Updated 4/28/20. This information pertains to you whether you are contemplating flying to Hawaii later, or if you had a ticket for a cancelled flight. These are some of the first steps in addressing our valid concerns about flying now and well into the future. The rules of consumers engaging with airlines are fast-changing, and it is going to be for the better. Read on.
Hawaiian Airlines class action lawsuit.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Hawaiian Airlines in Honolulu’s US District Court, following suits filed against American, United and others. This one alleges that Hawaiian has not complied with the US DOT enforcement notice regarding cancelled flights.
Plaintiff Nataly Alvarez was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Maui in March when her flight was cancelled. According to the suit, she “requested a refund from Hawaiian, which never came…. Hawaiian is only offering credits.” The suit also asks for punitive damages as a result of the airline’s “willful and malicious conduct.”
See 165 comments that shed light on situation.
For example, Hawaiian offered BOH visitor Brian a “no fare difference” change if he preferred to reschedule rather than refund. That could provide a very significant value if he is able to re-book for a more expensive future season. Airlines have been offering passengers various “bonuses” for not requesting a cash refund.
Plaintiff would have bought elsewhere or paid less if she had known.
Nataly says she wouldn’t have purchased or “would have paid less for her airline tickets with Hawaiian, had she known…”
Beat of Hawaii:
So are all of us going to offer to pay airlines less next time ourselves? Let’s get real. You’ll have to read the complaint for yourself.
In reviews below, visitors are saying that while there were initially very real problems obtain refunds for cancelled flights from all of the airlines, that has not been the general experience you’ve been reporting of recent.
DOT enforcement notice helped curb problems.
Department of Transportation’s April 3 notice clearly put to rest any question of whether you are entitled to receive a refund when your Hawaii flights (or other flights in the US are cancelled). Previously, for example, some airlines had begun updating their policies to explicitly offer refunds, in addition to fee waivers, and flight changes. That after many carriers were reluctant to indicate your ability to cancel tickets and obtain a refund, even though US DOT requirements had always mandated it for cancelled flights.
Fast-changing rules on airline tickets going forward. Up to 2 years of free changes and more.
While the airlines are definitely in a terrible situation with perhaps 95% of flights currently on hold, there’s more to the picture. In order to get us buying tickets once again, we are going to need to feel a great deal more comfortable than was true in the past. Airlines may offer a myriad of incentives to get us buying, and for not asking for refunds when we do not fly.
See most recently updated Hawaii airline change summary below.
Alaska Airlines. The company is waiving change and cancellation fees on existing bookings for travel throughout 2020 and on new reservations through May 2020.
American Airlines. Tickets purchased by April 7 for travel through September 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge. Any reservations made from April 7 through May 31 for future travel can be changed to future travel without fees.
Delta Airlines. Delta expanded travel vouchers for cancelled flights through September 2022 and allows charges at no charge on bookings through September 2020.
Hawaiian Airlines. New rules give you two years to make changes with no change fees, starting from the date of purchase. A fare difference could apply.
Southwest Airlines. They have extended the expiry of any “travel funds” for cancelled flights through June, 2021.
United Airlines. Free changes and cancellations on existing bookings for travel anytime in 2020 when changes are made by April 30
Note. Airline change rules are complex and you should read those applicable to you directly.
What else do airlines need to do in order to get us back on planes?
We welcome your thoughts and questions. Aloha!