March 30, 2008. All Hawaii travelers take note: Aloha Airlines just announced they’re going out of the passenger travel business as of…tomorrow. Purchased Aloha Airlines tickets after March 31, 2008, will not be honored.
Any of our Kona condo rental guests affected by this, please get in touch with me.
This is hard to believe, and is going to affect a lot of people. What happens if you have a flight booked on Aloha Airlines any time from April 1 on? According the press release issued today, “Code-share partner United Airlines and other airlines are prepared to assist and accommodate Aloha’s passengers who have been inconvenienced.”
I don’t know yet what that means. I don’t know if United is adding any extra flights, or if you can fully or partly redeem your Aloha tickets on United with no extra fees. But it seems doubtful that most passengers currently booked on Aloha will be able to simply transfer to another airline for the same dates and times.
Aloha is also saying that passengers unable to switch to another carrier can seek refunds through credit card companies or in bankruptcy court. It’s a pretty bleak picture.
UPDATE: More details on the Aloha Air situation in this article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Hawaiian Airlines has posted some information for Aloha Airlines ticket holders here. They’re adding some capacity and have some reduced fares on inter-island flights. For mainland travel they’re offering free standby travel to Aloha ticket holders during the first three days of the shutdown, through April 3. That’s not going to help too many people. Beyond that, they advise booking at full fare as soon as possible.
I’ll try to post more on this when more information becomes available. For now, if you are an Aloha Airlines passenger I would drop whatever else you may be doing and contact United or Hawaiian Airlines immediately—there’s sure to be a huge demand for whatever seats they have available.