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TORONTO — Both Air Canada and WestJet have issued travel advisories for passengers heading to Cancun in the next few days, offering flexible rebooking policies as Nate, currently a tropical storm and potentially a hurricane by this weekend, heads towards the Yucatan Peninsula and then the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Tropical Storm Nate is roaring towards Yucatan Peninsula today after drenching Central America in rain that was blamed for at least 22 deaths. Forecasters said it could reach the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane by the end of this weekend and into early next week.
The latest forecast puts Nate at Cancun at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
Louisiana officials have declared a state of emergency and ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands ahead of its expected landfall Sunday, and evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Nate could cause dangerous flooding by dumping as much as 6 to 10 inches (18 to 25 centimetres) of rain as it moved over Honduras, with higher accumulations in a few places.
It had maximum sustained winds of 75 kph this morning and was likely to strengthen over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday before a possible strike on the Cancun region at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula at near-hurricane strength. It could hit the U.S. Gulf coast near New Orleans.
Here’s the latest from Air Canada and WestJet:
Air Canada has implemented a policy for customers who purchased an Air Canada ticket no later than Oct. 5 for travel to, from or via Cancun International Airport (CUN) on Oct. 6 or 7.
“If you are scheduled to travel on the above dates, you may contact Air Canada Reservations (1-888-247-2262) to change your flight, free of charge, to another date between now and Oct. 21, 2017, subject to availability in the cabin you originally purchased. Otherwise, any fare difference will apply.”
Passengers can also choose to travel to an alternate destination: “Any change fees will be waived, provided you are travelling between now and Oct. 21, 2017. However, any fare difference will apply.”
WestJet is advising all guests travelling to or from Cancun on Oct. 6 to check the status of their flights prior to leaving for the airport. WestJet adds that it has implemented flexible change and cancel rules. “To review your flight options, please call: WestJet (air-only): 1-888-937-8538 (1-888-WESTJET); or WestJet Vacations: 1-877-737-7001. If you have made an air-only booking through a travel agent, please contact your travel agent directly.”
With files from The Associated Press