Plan Cutting Maui Vacation Rentals Aligns With Global Tourism Shift

Hawaii Visitors Say Travel Industry Is Preying on Them

Many of our loyal readers have been complaining about not receiving refunds for their Hawaii vacations when the provider cancels or reopening is delayed again. Have you found yourself in any of the situations below?

Regular commenter Richard said this weekend, “The airlines are playing a Ponsi scheme. They are taking your ticket money to pay bills; if your flight is canceled they try and stick you with a worthless voucher… in the corporate world it’s called ‘Good Business’.”

Karen wrote that for her upcoming January vacation at “the Marriott Wailea Beach… I was shocked to find that their usual pricing and reservation processes have changed. 1) There were no special rates (e.g. AAA, Senior); 2) One cannot use points; 3) To secure your reservation, you must give them a credit card which they will immediately charge with a deposit which is fully refundable if you cancel 90 days prior to scheduled arrival or you will be charged 100% of the reservation! Who really thinks they will know what will happen in Hawai’i 90 days from any date in the future? My impression was that Marriott is poised to prey upon the Hawai’i visitor and capitalize upon the pandemic.”

Ann, who obtained refunds for a previously canceled Hawaii vacation just said, “We’re not sure that the landlord and the airlines will be so accommodating again, which could result in the loss of thousands of dollars between our 2 families.”

Deb, who has an October trip planned said, “Our resort has been closed for months and we feel Hawaiian Airlines is stringing us along, waiting for us to cancel so they don’t have to refund us – so not cool.”

Nancy complained, “So why are the airlines still selling tickets from here the west coast to Hawaii ??? Just to get our money then we are stuck.”

Reagan added, “Visitors will be so hesitant to spend money when they could lose it at the drop of a hat. It also makes visitors angry with businesses that can’t afford to refund their money. Those people won’t give them their business again.”

And Brian lamented, “We had a trip booked for August and ultimately we were forced to cancel… The condo owner would not work with us to refund, credit, or push our reservation whatsoever. I was not looking for my money back but I was certainly looking for some flexibility due to circumstances that were out of everyone’s control.”

On a positive note, Sharon said, “We had flights and a condo for September 14th. Our fingers were crossed but we canceled our condo about two weeks ago because of all the uncertainty. Yesterday, Hawaiian Airlines notified us our flights were canceled and they would give us a credit or refund.”

Marcia wrote she was planning a late September Kauai trip, but “the owner of our rental had so many cancellations that he simply decided to cancel the rest of his bookings and take it off the market… Our plane fare was still in the coffers of Alaska Airlines. All we could do is wait and see if they would cancel the flights closer to our reserved dates, which would mean we could get full refunds instead of vouchers. I didn’t expect that to happen…

Then this past weekend we received messages that our flight schedule had been “updated”… our returning flight to the mainland WAS canceled. Turns out that if you have roundtrip tickets, and one way of that roundtrip is canceled, you can get a full refund for the entire roundtrip regardless… It was a huge relief to get that money back, and hassle-free at that. Bravo Alaska! We’re clearly not the only ones who were/are stuck in that limbo, as your readers indicate. Your updates have been such a help as we’ve dealt with this situation. Hoping to get there in 2021!”

Please share your experience. In order for us to publish your comments, please review new policies effective 8/7/20. Comments that don’t comply will not be published. Mahalo for your Kokua!

91 thoughts on “Hawaii Visitors Say Travel Industry Is Preying on Them”

  1. Seeing how this is a Hawaiian travel website, I wish they’d have more understanding for the opinion of the local people. Our hospitals can’t just send patients somewhere else-we’re 3000 miles away from anything else. Please wait until COVID is under control before planning to visit.

    1. I think that most if not all of the readers of this site are agreement with your sentiments; we DON’T want to come before CoVid-19 is under control. The issue in this thread is that some of the airlines and landlords have been less than forthcoming and/or not acting in good faith in refunding money and/or providing alternate arrangements for trips cancelled due to CoVid.

      1. Exactly Dennis. Alaska Air is one of them it’s horrible. I even called there corporate office. They were complete jerks

  2. Aloha from Wailea Beach Resort. We noticed the comment by Karen and would love the opportunity to connect with her directly to discuss please. I am Laurie Garzon, the Director of Sales and Marketing, and it appears the time frame of the reservation falls over our special event and festive/holiday dates. It is our top priority to take care of our guests and provide them service that exceeds expectations. Look forward to the opportunity to take care of her. Thank you for the opportunity to comment and connect.

  3. I booked an Airbnb September 4th in Kawaii for 7 days . Then Oahu for 7 days included a Memorial for a friend that was canceled. Cheap air is not working with us. We want to cancel and get our money back. Really makes me never want to go on vacation.. So frustrating!

  4. My aunt was planning to come down from Alaska to work on family home in Maui, she was supposed to come in August. But due to the lock down happening again and going back even more into July, she was following the news firm to only where she lives (Alaska) but also checking to see what’s going on in Honolulu and Maui. She was able to make an educated guess that based on what’s going on, it would be smart to cancel or reschedule tickets as early a date as possible. She got all her $$ back… it seems like yes people are not able to get their full refunds or going in circles with hotels and businesses trying to get their money back since they weren’t even able to make it. That sucks regardless. Losing money that you weren’t even able to spend for your pre-paid vacation sucks. But times haven’t changed that greatly. I’m pretty sure most businesses esp in Waikiki and st hotels have never been so easy going with refunds and cancellations…. especially if you’re going to wait till the actual date of your vacation to try and handle it! That’s a no brainer!! Pay attention to what’s going on in the islands to better predict and protect yourself from this frustration because if you call early before your reservations, most of the previously mentioned places are cool about rescheduling or canceling/refunds

  5. As a frequent vacationer to Hawaii I can’t see opening with restrictions being feasible. Who wants to spend their hard earned money on a vacation that limits all the freedoms that you have been looking forward to for the year
    Waiting for a time slot to sit by the pool in the heat of the day or in the rain for a two hour limit and not being able to leave your tracing area to sight see or visit the beaches would be full of more anxiety than staying home and working.
    Thanks for all your tremendous input during this pandemic. I feel for the Hawaiian people and hope for a vaccine as soon as possible. That is the only way Hawai’i can fully recover

  6. We’re in Maui annually for 6 weeks in November & December. We purchased our tickets long ago and have resigned ourselves to the possibility of being locked down for the first two weeks of our stay this year.

    The question we have is how do we prove to anyone that we’ve gone through quarantine? Do we get a card or a wristband? Maybe a tattoo or an implanted RFID chip? How can anyone distinguish us from someone who has just arrived?

    1. I have been through quarantine. Keep your paperwork and your airline ticket. That proof is golden during your stay. We came prepared. Brought all our food for 2 weeks. I made a game of it. Kept a diary daily. Ate meals in different rooms and pretended we were going to different restaurants with different views, it is doable. Play cards, watch tv, read. Have fun with it. Then enjoy Hawaii!

      1. Mahalo Kay! That’s what I’m planning on doing in October. The view of the ocean from the lanai will be a nice change from the view in my backyard.

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