Repatriation - An Industry Coming Together

One of the most remarkable aspects of working in the travel industry is that each new adventure represents an opportunity to help people in places all around the globe. We know that the safety of travelers and their experience is of utmost importance and it is within our industry that we can make a difference. The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) would like to recognize our members and partners for coming together to help travellers in destinations affected by Hurricane Irma. Although a crisis situation, it is amazing to see how we are working together to positively impact those affected.

ACTA would like to commend our airline partners for their prompt and proactive response evacuating guests in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma. For ACTA members with clients travelling within these destinations Canada's airlines are offering additional flights, assistance, ticket flexibility, reduced fares and more to help you support the needs of your client. If you or anyone you know are trying to get your client out due to the hurricane please note the following information:

AIR CANADA

In response to Hurricane Irma, Air Canada added a total of 24 additional flights to bring your customers home early from the Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana), Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Orlando), Cuba (Varadero, Holguin, Havana and Cayo Coco), Antigua and Providenciales, as well as sending a larger aircraft with more seats for flights from the region, including Havana and Nassau.

With these additional flights and larger aircraft, Air Canada will have flown an additional 6,000 seats above its regular schedule over the three-day period from Tuesday September 5 to Thursday September 7th.

In addition, Air Canada has implemented a goodwill policy for clients whose itinerary includes a flight impacted by the path of the hurricane and if your clients travel is affected, you may contact Air Canada to change the flight to another date free of charge.

Details and a list of airports impacted are available on aircanada.com: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates.html#/20170904

Air Canada is continuing to review capacity requirements and working with Air Canada Vacations to ensure they have sufficient capacity to bring your customers home safely. 

WESTJET

WestJet has created a plan to help evacuate your clients from areas that could potentially be affected by Hurricane Irma. A number of 737-800s are operating as rescue flights. WestJet is working with local authorities, hotel partners and the airports to coordinate their rescue efforts however, advise that anyone who has clients in affected areas to follow the instructions of local authorities and the hotels who are also implementing their own hurricane preparedness plans for guests.

WestJet has also implemented flexible change and cancel rules that allow your clients to change their travel dates/route without incurring the change/cancel fee.

WestJet Recomends that you advise your clients to check the status of their flights prior to leaving for the airport between the dates September 7 and September 11, 2017 

Additional updates will be posted as they are available. https://westjettravelagents.com

AIR TRANSAT

Please note that Transat's hurricane policy is applicable for flights scheduled until September 11, 2017 for

  • Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando)
  • Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, La Romana)
  • Cuba (Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara, Holguin)
  • Haiti (Port au Prince)

Air Transat is continuing its rescue operation and is evacuating travellers that are in the trajectory of Hurricane Irma. The company announces that it is deploying a total of four flights to Florida to evacuate your clients: two flights to Fort Lauderdale and two to Orlando. The aircraft are expected to arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, September 8 and in Orlando on Saturday, September 9, both before noon. Please note that all scheduled flights on September 9 and 10 to Florida are canceled.

If you have clients affected by these flight cancellations we are advising you to inform them that they may (i) travel at a later date; (ii) travel to another destination(subject to certain conditions) (iii) cancel with full refund (excluding travel insurance costs when purchased).

The company continues to closely monitor the development of Hurricane Irma.

Furthermore, all necessary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of your customers at destination in collaboration with their team, partners and local authorities.

https://www.transat.com/en-CA/book/package/hurricane-policy?_ga=2.89721692.630220699.1504878736-2056081275.1504878734

SUNWING

Sunwing has been closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. As of yesterday, the company has sent in/is in the process of sending 12 unscheduled flights to repatriate your clients from the affected destinations. Local representatives remain in regular contact with guests vacationing in these destinations, assisting them with making the necessary changes to their travel arrangements.

In addition, Sunwing’s hurricane policy has been extended to all travellers that were scheduled to travel to affected destinations between September 6th and 10th inclusive. Your clients will be provided with the option to change destination or rebook for travel at a later date.

All new flights times are being posted at http://www.sunwing.ca/arrdepinfo.asp as they become available.