Hawaiian Air cancels online program after four days
has scrapped a short-lived online travel insurance program that tacked on an additional charge to tickets of Hawaii-bound mainland customers who didn't opt out.
The program, initiated May 5, was canceled Friday -- four days later -- after an e-mail began circulating on the Internet warning people of a $19 travel insurance charge that was being added to the ticket prices of Hawaii-bound visitors.
Hawaiian spokesman Keoni Wagner said yesterday the actual add-on amount was calculated as a percentage of the sale. As an example, he said, travel insurance on a $500 ticket would be $22.50.
The program was pulled because it confused the marketplace, he said.
"The problem was in the execution of this program," Wagner said. "It mostly had to do with the lack of communication and the introduction."
Prior to the launch of the new program, Hawaii-bound ticket purchasers merely were given the option to add travel insurance, which is offered to cover fees for such things as a change in travel plans or flight interruptions, Wagner said.
However, under the ill-fated travel insurance program, travel insurance was automatically added unless the purchaser opted out.
"We received no complaints from our customers, but the confusion was created by this e-mail that was circulated," Wagner said. "It highlighted the fact that the program was not communicated well at the outset, so that's the reason we pulled it."
Hawaiian has gone back to the program it had before, with ticket purchasers simply being given the option to add travel insurance.
"It's become very common in most sort of leisure-travel, online-booking environments," Wagner said. "A lot of our customers booking travel off the coast have been purchasing it from us."