Travel Hawaiian Airlines waives change fee on Big Island flights due to volcano eruption

21:10  04 may  2018
21:10  04 may  2018 Source:   sfgate.com

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a close up of smoke: In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, red ash rises from the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano after a magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck the Big Island, Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The temblor Thursday is the latest and largest in a series of hundreds of small earthquakes to shake the island's active volcano since the Puu Oo vent crater floor collapsed and caused magma to rush into new underground chambers on Monday. Scientists say a new eruption in the region is possible. (Kevan Kamibayashi/U.S. Geological Survey via AP) © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, red ash rises from the Puu Oo vent on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano after a magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck the Big Island, Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The temblor Thursday is the latest and largest in a series of hundreds of small earthquakes to shake the island's active volcano since the Puu Oo vent crater floor collapsed and caused magma to rush into new underground chambers on Monday. Scientists say a new eruption in the region is possible. (Kevan Kamibayashi/U.S. Geological Survey via AP)

Hawaiian Airlines announced late Thursday they will waive the change fees on flight reservations to and from Hilo and Kona on the Big Island due to the eruption of Kilauea volcano.

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Hawaiian Airlines announced it will waive reservation change fees for customers traveling on its Tokyo (HND-Haneda and NRT-Narita) and Osaka (KIX-Kansai and ITM-Itami) flights between Sept.

Guests holding tickets for travel between May 3 and May 4 will be permitted a one-time reservation without paying a fee. (Find more details.)

What's more, for changes made to new flights on or before May 11, any difference in fare will be waived if there isn't a change in origin and destination.

"For changes made to new flights after May 11, 2018, the change fee will be waived but applicable difference in fare will be collected," Hawaiian Airlines says.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupted Thursday, sending lava shooting into the air in a residential neighborhood and prompting mandatory evacuation orders for nearby homes.

Hawaii County said steam and lava poured out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island.

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Footage shown on local television showed lava spurting into the sky from a crack in a road. Aerial drone footage showed a line of lava snaking through a forest.

Officials said there is no way to predict how long the eruption will continue.

Asta Miklius, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory, told The Associated Press that there is quite a bit of magma in the volcano's system.

"It won't be just an hours-long eruption probably, but how long it will last will depend on whether the summit magma reservoir gets involved," she said.

County, state and federal officials had been warning residents all week that they should be prepared to evacuate, as an eruption would give little warning. Officials at the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday raised the volcano's alert level to warning status, the highest possible, meaning a hazardous eruption is imminent, underway or suspected.

The county has ordered evacuations for all of Leilani Estates, which according to the 2010 U.S. Census has a population of 1,500. Hawaii Gov. David Ige also mobilized the Hawaii National Guard to assist with evacuations and security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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