volcanoes

Airlines offering waivers to/from Hawaii’s Big Island

Courtesy USGS

Don’t cancel that Hawaiian vacation just yet.

Although there’s increased volcanic activity and a new flow of lava from the Kīlauea volcano on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island), the Hawaii Tourism Authority website is reassuring visitors that no flights into airports anywhere in Hawai‘i are being affected and that the area where the lava is coming to the surface is very far from resort areas.

For updates, photos and webcam views of the volcano activities, see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) website.

That’s the good news.

The bad news: due to the volcanic activity there is a no-fly zone over Kīlauea volcano and on Friday Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was closed until further notice because of damage caused by earthquakes and aftershocks in the area.

So helicopter tours and visit to the park are out.

There’s still plenty to do on the Big Island, but some airlines are offering travel waivers for those who don’t want to head that way right now.

For those with tickets issued on or before May 3 and scheduled to travel to/from Hilo (ITO) or Kona (KOA) on  Hawaiian Airlines through May 13, the airline is offering change fee waivers for flights no later than May 20,

United Airlines is offering to waive change fees for those traveling to/from or through the Hilo (ITO) and Kailua-Kona (KOA) airports for those with tickets for travel through May 13 for new flights departing on or before May 16.

Other airlines flying to Hawaii may post waivers later today and this, of course, is a changing situation, so be sure to check your airline’s website and the USGS alerts for current news.

 

Icelandair’s cool new glacier themed airplane

Photo by Harriet Baskas

Icelandair which names all its planes after Icelandic volcanoes, has launched a glacier themed Boeing 757-200 named Vatnajökull, in honor of the Vatnajökull glacier, which is home to three active volcanoes.

To celebrate, Icelandair filled the plane with employees, guests and journalists – including me – and on May 13 set off for a quick, one-hour flight between Kefklavik Airport near Reykjavik and Egilsstaoir Airport, with a route that went right over the glacier the plane is named after.

 

Before we left, guests were invited to Icelandair’s new Saga club lounge at the Keflavik Airport, where a chunk of ice from the glacier was on display.

Photo: Harriet Baskas

Weather kept passengers from actually seeing the glacier during our flight – not unusual, according to the captain – but that didn’t really matter because there are plenty of glacier features on this plane – starting with the paint job, which was spray painted by hand.

Photo: Harriet Baskas

courtesy Icelandair

Inside, there are plenty of glacier themed items as well; everything from ambient LED blue lighting, to headrests, drink cups, napkins, chocolates, amenity kits and airsickness bags.

Headrests – photo Harriet Baskas

Glacier note in airplane restroom – photo Harriet Baskas

Tin Icelandair menity kit cover – photo Harriet Baskas

Airsickness bag – photo Harriet Baskas

You can learn more about Icelandair’s new glacier themed plane, see which routes it is flying and which airports it will stop and, better yet, put in a request for the plane to come to your town, here.

While the glacier themed plane is cool, it’s not Icelandair’s only special livery. In 2015, the airline rolled out the Hekla Aurora, which was inspired by the northern lights.