Hawaiian passengers
can shed their baggage

Hawaiian Airlines has started letting departing Hawaii visitors check in their baggage and get boarding passes before they leave their hotel for the airport.

Hawaiian Air BaggageDirect.com Inc., a Newport Beach, Calif.-based start-up that launched a pilot program with Hawaiian Airlines on Aug. 23, said it is the first company of its kind to provide check-in from homes, offices and hotels. The mobile skycap service, approved by the Transportation Security Administration, also provides delivery service from baggage carousels.

Under a pilot program, BaggageDirect is serving passengers at Waikiki and Maui hotels and resorts for direct flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Home and office service in the Hawaii area will come later, BaggageDirect Chief Executive Steve Quackenbush said.

For travel originating on the mainland, BaggageDirect is offering service throughout Los Angeles.

"We bring the check-in counter to the doorstep," Quackenbush said.

The service costs $30 for the first passenger and covers two pieces of luggage delivered to the airport. Each accompanying passenger flying to the same destination costs an additional $15. Discounts are available for groups of six or more. Also, Hawaiian Airlines will pick up the tab for first-class passengers who are paying full fare.

Reservations must be made at least 12 hours before a scheduled departure and can be done online at www.baggagedirect.com or by calling 800-959-4424.

"Now, Hawaiian's customers can go straight to the gate," said Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian Airlines' vice president of customer services. "They won't have to go to the counters at all."

Kim Brackett, who vacationed with her family at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki last month, said her interest was piqued when she saw the service advertised on her ticket jacket and she decided her eight pieces of luggage were too much to lug to the airport. Using the new service, she sent four pieces of luggage ahead of time.

"I thought it was absolutely wonderful," she said yesterday in a telephone call from Southern California.

Quackenbush said his company employs about 20 drivers and 10 customer-service agents in addition to a corporate staff of five. Quackenbush said he approached the 20 largest airlines with the idea and he said Hawaiian was the only one to make it an immediate priority.

Kinetics Inc., a Lake Mary, Fla.-based provider of e-commerce and self-service technologies for the travel industry, is taking care of the passenger processing technology.

Hawaiian Airlines



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