Hurricane Irene affecting Hawaii travel - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hurricane Irene affecting Hawaii travel

Lehi Pilarte Lehi Pilarte
Claudia Carr Claudia Carr
Rosa Reiter Rosa Reiter
Stacey Djou Stacey Djou

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Thousands of flights have already been cancelled including flights bound for Hawaii.  Continental Airlines flight numbers 14 and 15 between Newark and Honolulu have been cancelled through the weekend.

Vacation to Hawaii is supposed to be a relaxing instead Hurricane Irene is changing plans.

"It's bothering me a little bit now that I'm out here in Hawaii and so many hours away," said Lehi Pilarte, Manhattan.

"I'm worried about the folks at home. Our vacation is kind of timed where we're here on the other side of the map and they're all there," said Claudia Carr, Washington DC.

For the Reiter family packing for this trip also included prepping their house in New York City.

"Putting all our patio furniture inside, securing things around the house, closing windows," said Rosa Reiter, New York City.  "I'm a little concerned just because I have family and friends there but definitely excited and happy to be here. I'm here for a friend's wedding."

Charles and Stacey Djou just returned from Baltimore.  Dropping their son off at college became even more anxious because of Irene.

"It's a wonderful feeling of pride but also a lot of sadness in leaving him there especially right before the hurricane coming," said Stacey Djou.

For folks returning to the East Coast there could be trouble.  FlightAware.com, which tracks all flights around the country, says more than 5,000 flights have already been cancelled and the Mass Transit Authority in New York will shut down tomorrow which will close all the airports in that area.

"It's a really tough storm because its hitting DC and NY which are not only large metropolitan areas but also hubs for United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Jet Blue," said Daniel Baker, FlightAware.com CEO.

He says airlines are not charging to re-book flights to the East Coast still there won't be enough seats next week to accommodate all the cancellations so if you need to change your itinerary do it now.

"If you have any flexibility I would recommend you do it right now and don't wait until later because there's not much capacity in the rest of the week so you need to get that seat now," said Baker.

"I was fortunate enough I didn't have to reschedule my flight. My return date was early enough but I know there were a lot of people trying to get on earlier flights to leave the east coast when they were heading west," said Paul LeBlanc, Returned from Washington DC.

FlightAware.com says good luck trying to get an airline representative on the phone in a timely manner before calling try to do all you can online first.

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