Written by: Zvonimir Tolj and María Corina Roldán
MIAMI — Copa Airlines has announced the cancelation of all flights to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 19 and 20 because of the imminent threat of Hurricane Maria as it approaches the Caribbean region.
The Panama-based carrier will reschedule customers with tickets between September 19 and 26 to and from cities that could be affected by the hurricane, such as San Juan, Santo Domingo, Santiago de los Caballeros, Punta Cana, and Port-au-Prince.
Rescheduled customers may change their tickets to travel through October 17, 2017, without acquiring penalties or ask for a full refund of the ticket. Any kind of changes to flight itineraries must be made by September 25.
Copa Airlines established regarding passengers with flight itineraries:
We urge all travelers whose itineraries could be affected by this situation to consult www.copa.com or contact our Reservation Center in the USA (1-800-359-2672), and in other countries (country numbers: www.copaair.com/en/web/ca/reservation-center) to obtain information regarding the status of their flights. Travelers can also personally access our flight status page to learn more: www.copaair.com/en/web/gs/flight-status. We encourage our passengers to watch the news and remain informed about what necessary precautions to take and how to stay safe during Hurricane Maria.
However, Delta finalized operational plans as Hurricane Maria is expected to deliver destructive impacts down on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico overnight Tuesday-Wednesday.
The carrier will continue with today’s flights, as scheduled from its hubs in Atlanta and New York, and added three extra flights to provide more possibilities for residents and visitors to evacuate.
Nevertheless, Delta’s flights to St. Thomas remain canceled due to the approaching storm and the infrastructure constraints caused by Hurricane Irma.
Luciano Macagno, Delta’s Managing Director for Latin America and the Caribbean stated:
Our teams throughout the Caribbean are working diligently to ensure a safe operation for our customers ahead of Hurricane Maria. We’re doubling the number of flights from San Juan to Delta’s Atlanta hub today and operating late into the evening to provide our customers and employees a chance to get out of the hurricane’s way.
Delta has capped Main Cabin, one-way nonstop fares at $199 for flights departing San Juan, Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo through September 21 and is momentarily waiving baggage and pet in cabin fees for passengers traveling to and from San Juan and other airports in the area (Full list available here).
Moreover, a travel waiver has been assigned for passengers flying out of San Juan from Sept. 19-26. This allows customers to change plans without acquiring a fee, and also covers customers from St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Turks and Caicos with tickets issued from Sept. 5 to Dec. 31.
Depending on infrastructure damage after Hurricane Maria passes, the carrier planned an operational restart in St. Thomas and Puerto Rico on Thursday. However, St. Maarten services are expected to resume Saturday, pending additional evaluation of airport and its surroundings after both hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Lastly, limited flights to Key West Airport—closed since Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys—are expected to resume this Wednesday.