Hurricane Season Travel Tips

Update:

Thurs. August 23rd, 8am PST

WestJet has stated: “Due to Hurricane Lane and for the safety of our guests and crew, WestJet has cancelled all regularly scheduled flights into and out of Hawaii for August 23rd and August 24th. At this time, we are not taking any more guests in-bound to Hawaii, however we will be operating two, non-scheduled recovery flights out of Hawaii this morning – one from Honolulu and one from Maui. Guests from Friday’s flights are also being contacted and will be rebooked on extra flight segments this weekend when it is safe to resume flying, post-hurricane.” Their website states that you can reschedule for flights that were scheduled between now and August 25th.

Air Canada has stated that you will receive a free reschedule if you purchased an Air Canada ticket no later than August 21st, 2018 for travel between now and August 26th, 2018. “If you are scheduled to travel during the affected period, you may contact Air Canada Reservations to change your flight free of charge, to another date between now and September 9th, 2018, subject to availability in the cabin you originally purchased. Otherwise, any fare difference will apply.”


 

Update:

Wed. August 22nd, 9am PST

Hurricane Lane has weakened to a Category 4 storm, though it is forecast to remain a dangerous hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands. All of Hawaii is under a flash flood watch with winds that are up to 250km/hour.
While Lane’s exact path is still unknown, the storm is now expected to turn northwest toward Hawaii’s main islands, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. It could hit the Big Island as early as this (Wednesday) afternoon and move through the rest of the islands to Kauai until Thursday evening.
Travel is advised against through to the end of the weekend.
So far WestJet, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and American Airline have issued travel advisories and will likely waive change fees. Contact your airline and hotel if you are looking to cancel, with or without insurance.
For more updates follow Hawaii’s National Weather Service’s live tweets.

 

Tues. August 21st, 2pm PST

A hurricane watch has been issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (as of Tuesday Aug 21st)  for Maui and Hawaii Counties, including the Big Island and the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible, but not guaranteed, within the watch area, and is typically issued 48 hours in advance. Travel between August 23rd and 24th are currently in question.Here is the hurricane at a glance:
  • Hurricane watches have been issued for Maui and Hawaii Counties.
  • Lane is bordering on Category 5 intensity hundreds of miles southeast of Hawaii.
  • Lane will curl northwestward later this week toward Hawaii, eventually weakening.
  • A direct strike on parts of the Hawaiian Islands is possible late this week.
  • The island chain will see high surf, rip currents, winds and heavy rain, regardless of the exact track.
  • Whether the core of Lane’s strongest winds affects parts of the islands remains uncertain.

The forecast track and intensity of Lane is still considerably uncertain, and small changes to its track and intensity are important for potential impacts in the Hawaiian Islands.

It is important to remember that, even at three or four days out, there can be significant errors in track forecasting. That is especially the case with Lane due to uncertainty about its interaction with the trade wind flow around the Hawaiian island and terrain itself. Additionally, wind shear is forecast to increase over the islands by later on Thursday or Friday, which should act to weaken the storm significantly.

If you have travel booked and want to cancel, check your insurance plan. If you didn’t purchase travel insurance, contact your credit card provider as often they will offer insurance on purchases (assuming you purchased the flights with that credit card). If you aren’t covered in any way, contact your travel agent, airline or hotel- during natural disasters exceptions may be made.

For more information on what to do if you are caught in a hurricane, or how to prepare yourself, click here.

So far WestJet has put out an advisory for travel between August 23rd and 24th, if are travelling on these days to Hawaii contact WestJet at 1-888-937-8538 (flights) or 1-877-737-7001 (vacations).

There is currently no advisory on Air Canada’s website, but check here if you are flying with Air Canada as it could be updated any time. You can also try calling their automated flight information system at 1-888-422-7533. To speak to a representative, call 1-888-247-2262.

The Canadian Government has also put out a warning to avoid non-essential travel at this time.

Check back for new information. 

2 Comments

  • Alanna says:

    Do you think it will be safe to travel there by next week?

    • Claire Newell says:

      The storm should be over so it should be safe, but there may be a lot of damage depending on what area you’re going to! I would recommend contacting your hotel after the storm has passed and seeing what their situation is 🙂

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