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Answers (3)

How to handle Hawaiian Airlines/United disaster?

How to handle Hawaiian Airlines/United disaster?

  1. Steve from LA

    My friend, her 16 year old son and her parents (both in their 70s) flew to KOA for her son’s fall break from school. The flight out of LAX in first class was pleasant enough. They were set to fly back on Hawaiian in first class on Saturday. About 3 hours before the flight, they were notified by text message that the flight had been canceled due to maintenance issues. Since they were already on their way to the airport, they spoke to an agent there. He managed to screw things up worse. He got all 4 of them economy seats on a United Flight leaving after 10 pm that evening (11 hours after their original plane was set to leave).

    My friend gave me a call, upset because she didn’t think her older parents with back problems would be able to handle the economy seats. I told her to call Hawaiian customer service. They were rebooked. Her parents and son were put on an Hawaiian flight from KOA to HNL and then on a United flight from HNL to LAX at 10 pm that evening (all first class). Unfortunately, there were not enough first class seats for everyone so they offered her a first class seat on the United from KOA to LAX that evening and she took it even though it meant spliting up the party. I know that is never a good idea and I would have advised against it. However, everybody was supposed to arrive at LAX within 30 minutes of each other and she thought it was acceptable, emphasis on supposed.

    My friend’s plane left on time and arrived at LAX as scheduled. However, she didn’t have access to the Hawaiian lounge or any other lounge while she waited the extra 8 hours at KOA. In addition, her first class seat was right next to the main cabin bathroom and she got no sleep. She was the lucky one. Her son and parents made it to HNL fine, but have gotten no further. Their United flight was delayed for want of a crew. They are scheduled to leave at 10 am on Sunday now, almost 12 hours after tthe plane was scheduled to leave. Naturally, they are confused because the United flight they are on shares the same number as a United flight that leaves for LAX at 10 pm tonight. They were apparently put up in a hotel for the night, but not sure about the details.

    Assuming everyone actually gets back to LAX today without any further hitches, are they entitled to anything? Clearly if it was a european flight they would be entitled to compensation. But on a domestic flight? Should they ask for anything? If so, what and from whom (Hawaiian or United)? What is the best way of registering their displeasure and potentially being compensated?

  2. rickyw

    Wow, what a mess!

    As you said, unfortunately with it being a domestic flight there aren’t really any rules and precedents to go by.

    If they have any elite status with either airline, I’d reach out to the elite customer service desk for either airline and see what they say. If not, the best first contact is the customer service for each (they have nothing to lose by complaining to both).

    Good luck!

    Depending on what either says, you can always escalate:

    [URL]https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/#airline[/URL]

  3. Steve from LA

    [QUOTE=”rickyw, post: 67336, member: 1436″]Wow, what a mess!

    As you said, unfortunately with it being a domestic flight there aren’t really any rules and precedents to go by.

    If they have any elite status with either airline, I’d reach out to the elite customer service desk for either airline and see what they say. If not, the best first contact is the customer service for each (they have nothing to lose by complaining to both).

    Good luck!

    Depending on what either says, you can always escalate:

    [URL]https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/#airline[/URL][/QUOTE]

    Thanks unfortunately they have no elite status with either airline. On a more pleasant note, when her parents and kid’s flight did leave on Sunday almost 12 hours late it was a 777-222A with the lie flight seats and they were served a decent meal.

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