airline reservations at 800-864-8331, or make the change online yourself through the United website or app.

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