The most powerful and destructive storm to hit the Atlantic in over a decade, Irma slammed the Caribbean with catastrophic consequences.
Duncan Bureau, Air Canada’s Vice President, Global Sales, confirmed that Air Canada continues to “proactively assist those in need.
We have operated numerous rescue missions and repatriated hundreds of people that were on vacation.”
Air Canada responded immediately by dispatching flights to vulnerable areas before the storm hit. Its Irma tracking led the airline to rescue passengers in Antigua, Turks & Caicos, and its three destinations in the Dominican Republic: Puerto Plata, Samaná and Punta Cana.
This included the transport of water and medical supplies.
Our flag carrier showed its true Canadian colours (besides red and white) by waiving change and cancellation fees. This humanitarian approach is in stark contrast to some American airlines’ fee hikes, seeing this tragic situation as an opportunity for financial gain.
“We will continue to monitor and respond to the best of our ability to assist those that are in need of air travel back to Canada,” pledged Bureau.
Air Transat and WestJet also dispatched aircraft to passengers eager to escape Irma’s decimating path.
Still, some Canadians remain without electricity nor certainty about their situation in parts of the Caribbean, despite the best efforts of airlines and tour companies.
Many Flight Centre travel agents tirelessly assisted clients whose sun vacations they planned months ago. Says one Toronto consultant, “I’m definitely hearing a lot of people saying, they are so glad they booked with us [Flight Centre] so they don’t have to try and fend for themselves to find a flight home, that we took care of all that.”
Air Canada and Flight Centre are committed to assisting their respective customers who may still need to get home. While some chose to stay in their destination, others may have been unreachable due to the aforementioned electric outages, lack of information and other issues.
Damages resulting from Hurricane Irma’s severity will be felt for years. Tourism is the largest booster to Caribbean economies. Flight Centre and Air Canada will endeavour to continue assistance, through charitable programs and donations, as well as offer cheap flights to these areas to encourage travel and fortification of these popular destinations.
Contact Air Canada Customer Support for more information, or Flight Centre is ready to help you at 1 877 967 5302.