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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

September 15, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Alaska allows flight changes to more Mexico resorts due to hurricane

Damage as seen Monday on  Los Cabos beach from Hurricane Odile. (Oscar Ramirez photo / EPA)

Damage on a Los Cabos beach from Hurricane Odile as seen on Monday.  (Oscar Ramirez photo / EPA)

Alaska Airlines, one of the major carriers to the Mexican resort of Los Cabos from Seattle and California cities,  has extended the no-penalty period for canceling or changing flights through Sept. 19 because of the hurricane that has devastated the area. It’s also dropped the change/cancellation fess for other western Mexico resort cities that will be affected by the massive Hurricane Odile.

On Monday afternoon, Alaska  extended the no-penalty flight-change policy to other western Mexican cities that face heavy rain.  Alaska spokeswoman Halley Knigge said they include Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Manzanillo and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The Los Cabos airport remained closed Monday, and Alaska has canceled all flights to/from Los Cabos on Tuesday.  Get details at Alaska’s website.

Damage to Los Cabos, a major Mexican tourist resort at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, includes widespread power outages, blown-out windows and roofs, and flooding after torrential rains. Alaska canceled all of its 10 flights Monday (and six flights on Sunday in advance of the hurricane which struck Sunday night). Eight flights also were canceled for Tuesday; it’s unclear when the airport will reopen.

The hurricane churned northward Monday up the Baja California peninsula on Monday, but its effects also are stretching out onto the west coast of Mexico (and resorts there)  and it’s expected to bring torrential rain later this week to Arizona.

Visitors due to travel soon to hard-hit Los Cabos should check directly with airlines and hotels about cancellations and refunds. As of Monday, hotels  and the regional government still were assessing damage, and hotel cancellation policies were not yet set. But visitors due to travel in the coming weeks to Los Cabos should double-check on hotel damage, repairs and possible closure of amenities such as hotel pools or restaurants.

A state of natural disaster has been declared in Baja California Sur (the southern part of the peninsula), according to La Tribune de Los Cabos, a local newspaper, and people were being urged to stay inside Monday because of the danger of downed power lines and hurricane debris that littered streets.

Raimundo Diaz Cruz, left, and his wife Graciela Castillo, right, salvage wood beans and bricks to rebuild their house after it was destroyed by Hurricane Odile in Los Cabos, (Victor R. Caivano /AP photo)

Raimundo Diaz Cruz (left) and his wife Graciela Castillo salvage wood beans and bricks Monday to rebuild their house after it was destroyed by Hurricane Odile in Los Cabos. (Victor R. Caivano /AP photo)

Tourists in Los Cabos spent a long, fearful night Sunday in hotel ballrooms and hallways, or in the bathrooms of their hotel rooms, to be safely away from windows which could and did shatter during the hurricane. Damage was still being assessed in local fishing villages and other communities.

Thousands of tourists, many of them American, were in Los Cabos when the hurricane struck. Alaska said it will “seek to accommodate” its passengers who want to get home as soon as possible.

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Comments | More in Alaska Airlines, Los Cabos hurricane | Topics: hurricane flight changes, Hurricane Odile

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