Strong quake rocks Hawaii tourism

A strong earthquake hit Hawaii’s Big Island early Sunday causing landslides and blocking roads. Hundreds of hotel guests were evacuated.The U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.6. The earthquake was also followed by several strong aftershocks.

Hotels reported scattered injuries and disruptions. Many hotel managers broadcast warnings over public-address systems that echoed through corridors.

The travel plans for many visitors were affected, although the island state was in a low period for the tourism season.

Airports continued to operate despite the power outages, but travel was difficult and some flights were being cancelled.

The Hawaii tourism website has come out with a statement on its website


United Airlines revises ticket policies 

United Airlines has revised its ticket policies for customers with travel plans to and from Hawaii. These revised policies apply to all customers ticketed on or before Oct. 15, 2006, for travel between Oct. 15 and Oct. 18, 2006, to/from Hawaii on any United(R), United Express(R), Ted(SM) or United code-share flight.

For customers currently en route who would like to make one change to their return trip, rules and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchases, day or time applications, blackouts and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived. Origin and destination cities must remain the same.

For customers who have not begun travel, one change to their travel plans may be made without change fees or advance purchase requirements for the same itinerary. For a new itinerary, one change may be made without change fees. Rescheduled travel may be subject to higher fares if it does not meet original rule and booking code restrictions or is a new itinerary.

Only customers with already canceled flights are eligible for a full refund.

All changes must be made by midnight of the customer’s original travel date. Customers may make these changes by calling United reservations at 1- 800-UNITED-1 (or their local reservations office) or a travel agency.