MIAMI (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state has gotten more than 1,500 calls on a price-gouging hotline in the last two days.
On Wednesday would-be travelers took to social media to complain about airline price-gouging as thousands tried to get out of Florida ahead of the Category 5 storm. Airline tickets that normally cost around $300 were spiking upwards of $1,000 as demand peaked.
Leigh Dow tweeted a Delta Airlines alert showing a price change from just under $550 to more than $3,200 for a flight from Miami to Phoenix. She said she contacted Delta and was told the price was a mistake and later fixed the error.
After the social media outcry Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced that there were limited seats remaining on flights before Irma was expected to hit and that the carrier was capping “pre-tax fares at $99 for Main Cabin seats on direct, single leg flights out of Florida.”
That same day JetBlue announced that it would cap fares for flights, in select markets, at $159 for one-way fares.
As it stands American plans to stop all flights out of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach on Saturday and Sunday.
But airlines weren’t the only companies accused of price-gouging. Bondi said Wednesday that many of the calls dealt with complaints about the prices being charged on water, food and gas, although she said people have also called to complain that stores are running out of supplies.
The attorney general also said she had been talking directly to retailers such as Amazon. Bondi says many of the calls to the state hotline were complaints about excessive delivery fees for items such as water. She says the company has told her it suspended 12 third-party vendors because of gouging complaints.
Bondi, who noted she has no authority over airlines, said she talked to two airlines about ticket prices and that both told her they were putting caps on some tickets.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)