Hawaii’s beloved 2nd bellwether carrier, Alaska Airlines, just announced they are in the process of removing 70% of all their flights for April and May. The company said, “We will keep cargo moving and fly those who need critical travel.” We have been anticipating this, given that tomorrow is the first day of Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day arrival quarantine mandate. Next we expect Alaska Airlines to remove virtually all flights to Hawaii, other than any they deem “critical.” We’ll be updating as soon as possible.
It is interesting to note that until this, only Hawaiian Airlines had taken the lead in cancelling Hawaii flights during the quarantine. Alaska is now up next with their announcement and subsequent schedule changes. We had heard rumors that airlines may not have wanted to announce cancellations prior to an industry bailout deal, as that process could indicate what amount of flying, if any, will be required at this time.
Alaska Airlines also suggested in a press release that it will adjust its schedule June and beyond based on demand. They said, “it is our expectation that reductions will be substantial for at least the next several months.”
You’ll recall that Hawaiian Airlines cancelled all but one daily flight from their US schedule through May 20
Alaska Airlines Hawaii schedule cuts next.
We hope to have a further update shortly, since the Hawaii changes are not yet appearing on their flight schedule.
Visitors are leaving.
While driving to the grocery store on Kauai just now, we saw almost no rental cars, which is in sharp contrast to the norm. That is another clear indication that visitors are heeding the request of the governor to terminate and postpone Hawaii vacations at this time.
As of 3/25, the airline is offering waivers for tickets purchased through February 26 for travel through May 31 and tickets purchased since then for travel through February 28, 2021. Changes are free (except for fare changes ). If you cancel, the funds are redeposited for future travel without penalty. New travel must occur by February 2021.
Also awaiting Southwest Hawaii and legacy airline schedule cuts.
We just checked the other airlines too (American, Delta, United), as we’re awaiting word from them on their Hawaii flight cuts going forward. There has been no schedule update yet from Southwest Airlines, but they have indicated we will see changes this week. The legacy airlines haven’t said much either, and we still see them planning to fly to Hawaii during the quarantine. That doesn’t really add up to us in any way.
Beat of Hawaii tips:
With regard to cancelled flights on any airline, US DOT states: “If your flight is cancelled and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation – even for non-refundable tickets. You are also entitled to a refund for any bag fee that you paid, and any extras you may have purchased, such as a seat assignment.”
This is not the time to visit Hawaii. You are going to have a 14-day in-your-room quarantine, most hotels are closing, restaurants are either take-out or closed. Getting food as a visitor will be an issue. Beaches are closing. Activities, parks and monuments are all suspended.