The Hawaiian island of Maui continues to be ravaged by devastating wildfires that have wiped out homes, wildlife and infrastructure. The fires have already claimed at least 55 lives, and as damage reports continue to come in, many residents are desperate to flee and reach safe ground.
In the wake of the devastation, many airlines are doing their part to help those stranded and repay those who had planned to visit the island ahead of the fires.
Related: 36 Dead in Maui Tragedy, Historic Home Burnt to the Ground Amid Wildfire Chaos
United Airlines has announced that it will be sending empty planes to the island of Maui to pick up residents and evacuate them safely. United also canceled all flights going into Kahului Airport on the island in order to fly the empty planes and is offering waivers for those traveling to or through the airport.
We encourage our customers with upcoming travel to visit https://t.co/ufFoKFCcVG to check on their flight status and get the latest information. Additionally, waivers are in place for customers traveling to, from or through Maui: https://t.co/7mvpaDT7ek [2/2]
— United Airlines (@united) August 10, 2023
“Safety is the first priority for our customers and employees, and we are closely monitoring the devastating conditions in Maui,” the airline wrote on social media.
American is offering flight changes for any passenger with a flight to or from Maui through the end of August with the flight fee waived, regardless of what tier ticket has been purchased.
The airline also said on social media that it was upgrading to larger aircraft for flights into the island in order to pick up more passengers and evacuate them as well as adding more flights off the island.
As wildfires continue to devastate Maui, our entire #AATeam is working to support those affected. Our top priority is the safety of our customers and team members, as well as supporting evacuation efforts by adding additional flights out of Maui and upgrading aircraft to provide… pic.twitter.com/6hgFGEMXj5
— americanair (@AmericanAir) August 10, 2023
American is also teaming up with the Red Cross by offering customers bonus miles for every $25 donated to the organization through the airline.
People sleep at Kahului Airport early morning in Kahului, Hawaii on August 10, 2023 (Getty Images)
For passengers that are booked to go to Maui through August 13, Delta is offering waivers to passengers by August 16th.
For those booked to or through Maui before August 16th that wish to reschedule, all fare differences will be waived.
Alaska is offering a “flexible travel policy” for those traveling to or from Maui which will allow no-fee rebooking through August 31st, or the option to cancel without a cancelation fee and bank the money for a later flight.
The airline also sent out a rescue flight with supplies “including water, non-perishable food, pillows, blankets, towels, wipes, baby formula, and diapers” to Maui and said that it plans to send additional rescue flights to help evacuate residents.
“It’s in times of crisis that our team’s values of own safety, do the right thing and be kindhearted shine through,” the airline said in a release. “We’re proud of the way all our employees are rallying together to help and care for the Maui community and our guests.”
The island’s namesake airline has added nine additional flights from Maui to Honolulu in an attempt to evacuate travelers.
(2/3) We have also added extra flights to focus on bringing guests out of Maui and anticipate adding flights tomorrow wherever we can, primarily between Maui & Honolulu. Seats remain available today through Friday for $19 to facilitate urgent travel from Maui to Honolulu.
— Hawaiian Airlines (@HawaiianAir) August 10, 2023
The airline is charging just $19 for those wishing to book a seat on a flight off the island to get to safety.
As the wildfires continue to roll through Maui, airline policies are expected to change and update. This is a developing story.