Latest US Weather Warnings and Safety Updates
We're here to keep your holiday dreams safe and secure, with the latest weather warnings and travel advice for Ocean Florida customers.
This information is correct as of 9:00 GMT (BST) on 31st August 2023.
31st August 2023 at 9:00am
Idalia Downgraded to a Tropical Storm as It Reaches Georgia and South Carolina
Following its impact on Florida's west coast, Idalia has been downgraded to a tropical storm as of Wednesday evening, 30th August 2023.
The storm's trajectory has shifted northward, affecting regions in southern Georgia and South Carolina, where residents are grappling with strong winds reaching speeds of up to 60 mph and heavy rainfall.
We can confirm the reopening of Tampa International Airport and many regional airports on Florida’s west coast. Operations are set to return to full capacity on 31st August 2023.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said the focus now is on clearing debris and restoring power to the hundreds of thousands of homes that have been cut off from the electricity grid.
Should you need any assistance or travel-related concerns, we encourage you to contact us via WhatsApp at +44 (0) 7564 582 864, call our US number on 1-407 390 6422* (and press Option #1 For Customer Service) or get in touch through the Manage My Booking portal.
30th August 2023 at 9:40am
Idalia Now Forecast to Become a Category 4 Hurricane
Hurricane Idalia is now expected to reach Category 4 intensity before making landfall in the Florida Big Ben region at around 8 a.m. local time (12:00 GMT). This projection comes from the National Hurricane Center, which also expects “Catastrophic storm surge inundation.”
In the United States, hurricanes are classified on a scale of 1 to 5, with Category 5 being the most severe. Storms reaching Category 3 and above are deemed “major hurricanes” due to their potential for loss of life and damage to property.
Nevertheless, customers staying in the Orlando area can expect relatively minimal disruption to their travel plans.
Orlando International Airport stated that it does not foresee any "significant impact" on its operations, though customers are urged to check directly with their airline for any updates. Some flight delays and cancellations are still likely to occur because of heavy rainfall or strong winds.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney World Resort has confirmed it is currently operating under “normal conditions.” All four theme parks remain open, though Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park will be closed today, as will Disney’s miniature golf pitches: Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens
If you need any travel assistance, such as requesting changes to your booking details, please get in touch via the Manage My Booking portal.
29th August 2023 at 11:00am
Important Information for Ocean Florida Customers Affected by Hurricane Idalia
We have important information for Ocean Florida customers regarding Hurricane Idalia, including its current weather pattern and what to do if your holiday is affected. Anticipated to become a Category 3 hurricane, there is a possibility that it could cause major impact to areas of Florida, including the risk of storm surges, heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall in Big Bend, between the Florida Panhandle and the Florida Peninsula, on Wednesday 30th August 2023.
If you are currently on holiday with us or due to travel in the coming days, we can confirm the general closure of Tampa International Airport (TPA) from 12:01am EDT on Tuesday 29th August, though a limited number of flights are still scheduled. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) will suspend all flights from 3pm EDT on Tuesday 29th August.
When the hurricane passes, it may take up to two days before airlines resume their full flight schedule. If your holiday has been affected, we will be contacting you to discuss your travel options.
🚨 TPA TO CLOSE DUE TO IDALIA 🚨— Tampa International Airport ✈️ (@FlyTPA) August 28, 2023
We will close at 12:01 AM Tuesday
✈️ Check directly with your airline for the latest flight updates
⛈️ TPA is not a shelter
📱 Stay tuned to our social media for the latest
MORE DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/MXZKAusjzW pic.twitter.com/m6nGbNdul3
Please note that Hurricane Idalia is not expected to cause the suspension of flights to Florida via Orlando International Airport (MCO), though we shall keep you informed of any further developments.
For further assistance, please get in touch with our Customer Service team via the Manage My Booking portal. For more information, please read our guidelines below, which aim to ensure your stay safe in Florida.
Information for All Customers in Florida
What to do in a hurricane warning
You must pay attention to the weather and news updates on local TV & radio stations. As such, it is useful to know which county you are staying in, and if you are unsure, you can find out using this helpful county locator map.
What to expect
There may be a curfew during the hurricane and it is crucial for your own protection that you adhere to this curfew. Details about this curfew will be announced on all local TV & radio stations. We also recommend paying attention to local news on social media outlets if you are out and about.
There may be power outages during and after the hurricane, which could disrupt the electricity supplied to your home. Rest assured this issue is usually temporary, and utility companies will fix the supply as soon as it is safe to do so.
Preparing for a hurricane checklist
· Make sure that all your travel documents and valuables are in a safe place so that you can access them quickly if necessary
· Pack a small bag with essential personal items, such as medication, toiletries, and a change of clothing
· Make sure you have some cash – should the power go down cash machines may not work
· Make sure that you have enough gasoline in your car as you may not be able to refuel during or soon after the hurricane
· Identify a safe place in your home – ideally an area with no windows and away from outside walls
· If safe to do so, place all exterior movable objects into the garage (i.e., trash bins and BBQs)
· Place all outdoor furniture into the pool – this will prevent them from being blown around and causing damage
· Purchase water: we recommend 1 gallon/3 litres of water per person – if you cannot buy bottled water, use zip-lock bags, fill these with water and place them in the freezer. Alternatively, we do have emergency supplies at our Orlando office should you need them, however, these are limited to 1 gallon per family
· Purchase food: ready-to-eat items, ideally non-perishable, packed, or canned food items. Please consider that you may lose power during and immediately after a hurricane
· Make sure that you have a torch/flashlight
· If you are travelling with small children, make sure you have enough wipes, nappies/diapers and baby food
· Consider books and games to keep you amused
· Consider having a battery-operated radio
During a hurricane checklist
· Stay inside. It is critical that you do not go outside of your home during the hurricane, not even for a short time
· Whilst the power is on, remember to keep up to date via local TV & radio stations
· When the eye of the storm passes over, there is often complete calm, which is often mistaken for the end of the hurricane. The calm can last some time, but the wind will return suddenly and often with greater force. Please do not go outside until advised to do so by local authorities
· Follow all instructions provided by local authorities
· Stay as calm as possible
Contacting us during a hurricane
Please note that our Orlando telephone lines may not be working, and our Orlando-based staff may not be able to get into the office, including adherence to any curfew that has been issued.
Our contact details are as follows: phone +1 407 390 6422 and dial option 1 for customer service.
In addition, we do have an emergency after-hours line available for you to contact us on when we are not in the office, this number is +1 407 421 1584.
Alternatively, if you are unable to reach any of our staff based in Orlando, we recommend that you contact your booking agent directly for assistance.
If You Are Due to Travel During Hurricane Idalia
It is possible that further airlines in Florida may suspend flights. If your airline closes, you can expect them to rearrange your flight free of charge at the nearest available date. Under EU law, specifically Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, passengers are entitled to certain rights when their flights are cancelled, including the right to re-routing and the right to care and assistance. This regulation applies to flights departing from an EU airport or flights arriving in the EU on an EU-based airline.
Nevertheless, if you voluntarily cancel your flight, perhaps due to concerns around the final trajectory of the hurricane, you may be expected to cover the additional cost.
To make sure you are aware of the status of your flight we recommend the following:
· Regularly check the website of your airline for updates
· Ensure your airline has your contact information so they can contact you directly
· Regularly check your email for any updates from your airline
If You Are Currently Staying in Villas Affected by Hurricane Idalia
Please note that your villa is hurricane-proofed; therefore, it is unlikely that you will need to be evacuated to local shelters. Instead, you will only need to evacuate if advised to do so by the police or government, and it is vital that you follow any instructions issued by local authorities. If you need to extend your stay at a property, due to a missed flight or an accommodation transfer, we are happy to arrange this extension.
In such a situation, please contact us so that we may check our reservation options at your current property or the possibility of transferring your party to alternate accommodation when it is safe to do so. If you are required to pay any fees for extending your stay, please keep a receipt of the payment so that you may seek to claim the expenses back via your travel insurance. You can get in contact with us in the following ways:
- WhatsApp message - +44 (0) 7564 582 864
- Call our UK number - 02033194511
- Call our US number - 1-407 390 6422* and press Option #1 For Customer Service
Please note that our phone lines and messaging services are only open from 9am to 5pm each day. We also operate an emergency telephone line 24/7: 1-407 421 1584. However, please only call this number if you have an issue that needs immediate attention. For example, we are not able to help with accommodation extensions on emergency lines.
If You Are Currently Staying in Hotels Affected by Hurricane Idalia
You can expect hotel management to be in regular contact with you regarding their hurricane safety procedures. If you need to extend your stay, the hotel should be able to accommodate you given the extenuating circumstances. If you are required to pay any fees for extending your stay, please keep a receipt of the payment so that you may seek to claim the expenses back via your travel insurance.
If You Are Due to Travel to Florida Soon
Please do not travel to the airport until you have checked the latest airline information, and here is where you can confirm the status of your flight:
Virgin Atlantic website: https://www.virginatlantic.com/flight-status/search. Telephone number: 03448 747 747
British Airways website: http://www.britishairways.com/rtad/travel/public/en_gb. Telephone number: 0344 493 0787
United Airlines website: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/travel/flightstatus/default.aspx. Telephone number: 800 864 8331
American Airlines website: https://www.aa.com/travelInformation/flights/status. Telephone number: 800 433 7300
TUI website: https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/travel-information. Telephone number: 033 33 365 147
Once it is deemed safe to travel, please contact your airline to arrange an alternative flight.
You can also contact us on 020 3814 2198 for help rearranging your flight and accommodation. However, if you booked your holiday through a local travel agent, please contact them directly first.
If we are ever unavailable over the phone, you may also request changes to your travel details via the Manage My Booking portal.