It is being reported that Hawaiian Airlines has new issues at overcrowded LAX, and has just been asked to move, against its will and prior agreement. This time, to a terminal that has no domestic baggage facilities. Luggage will be handled at another terminal, requiring significant additional time for passengers to transit by bus (to pick up luggage) and extra handling for Hawaiian. That and more.
According to the multiple sources, Hawaiian, which admittedly only represents about 1% of LAX’s traffic, will be booted from its current Terminal 5 location next year. That, to accommodate consolidation by American Airlines in the same terminal. American represents nearly 20% of the total traffic at that airport. Hawaiian claims that this plan is discriminatory. We have had the experience of having to change terminals when flying American through LAX and understand why they want to consolidate.
American is planning to largely transfer their problem to Hawaiian, which is being asked to relocate to the currently under construction Midfield Satellite Concourse. The company is quoted as saying that this could increase their costs at the airport by three times, causing harm to them and significant delays and inconvenience to their passengers. Point well taken.
The Midfield Satellite Concourse extension of the Bradley international terminal will be located in the center of the airfield, to the International Terminal and will connect via underground tunnels for passengers and baggage.
Another complication of the possible move, is that passengers connecting to or from JetBlue (Hawaiian’s code share partner) will also need to transit between terminals via bus. Passengers on other airlines generally do not have to change terminals when transiting LAX.
This matter came to light in an unrelated Hawaiian Air filing with the US DOT last month. Hawaiian does not have preferential gate rights at LAX, and this could end up in protracted negotiations or legal proceedings.
According to Hawaiian, “Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is blatantly favoring large legacy airlines such as American, Delta and United to the competitive detriment of smaller carriers such as Hawaiian…. Hawaiian’s forced move to the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will irreparably harm Hawaiian’s operations at LAX.”
Hawaiian moved last from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5 in 2017 as an accommodation for Delta Airlines. The company claims that they were told they would not need to move again until one of the new terminals (0 and 9) are open, which could be years away. The airport has not responded to this matter.
Hawaiian Airlines’ six daily flights from LAX are to Honolulu, Maui, Kona and Kauai. Further complicating the matter is that Hawaiian competes directly with American Airlines on all of these LAX to Hawaii routes.