Hurricane Lane strikes Hawaii: Travel advice for tourists
Category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Lane, is set to cause devastation across Hawaii. The hurricane has been downgrades from a category 5 hurricane to category 3, but locals have been warned that the natural disaster is still expected to cause extensive property damage.
Currently, residents are experiencing high winds of 125mph, as well as torrential rain which is causing flash flooding. Power outages are expected to range from a few days to a few weeks as the hurricane moves on.
As for any tourists, travellers, or visitors to the island, airlines have announced several things.
United Airlines flights to and from Kahului Airport today (24th August 2018) have been cancelled, leaving many stranded without a way home. United Airlines themselves have put an announcement on their website regarding airline fees, stating the following: “The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before September 9, 2018, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed.”
Thankfully, it seems the airlines are being completely understanding when taking into consideration passengers that are trying to get home during this difficult period. Like United Airlines, the following airlines have also waived their rebooking fees for this period: Delta, Hawaiian, Alaska and American airlines.
The Hawaii State Department of Transportation and Hawaii Tourism Authority have advised travellers flying out of Hawaii to confirm their tickets for any flights scheduled the day before going to the airport. Travellers wanting to make any adjustments to their travel schedule should call their respective airlines to rebook flights and then proceed to the airport once their tickets and flights are confirmed.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also advised UK locals that are currently in Hawaii to remain vigilant and pay attention to any media reports that may appear while they remain on the island of Hawaii. They advise that if you’re expecting to travel to or from Hawaii in the next few days, check with your airline operator and accommodation provider for the latest updates on services.
Again: If you’re already in Hawaii during this time, you should follow the advice of the local authorities; including any and all evacuation orders in your area.
For more information and the latest updates regarding the current situation, travellers and locals can check with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
Hurricanes can be extremely unpredictable, and the situation could change at any moment. Travellers should check for updates as regularly as they are able to.
Kahului Airport has spent the day assisting a number of travellers who came to the airport seeking to leave the island ahead of their regularly scheduled departures. Unfortunately, with changes to the schedule of outgoing flights, passengers will likely have to stay in the airport overnight unless they can secure temporary accommodation elsewhere.
Travellers whose flights have been should continue to shelter in their current accommodation, if possible.
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