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Friday, January 3, 2003


Loss of coupons
taken in stride

Businesses say most trips are planned
in advance and booked electronically

Aloha to drop coupons too


By Tim Ruel
truel@starbulletin.com

Local contractors and medical personnel who do a lot of a last-minute interisland travel are going to have to get used to a world without flight coupons, even if it costs them more.

"They don't have the flexibility of booking (flights) 3 days or 7 days in advance," said Bonnie Gutner, owner of Travel Inc. in Kailua.

Customers were buying up all the coupons in sight yesterday, said Gutner, who is also a past president of the American Society of Travel Agents Hawaii chapter.

One businessman told Gutner that, rather than making several trips to the neighbor islands, he plans to bundle his work into fewer trips, she said.

Other businesses may not be so quick to schedule face-to-face meetings, said Lisa Saunders, business development manager of Kailua Travel. On the other hand, large local businesses showed little concern about Aloha Airlines' and Hawaiian Airlines' plans to kill the use of flight coupons, in favor of electronic ticketing.

"It's just an adjustment," said Steve Tabussi, vice president of marketing for First Insurance Company of Hawaii.

Workers of City Bank, which has 21 branches on all major islands, typically book their flights early, and have already stopped using paper tickets, said Wayne Miyao, senior vice president.

Three to seven days' notice is enough for employees at Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, said Peter Jenkins, vice president of sales.



Aloha Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines



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