GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Tiffany Garcia, left, Deanna Ralar and Darlene Repollo left the Kahului Airport terminal yesterday after saying goodbye to fellow employees on their last day of work.
Stunned Maui passengers share anger and sadness
KAHULUI » Several passengers were sad -- a couple expressed irritation -- as Aloha Airlines said "aloha" yesterday on its last day of operation.
Sara Baxter, a San Diego resident traveling with her sister Asha, said when she tried to call Aloha to confirm their reservations, she was not able to speak to anyone to check whether their flight was OK as booked.
Asha Baxter said that according to Aloha's Web site, if passengers lose their bags, they have to file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court. "It's a little scary," she said.
Tom and Paula Miller said they have flown on Aloha for 20 years, and they are sad that Aloha is closing. "It's a great airline. We've had great service," Paula Miller said.
Tom Miller said he also lost a lot of frequent-flier points because of the shutdown.
Honeymooners Kunwardip Mooker and his wife, Daze Nar, said they were scheduled to leave Maui for San Diego on an Aloha flight Sunday afternoon, but the flight was overbooked.
"I think Aloha has been a little negligent," he said.
Mooker said he was at the airport for 10 hours Sunday trying to reschedule his flight. He said he works as an assistant manager of a retail store and needed to return to his job.
The couple said they were told they would be provided a flight from Honolulu but would have to pay for tickets from Maui to Honolulu.
They said they paid for a hotel room and a car rental on Maui and airline tickets to Honolulu.
"I think it's really ridiculous," Nar said.
Mike and Nancy Boyle of Avila Beach, Calif., who are spending a vacation in Kihei, said they received a lot of help from officials at United Airlines.
"They should be complimented," Mike Boyle said.
Boyle said he and his wife usually fly from Maui to Oakland, Calif., on Aloha Airlines but will have to fly to Los Angeles and then to Oakland as a result of the airline's closure.
Darlene Repollo and Deanna Ralar, who both worked for 20 years as customer service agents for Aloha Airlines, said goodbye to fellow employees after finishing their last shift yesterday. "We're going to miss a lot of our friends," Ralar said.
Repollo said she did not know what she would do for work, and she worried about how some employees would meet their mortgage and rent payments.
She said employees bargained away their pension and took a 20 percent pay cut about three years ago when the airline first filed for bankruptcy.