By ERIN MILLER
Stephens Media Hawaii
At least five flights to and from Kona were canceled Monday, as airlines waited to gauge the severity of Tropical Storm Flossie.
Marianne Lindsey, a spokeswoman for Alaska Air, said the company canceled two round-trip routes, from Seattle to Kona and Oakland to Kona. Passengers were offered the option to rebook or make other changes to their reservations at no extra charge, Lindsey said.
Officials were also keeping their eye on the weather.
“We’re looking to put some extra flights on this evening” to make up for the cancellations, she added.
No passengers were seen waiting at the company’s ticketing counter around the time one of the canceled flights would have taken off Monday morning.
American Airlines canceled five round-trip flights statewide, including at least one into Kona International Airport, spokesman Matt Miller said. American is also offering travelers the option of rebooking their tickets at no charge, Miller said.
The airline is allowing passengers to change their tickets for travel Sunday through today to flights through Friday.
American also canceled flights to Honolulu, Kahului and Lihue, Miller said.
He declined to say how many passengers were affected.
Karen May, spokeswoman for United, said the company canceled two round-trip flights to Kona Monday. She did not respond to additional questions.
State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said WestJet, which operates out of Canada, go! and charter flight company Omni Air also canceled flights to state airports.
“Because the situation with the storm is fluid and constantly changing we are asking the traveling public to check with their air carriers for specifics on flight information,” Sluyter said.
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau officials encouraged tourists to check with their hotels about staying longer in the event of canceled flights.
“All airports are open, but they are not equipped to shelter visitors from canceled or delayed flights,” HVCB officials said in a statement Monday.
Some hotels, anticipating guests with changing flight plans, announced Monday they would also waive no-show and other fees for travelers whose flights were affected by the storm.