Report: Hawaii Braces for Back-to-Back Hurricanes

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Several media outlets are reporting that Hawaii could get slammed by back-to-back hurricanes, something Weather.com experts are calling "unprecedented."

Hurricane Madeline, currently a Category 2 hurricane, is continuing its trek across the central Pacific, with the hurricane's center expected to pass south of Hawaii Island, the closest point of land in the Hawaiian Islands, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), a second hurricane, Category 4 Hurricane Lester, followed a similar path toward the archipelago with landfall expected by this weekend.

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According to a Weather.com report, only 13 hurricanes have tracked within 200 nautical miles of the Hawaiian Islands from 1949 through 2015, for an average return period of once every five years.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hurricane Madeline was moving in a westerly direction at 10 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The center of the hurricane was located 315 miles east of Hilo on Hawaii Island and 510 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Forecasters expect the hurricane to weaken over the next 48 hours.

Hurricane force winds are extending outward roughly 25 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds extending up to 125 miles. A hurricane warning has been issued for Hawaii Island, with a tropical storm watch issued for the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

Gov. David Ige has issued an emergency proclamation authorizing the State of Hawaii to provide financial relief for losses or damages caused by the hurricane.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is advising residents and visitors to take all necessary safety precautions until the all-clear notification for Hurricane Madeline has been issued.

For the latest information on Hurricane Madeline, follow Hawaii news media reports and monitor the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website at www.weather.gov/cphc.

Travelers scheduled to arrive in or depart from Hawaii this week should confirm the status of their flight before going to the airport.

Visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org. 

Norwegian Cruise Line Modifies Itinerary

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it has modified its Pride of America itinerary to avoid Hurricane Madeline. 

The ship will now remain at sea on August 31 with a cruise past the Na Pali coast on September 1.  

"We continue to monitor the storm’s path and will update guests should any further itinerary changes occur," according to an official statement released by Norwegian Cruise Line.

Visit www.ncl.com

Island Air, Hawaiian Airlines to Waive Change Fees During Hurricanes Madeline and Lester

Island Air will waive reservation change fees and differences in fares for customers needing to change their travel plans due to Hurricanes Madeline and Lester.
 
Effective immediately, customers ticketed for travel on Island Air from August 31 through September 3 will be permitted to change their reservations without charge to ticketed flights through September 10.
 
Changes must be made prior to the original departure date and ticketed on or before September 3. Changes must be made by Island Air personnel through the reservations department, or at the airport. Normal refund rules will apply.

Effective immediately, Hawaiian Airlines guests holding tickets for travel to/from/via the Island of Hawaii—Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO)—on Hawaiian Airlines flights from August 31 through September 1, will be permitted a one-time reservation change with waiver of change fee provided that the 
ticket was issued on or before August 30 and the affected flight(s) is/are originally scheduled for travel between August 31 and September 1.

Change must be ticketed for new flights on/before September 5. Agent assist fees for changes to travel agency tickets will be waived.

In addition, for changes made to new flights any resulting difference in fare(s) will be waived provided that change is made to same compartment (i.e. Coach to Coach or First/Business Class to First/Business Class) and there is no change in origin and destination.

Visit www.islandair.com and www.hawaiianairlines.com. Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this story. Be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.

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