Travelers who planned to visit the islands this week should reach out to their airlines and hotels if they want to postpone their trips.
Only a handful of flights to Honolulu were canceled Monday, and two were cancelled Tuesday, according to FlightAware, which tracks airline cancellations and delays in real time.
The Department of Transportation requires airlines to offer a refund when they cancel a flight. It doesn't matter if the reason for the cancellation was outside their control, like weather, or within their control, like maintenance issues or flight crew shortages. It also doesn't matter what kind of ticket was purchased, including nonrefundable tickets or basic economy tickets.
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For travelers choosing to postpone their trips, Hawaiian Airlines is waiving rescheduling fees for flights booked through Tuesday. Customers who prefer to cancel their trips can get credit for future flights within the next year.
As standard policy, Southwest customers can rebook flights without penalty or voluntarily cancel for either flight credit or full refunds, depending on the type of tickets initially purchased. Southwest is also offering special waivers for Daniel K. Inouye International Airport travelers Tuesday due to the severe weather.
Alaska isn't offering any special waivers, but the airline doesn't charge change fees regularly anyway.
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American, Delta and United also fly to Hawaii. USA TODAY reached out to see if they are offering any special accommodations during Hawaii's state of emergency.
While it may be too late for travelers already in Hawaii to buy travel insurance, if their plans are thrown off by the severe weather, they may be eligible for some trip protection through their credit card companies.
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hawaii travel: What visitors should know during the state of emergency