Tropical storm Delta, gathering strength in the western Caribbean and expected to soon become a category 2 hurricane, has forced Cayman Airways to move or even cancel flights altogether over the next couple of days. Passengers that want to change their tickets can do so free of charge, according to the airline’s Hurricane Protection Policy.
2020 is undoubtedly a year of extremes. The Atlantic hurricane season is set to be record-breaking, as the 25th storm of the season formed early Monday morning, weeks before the previous record-holder of 2005. Tropical Storm Delta is the earliest 25th storm on record, and 2020 is only the second season ever to run out of names and move on to letters from the Greek alphabet.
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Gathering in strength
Delta, coming right after Tropical Storm Gamma, formed just South of Jamaica in the Caribbean on Monday, October 5th. Jamaica, along with the Cayman Islands and Cuba, is the first expected to be hit by the storm, which itself is expected to turn into a hurricane as it is quickly gaining steam across the western Caribbean.
As such, it is no surprise that air traffic in the area is affected. Cayman Airways, the flag carrier of the British Overseas Territories of the Cayman Islands, has adjusted its flight schedule over the coming days.
Miami flight moved, Sister Islands canceled
A repatriation flight, KX3102, bound for Miami and initially scheduled for Tuesday, has been moved to Wednesday, October 7th. It will depart from Grand Cayman at 14:30 local time. The return flight from Miami, KX3103, will leave the same day at 18:30.
All of Monday’s Sister Islands (that is Little Cayman and Cayman Brac) flights were moved to an earlier departure time, whereas all of Tuesday’s flights have been canceled.
According to the Cayman Compass, affected passengers should be contacted by an airline ticketing agent with details about the changes. However, travelers are still encouraged to contact Cayman Airways for updates.
#Delta continues slowly strengthening in the Caribbean with max sustained winds now at 45 mph. The forecast track still has this storm making landfall along the northern Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane on Friday.
We're LIVE with the expected impacts and active alerts. pic.twitter.com/yQwxWNgdAq
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 5, 2020
Hurricane Protection Policy
The carrier is waiving change fees for any passenger wishing to cancel their flight to or from the Sister Islands on October 5th and 6th. This is a common procedure for Cayman Airways under its Hurricane Protection Policy.
If passengers are ticketed for a date of a hurricane watch issued by the United States National Hurricane Center, even those with non-refundable tickets may cancel their flight prior to departure and retain the value of the ticket. Travelers may also choose to depart on earlier flights or change their plans to travel away from the projected path of a hurricane, without being subject to a change fee.
While commercial jetliners can generally fly above hurricanes, tropical-storm-soon-to-be-hurricane Delta is not the first bad weather to have a significant impact on aviation in the area this season. In August, hurricane Laura gave rise to over 400 flights being canceled in and out of Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. One month prior, Hawaiian Airlines moved most of its fleet to the US mainland, to keep it out of harm’s way from category 2 hurricane Douglas.
Have you ever had your itinerary affected by bad weather? Let us know in the comments.