Hotels and others aid stranded fliers
Tales of inconvenience surface, but tourism officials say things are "surprisingly quiet"
On the eve of Aloha Airline's abrupt closure yesterday, Hakalau resident G.B. Hajim got bumped from his Hilo flight and had to fly into Kona.
Hajim made it to his destination, but the $3,000 worth of scuba gear that he was bringing back from a diving trip to Manila almost did not make the transition, he said. Twenty calls and many hours later, Hajim finally got his gear.
"I had just about given up hope when someone from Aloha located my luggage," Hajim said. "It was a happy ending for me, but I'm worried about other passengers. Luggage gets lost, that's a fact of travel, but there's no system in place to help other passengers once they close."
Hajim, who would have had to file a claim with Bankruptcy Court to seek reimbursement, likely will not be an anomaly.
While a final count has not been given, based on the size of Aloha's fleet, as many as 1,397 passengers on flights between Hawaii and the mainland could have been displaced by the carrier's abrupt cancellation Sunday of 11 flight segments. And with some 14,000 daily interisland seats, thousands of travelers going to and from Oahu and the neighbor islands were also inconvenienced.
Still, tourism officials say that there have been fewer problems than expected since Aloha's sudden announcement that it was ending passenger flights.
"The word is that it's been surprisingly quiet," said John Monahan, president and chief executive of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Since Aloha was flying only at about 65 percent full, Hawaii's other interisland carriers should be able to fill the void left by Aloha, said Monahan.
Aloha had only about 9 percent of the trans-Pacific market, and Monahan said he is confident that other carriers will be able to boost capacity to make up the difference.
More than 37 of Hawaii's small hotels and top hotel chains are offering discounts, and many are waiving cancellation and rebooking fees for visitors who were inconvenienced by Aloha Air. Most hotels are offering up to half-off rates, with some, like Aqua Hotels & Resorts, even offering free nights, based on availability, to stranded passengers.
The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii also will serve as a final backstop for stranded travelers who cannot find relief, said Jessica Lani Rich, president and executive director of the traveler's aid society that was founded in 1997 by the Honolulu Rotary Club.
"We don't bankroll Hawaii vacations -- that's not our function -- but we do help stranded visitors find the resources that they need," Rich said.
VASH did not hear from any Aloha Air customers to help on Sunday. By press time yesterday it had received a few Aloha-related calls, Rich said, but he added that they were from concerned residents who were worried about visitor impacts.
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Aloha Airlines customer service agent Melanie Osteria waved goodbye to one of her final customers at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif., yesterday.
Help for Aloha customers
I have reservations to the mainland on Aloha Airlines, and I need to rebook:
Aloha Airlines is working with code-share partner United Airlines and other airlines that are prepared to assist you. Contact United at (800) UNITED1 or go to its Web site at www.United.com. Hawaiian Airlines also has a special Web site to assist affected Aloha Airlines customers. Visit www.HawaiianAir.com/AlohaAssistance
I have reservations to the neighbor islands or Oahu on Aloha Airlines, and I need to rebook:
» Contact Hawaiian Airlines at (800) 367-5320 or visit www.HawaiianAir.com/AlohaAssistance
» Contact Island Air at (800) 323-3345 or visit www.islandair.com.
» Contact go! at (800) 435-9462 or visit www.iflygo.com.
I need to rebook my travel to Hawaii:
Aloha is working with code-share partner United Airlines and other airlines to assist you. Here are some contacts to get you started.
I need to extend or change my hotel stay in Hawaii:
Most Hawaii hotels are offering discounts or emergency accommodations. Here are some contact numbers to get you started.
» Aqua Hotels & Resorts 866-406-2782
» Hilton Family Hawaii
Hilton Hawaiian Village 949-4321
Doubletree Alana Hotel-Waikiki 941-7275
Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio 922-0811
Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk 921-2345
Hilton Waikoloa Village 808-886-1234
Hilton Kauai Beach Resort 808-245-1955
Grand Wailea 808-875-1234
» Hyatt Resorts & Spas of Hawaii 800-634-3839
» Lahaina Inn 800-669-3444
» Marriott Hotels & Resorts 800-228-9290
» ResortQuest Hawaii 800-774-2924
» Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii 866-716-8140
» Outrigger Enterprises Group 800-688-7444
» Waikiki Parc Hotel 800-422-0450
» Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel 800-247-1903
I want to cancel my trip to Hawaii because of Aloha's closure:
Contact your travel agent or credit card company to request a refund from Aloha Airlines. If you paid by check or cash, you will need to file a court claim to get a refund (read ahead for more information). Most Hawaii hotels will waive hotel cancellation fees for hotel guests holding Aloha Airlines tickets who wish to re-book or cancel their hotel reservations. Call your hotel for more information.
I have been stranded by Aloha Airlines and have special needs that have not been met:
The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (www.visitoralohasocietyofhawaii.org
) might be able to help visitors with special needs. The center is in Suite 403-3 of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, 2250 Kalakaua Ave. Office hours, excluding holidays, are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 926-8274 or e-mail email@example.com
I redeemed my AlohaPass miles for a confirmed hotel stay and wondered if it was still good:
If you received a confirmation, it should be valid; however, contact the hotel to confirm your reservation.
I paid by credit card or booked my vacation with a travel agent. How do I get an Aloha refund?
Call your credit card company or your travel agent and request that it cancel the charge.
I paid for travel with cash or check. How do I file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court so that I can get a refund or baggage claim settlement with Aloha Airlines?
The deadline for filing proofs of claim against Aloha Airlines Inc., Aloha Airgroup Inc. and Airgroup Acquisition Corp. has been set by the court for July 22 for any entity other than a governmental unit, and Sept. 16 for any governmental unit. Completed forms may be sent to the following address, so as to be received by the applicable deadline:
A blank proof of claim form can be obtained at chapter11.epiqsystems.com/clientdefault.aspx?
pk=b8f723a6-fe8c-4f97-b908-46566a8e0aad&l=1. Select the "Documents" icon at the top of the page and then select "Proof of Claim Form" from the "Public Documents" list. Mail your completed form to:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
District of Hawaii
1132 Bishop St., Suite 250-L
Honolulu, HI 96813
I still have more questions. Where can I get more information?
For more information about the Aloha Airlines announcement, go to www.alohaairlines.com
. Other Web sites:
Compiled by Allison Schaefers, firstname.lastname@example.org