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Everything Vancouverites need to know about flight changes due to tropical storms

Find out what you need to know.
A couple of significant tropical storms are disrupting flights from Vancouver across North America and the Caribbean.

Vancouverites who have a holiday booked to a sun destination might want to rethink their travel plans.

While Hurricane Hilary was downgraded to a post-tropical storm after the weekend, it continues to wreak havoc over parts of the western United States.

Concurrently, another tempestuous weather event, Tropical Storm Franklin, continues to batter islands in the Caribbean. 

Downtown LA received a record amount of rainfall on Sunday, Aug. 22, with 2.48 inches of rainfall. The previous wettest day was Aug 17, 1977, when 2.06 inches of rain was recorded, according to the National Weather Service Los Angeles. 

What to do if you have flights booked that may be affected by a tropical storm

Air Canada flights

Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy enabling customers travelling on an affected flight to make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting.

The airline told V.I.A. in an emailed statement that travellers should continue to check on the local weather of the destinations they are headed to and what local authorities say about welcoming visitors. 

Air Canada will continue to "monitor the tropical storm closely" and added that some of its flights were affected. It has revised its ticketing policy to enable customers travelling on affected flights to make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting.

WestJet flights

WestJet says it has a travel advisory and flexible change/cancel guidelines have been announced for all guests travelling to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic effective on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23.

Hurricane/tropical storm travel advisories are issued based on information provided by the Canadian Hurricane Centre or the (American) National Hurricane Center. WestJet will allow you to do one of the following options:

  1. Cancel your reservation -  transfer the full amount paid into a Travel Bank credit valid for one year.
  2. Change your travel dates (subject to availability) to the same flight number, origin and destination.
    • Choose an earlier date, or a date up to and including 14 days after the original departure date and WestJet will waive any difference in fare.
    • Choose a date of 15 days or more after your original departure date and normal exchange and refund guidelines will apply.
  3. Change your destination - just pay any difference in fare. If your new itinerary costs less, WestJet give you a Travel Bank credit for the difference.

WestJet has dropped its advisory for Tropical Storm Hilary but you may still want to try to change your flight based on information from local authorities. Depending on the fare class that you booked, you may be able to do this without a penalty.