Whirlwind Trip: Hawaii Hurricanes Force Travelers to Alter Plans

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As Hurricanes Iselle and Julio churn toward the Hawaiian Islands, travelers who had dreamed of a different sort of whirlwind vacation are scrambling to adjust their plans. Hawaiian Airlines announced Thursday that it would waive change fees for passengers trying to leave before the hurricanes hit, and Island Air canceled some afternoon flights between the islands. The state’s airports will remain open “as long as possible, but airports are not shelters,” said Caroline Sluyter, Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson. "We advise travelers not to check out of their hotels unless they know for sure their flights are not canceled.”

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has an updated list of airline and public transit cancellations as well as closures for parks and attractions. Most hotels, including the Outrigger chain of hotels and resorts, are waiving cancellation fees for the next few days. “Everyone’s working together to make sure people are accommodated and safe,” said Sluyter. The islands average more than 700,000 visitors in August.

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— Harriet Baskas. Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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