As Biblical flood scenes flash across T.V. screens, and the battered residents of Texas brace for a clean-up of massive proportions, help is on its way from the travel industry. We’ve heard about a number major companies that are doing their bit for those affected by the storm and reward travelers who help.
Airbnb: To aid those who would give shelter to evacuating Texans, Airbnb is allowing would-be hosts in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio to list their properties for free and/or offer free lodgings to those in need. Apparently, the site will act as a matchmaker between the fleeing and the welcoming. All service fees will be waived for travelers checking into those cities between now and August 24. Full information is at www.airbnb.com/disaster/hurricaneharveyevacuees
American Airlines: For every $1 donated to the Red Cross, American Airlines will give 10 AAdvantage miles. The airline is requiring that donations be a minimum of $25 and donated between now and September 24.
Texas Campgrounds: This trade organization has put up an ever-expanding online directory of campgrounds and RV parks that can accommodate evacuees. All state and local accommodations taxes will be waived for the near future at these sites. Some 36 campgrounds, all a safe distance from the brunt of the storm, have registered so far offering space. Go to https://texascampgrounds.com to learn more.
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association: Just as the campgrounds are doing, this association is keeping track of which hotels can offer shelter. It has set up an 800 number with information on statewide hotel availability, and an online site with information on hotels in the Houston area that are safe and can take guests. It's also posting info on occupancy for hotels along I-35. As with campgrounds, all state and local taxes will be waived for the time being for residents of the hurricane-hit areas. For complete information, click here: https://texaslodging.com. We should note that a number of individual Texan hotels are offering discounts to residents of the affected areas, so do ask before booking.
U-Haul: Six Texan U-Haul companies will be offering 30 days of free storage to those affected by the storm. To learn more about which facilities are participating, and pick-up opportunities, go to https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/About/12100/U-Haul-Offers-30-Days-Free-Self-Storage-As-Hurricane-Harvey-Approaches-Texas/.
United Airlines: Airlink, Operation USA, Americares and the Red Cross are the recipients of choice on the United website. A donation of $50 to $99 will garner 250 bonus miles; $100–$249 earns 500 miles; and donations of $250 gets that generous individual 1000 bonus miles.
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