Ricky Martin is one of the many celebrities who has been active in helping victims of Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico and left a trail of destruction.
So it's wasn't shocking when the Puerto Rican native took to Instagram to show prices for flights out of the Carribean Island skyrocketed as high as more than $2,000 per person following the natural disaster. You heard right! According to the picture posted on the social media platform, American Airlines is charging people $2,249 for a domestic flight that would normally be a fraction of the cost.
"This is not right. $2,249 for a flight Miami-San Juan. Come on, we are in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. There should be a law against this kind of abuse," the American Crime star captioned the photo, tagging American Airlines official Instagram account.
Unfortunately, there is currently no regulation that stops airlines from drastically increasing their prices during natural disasters. A similar situation occurred during Hurricane Irma when Florida natives were forced to pay outrageous airfares to get out of the state. Following the incident, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, a New York lawmaker, introduced the AirFAIR Act, a bill which caps airfare prices from areas under emergency at 30 percent.
“Whether these drastic price increases are examples of intentional price gouging or an unwillingness to examine how the airlines’ computer systems function, doesn’t really matter,” Velázquez told the NY Daily New. “If tickets get too unaffordable, people who might otherwise have fled a disaster may stay, creating a danger to human life.”
While American Airlines has yet to comment on the price surge following the hurricane, the company did address the lack of flights in and out of the island. "Due to connectivity challenges, including air traffic control constraints and lack of power at the airport, operations are limited for all airlines," the airlines said in a statement.
Although commercial flights to the United States began on Friday, thousands of desperate travelers are still waiting with no air conditioning to catch the next flight out of Puerto Rico.