Hawaii Flight Delays

Hawaii Flight Delays Could Stop Cold Following This

Airline customers, those flying to Hawaii and elsewhere in the US, have long been under-protected in terms of various flight problems. The most incessant issues have been extraordinary Hawaii flight delays first, followed by Hawaii flight cancellations second.

[People are being] ripped off; the goal is to level the playing field for our consumers. — Senator Ed Markey.

But following along similar lines to the airline passenger protection law in the UK, which for years, has provided substantive flight delay, cancellation, and denied boarding assistance, the US government is looking to put some teeth into passenger protection for the first time. Enters the upcoming Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights.

Which Hawaii flight problems will the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights address?

The frustrations we’ve been facing on Hawaii flights are in this order. They may all be addressed based on bills currently being considered.

1. Hawaii flight delays. There have been so many that it is literally a bad joke as to whether you might arrive on time. It is hard to rely on Hawaii flights the way we used to. Now, even when we travel just 100 miles interisland, we don’t have confidence that we’ll both come and go at the time scheduled. Sadly, that is usually the case. Morning flights are better, and afternoon/evening flights are much worse in our experience. That problem is ongoing.

2. Hawaii flight cancellations. There have been far too many of these as well, and the reasons have been so varied that is hard to put our fingers on a single cause. That is, leaving aside late December’s Southwest meltdown, which is the only clear causal element.

3. Oversold flights. We haven’t experienced these in quite some time, and we’d love to hear if any of you have. There was a time when it was pretty common. In fact, we’ve even been upgraded to first class when economy turned out to be oversold, and we had no prior seat assignments.

4. Eggregious airline fees. The legislation seeks to set and enforce limits on baggage and seat assignment fees as well as charges for flight changes.

$1,350 is the proposed minimum compensation for bumping.

Legislation being proposed would currently set that as the minimum compensation for involuntary bumping from a flight that’s oversold for example.

The plan is to force airlines to compensate airlines in cash rather than in travel vouchers for offenses. When editors Rob and Jeff had a flight out of London delayed by 4 hours, they each received $600 as a credit card refund.

Until now, the USDOT laws have primarily favored the airlines rather than consumers. So denied boarding would be compensated, albeit poorly, and only based on meeting minimum nonsensical thresholds for the length of time delayed, for example.

The “Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights and the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act.”

The just-introduced bill would set forth a variety of protections. When it is all said and done, some will remain, and others will undoubtedly go by the wayside.

  • Prohibit airlines from reducing seat size until FAA sets a minimum.
  • Crackdown on airlines claiming weather is the case of delays and cancellations in cases where that isn’t true.
  • Require free drinking water.
  • Mandate that restrooms accommodate disabled passengers.
  • Force airlines to provide passengers delayed 1-4 hours ticket refunds and alternate transportation.

One of the bill’s authors, Ed Markey said, “Our nation’s largest airlines can’t even guarantee consumers that their flights won’t be delayed or canceled, that their luggage won’t be lost, or that they won’t get stranded at the gate because of overbooking. We must empower regulators and uphold passengers’ rights so they are treated with dignity before, during, and after their flight.”


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6 thoughts on “Hawaii Flight Delays Could Stop Cold Following This”

  1. Aloha. Sad to see the same old tired mantra about “protecting airline passengers” and “empowering regulators”. We all have the “right” to choose a different airline, use a separate mode of transportation, or simply refrain from traveling. De-regulation gave us more choices, cheaper fares, and better service and and basically allowed competition between airlines to offer air travel to the masses!
    Ed Markey’s offer to re-regulate and protect us poor little peons from the evils of the airline industry is grandstanding at best and deceptive demagoguery at worst.
    In the meantime, The FAA and its antiquated technology takes a close second to weather as to cause of flight delays. Be careful what you wish!

  2. Making the offending airline pay actual money will go a long ways to solving many of the problems. They can probably depend that some fraction of the vouchers aren’t used. Having to provide cash refunds, food, and lodging (and so on) will directly impact the “bottom line” so they will then fix it.

  3. I’d like to see the end to numerous flight changes “After” reservations have been made And payment made. To pay a premium price for a desired departure time, then have it rescheduled for 2-4 hours earlier or later is not acceptable.

    My last trip to Hawaii I had at least 6 changes (different layover site, earlier departure when leaving home (changed from 9am, to 6am), later departure when returning (from 9pm to 11pm), resulting in 6 hour layover instead of 2…….turned into 7 as flight was delayed.

    My only options from airline was to accept the change, cancel trip, or take a flight that was no longer a 1 stop trip, but 2-3 stops.

  4. We all pay, one way or another.
    Ticket costs will rise more than the “mandated” refunds.
    Look at how much worse TSA has made travel, and tell me you believe more government rules will help.

    1. Exactly. When the current passenger bill of rights was passed by Congress that implemented penalties for late flights, the airlines would simply cancel before the 3hr delay fines would have been imposed. Be careful what you wish for.

  5. Aloha guys –

    Wrt oversold flights – those are largely a thing of the past. Yes, it can happen when there are meltdowns, but airlines don’t routinely overbook anymore. Back in the day, you would call reservations and you could reserve a seat without payment. This necessitated the need to oversell because there were always those that didn’t show up. With payment required at the time of booking, that’s no longer the case.

    Wrt interisland flights being delayed – The biggest culprit is the runway closure in HNL (as you know). When ATC enacts flow delay programs, it always impacts the closest airports first. International and even mainland flights are the last to be impacted by these programs.


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