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Hurricane Dean

Vancouver
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116 posts
2 reviews
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Hurricane Dean

Air Transat has cancelled all its flights from Canada to Cancun for this weekend (Aug. 18 & 19) in accordance with the State of Quintana Roo's alert instructing tour companies to not bring travellers into the region. For some odd reason, United Airlines is continuing to flying to Cancun.

I am very concerned because my 19 year old daughter and friend are supposed to fly to Cancun via Chicago and scheduled to arrive in Cancun on Tuesday August 21st at 1:00 PM. When I contacted Travelocity, the agent told me that the flight is still scheduled to fly. I explained that I am worried and need to know my options as far as rebooking or changing the flight.

We purchased trip cancellation and interruption insurance but not hurricane insurance. He was not very knowledgeable and told me that if we wanted to make any change to the flight or destinaiton, that the girls would have to complete their travel within 7 days of the original travel dates. I explained that this would not work since both girls are returning to university upon their return from Cancun (Sept. 3rd.). I have been on hold for the Travelocity for the past 1 1/2 hours waiting to talk to an agent and waited online for United Airlines for 1 hour before their system cut me off.

Does anyone out there know how making changes to an existing travel package works. The package included airfare, hotel at the Barcelo Maya Colonial, and transfers to/from the airport. Is there normally a service charge to make a change? Is it true that the subsequent trip must occur within 7 days of the original trip? If so, what if the traveller can't make it during this timeframe?

As an aside, does anyone know if the Barcelo property in the Mayan Rivieria is equipped with all the required emergency equipment in the event of a hurricane. I know that the hotel installed metal gates on all patio doors immediately after Hurricane Wilma. Are there emergency generators, enough food and water for all guests during the emergency, etc.

Cancun Passion
Sightseeing Tours, Archaeology Tours
Caribbean Connection
Day Trips, Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours
Olympus Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
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11,290 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: Hurricane Dean

Next time you might want to consider using a real travel agent...and you might now want to use this latest from the Governor...#4 is important...

The Governor of Quintana Roo just addressed to the state a few minutes ago, the hurricane alert status was upgraded to YELLOW ALERT (permanent watch for possible impact from 48 to 72 hours). Among the immediate preventive actions the most important are:

1.- Schools will be closed on Monday for the whole north area of the state

2.- The airports of Cancun and Cozumel will continue operating until Monday as long as the weather allows the aerial operation.

3.- The full evacuation of the Islands of Contoy, Holbox and the keys of the central part of the state will be completed today. Cozumel is excluded of this evacuation since that is a big island that has its own system of protection, in the case of Isla Mujeres there will be meetings this afternoon to take the decision about the actions to take.

4.- Travel agencies must NOT bring any tourist to the region

Venice, Florida
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1,608 posts
42 reviews
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2. Re: Hurricane Dean

I have a 19 yr. old daughter also, and we were down there when Hurricane Emily came. We made it out 3 hours before the airport closed. No matter how much $ you lose, don't let her go down there right after a hurricane. Conditions will be bad. The Mexican gov. is taking appropriate measures early this time after what happened with Wilma,luckily.

Vancouver
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116 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Hurricane Dean

This reinforces to me why I originally told the girls to purchase their trip through a 'real' travel agent and to also go with a packaged tour (i.e. - Air Canada Vacations, Transat Tours). The packages were all sold out and the girls ran out of days to book because they will be returning to school in September.

So, here I sit not knowing what to do. STA Travel is pointing me towards Travelocity. They apparently book the 'package' vacations for STA Travel. I've spoken to Travelocity twice (after waiting for 15 and 30 minutes on hold) and got absolutely no where as far as options if we decide to cancel to book somewhere else for the same time period. Travelocity sent me back to United Airlines. I waited on line for United for 50 minutes and could not wait any longer because I had an appointment.

Word of advice to everyone...... Always book your trips through a 'real' and reputable travel agent!

Vancouver
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67 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Hurricane Dean

Sundog. It's not that bad.

IF Hurricane Dean hits Cancun, it is scheduled to make landfall around midnight Aug.20th. If that is the case, the Cancun airport will be closed for at least a day or two starting the late afternoon of Aug.20th and the United Air flight will not be allowed to takeoff.

So in that aspect your daughter won't be flying into danger.

As for the Barcelo, I know for a fact that people who were there during Hurricane Emily rode out the storm in their rooms (packaged dinners were given to them by staff to ride out the storm) and yes there are emergency generators.

As for a refund, you have trip cancellation insurance.

Once it is shown that the tour operator cannot deliver the promised package, because the airplane never took off, everything is refundable.

STA Travel is who you should bug once it is confirmed that no planes will be allowed into Cancun airport. Don't take any BS about having to rebook another package within 7 days or whatever.

As a comparison, I booked with Sunquest for a Cancun trip this week and back in 2005. Both times the flight was cancelled due to the hurricane advisory. Both times I received a full refund. I was even refunded my trip cancellation insurance premium this time because I never even left.

Good luck

Ohio
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231 posts
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5. Re: Hurricane Dean

Years ago I booked a trip to Cancun through Funjet for October and the weather was not looking the greatest, no real hurricane on the horizon but a large tropical storm possibly turning into a hurricane. We had the insurance so we cancelled about 6 days before hand and got every penny back except for the cost of the insurance. We were on a charter flight versus scheduled air so that might have made a difference. I do not know of any airline (or pilot) that would try to fly into those kind of condtions so I would think that your daughter's flight will be cancelled before Tuesday gets here. I have used Travelocity several times but have never had to cancel with them. However, I do not like the fact that when I have a question for them, it seems like the person I am talking to barely understands English!! I hope you daughter's trip is cancelled for everyone's sake!

Teaneck, NJ
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403 posts
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6. Re: Hurricane Dean

I canceled my trip to the Cancun Palace on Friday. I was scheduled to arrive Sunday the 19th.

Palace resorts has a very liberal official hurricane policy, which includes a free future full week if you are evacuated for a hurricane "direct hit" any time during your stay. In this case, it might not have helped because , as of now, it looks like Dean is going to hit to the south, and not qualify as a "direct hit" on Cancun.

To their credit however, Palace resorts, which usually has a 72 hour requirement for no penalty cancellation (I had prepaid the entire week months in advance), given the impending hurricane, allowed me to cancel 48 hours in advance with a full refund to my credit card.

Our Continental Airlines flight took off on Sunday without us. They therefore would not give a cash refund (the tickets were originally non refundable), but to their credit as well, they are allowing me to rebook within a year of original purchase.

Ironically, I did purchase trip insurance which would have covered the hurricane, but only if it hit while I was actually in Cancun, and the Airline or the hotel shut down for 24 hours. Laughably, my "trip Insurance" actually did nothing for me given the need to cancel prior to starting the trip based on projected paths of the hurricane at the time.

Chicago
2 posts
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7. Re: Hurricane Dean

Ok, whats up with United Airlines. I have a flight booked to Cancun for Tuesday, the 21st. I am suppose to take of from O'Hare Airport (Chicago), at 8 am, and land in Cancun at 12:30. United has yet to cancel anything, they are acting as though they are going to make the trip. This is bad news for me, because if they don't cancel, then I'm out 900 bucks. I've tried getting ahold of UAL, but I end up waiting on hold for hours. I am trying to find out if they have any kind of rebook special going, due to the hurricane. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Illinois
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8. Re: Hurricane Dean

I would suspect you'll be delayed for a few hours...and assuming that there is no damage to Cancun's airport...you should be able to still make it down tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Boston...
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574 posts
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9. Re: Hurricane Dean

Have you guys really watched the recent weather advisory for this area ? From reading this forum, I'm getting impression that there is no category 4, possibly 5 hurrican expected to hit south of Cancun by early morning ? I'm thinking that I'm going to have to rebook my trip b/c of resort damage just like I had to back in 10/2005. Remember Wilma anyone ?

Chicago
2 posts
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10. Re: Hurricane Dean

Basically, if you are flying out in the next day or so, you can get a rebook within a year, at the least. Although United is not advertising it, they were more than willing to let me rebook and wave the fee, even though it is within 24 hrs. So, my advice, from what I hear, is that everything is dead and closed down there, so a Cancun vacation is not going to be a typical Cancun vacation if you go within the next few days or so.