Airline change fee dispute settled

LIHUE — A dispute between a Hanalei woman and Hawaiian Airlines was resolved after the airline agreed to refund a reservation fee charged to the woman’s daughter when she rescheduled a flight in the wake of the floods that devastated the North Shore in April.

“We’re perfectly satisfied with the solution,” Cyndy Johnson said Friday.

The dispute began when Johnson discovered her daughter had been charged $200 by the airline to change the date of a flight scheduled for early May 2018. Johnson’s daughter had booked the flight a week before the floods, and had to reschedule after it became apparent her mother’s home would be inaccessible due to road closures.

When her daughter finally was able to come for a visit earlier this month, Johnson learned about the airline fee and wrote an email requesting a refund dated Jan. 8 to a senior vice president in Hawaiian Airlines’ public affairs office, Ann Botticelli. She said she did not receive a response.

A communications official with the airline later said Botticelli had no record of Johnson’s email and its customer service team could not find a case documenting the complaint.

The Garden Island contacted Hawaiian Airlines about the matter on Jan. 15. That evening, airline officials contacted Johnson’s daughter to resolve the matter and eventually offered her and her partner — who had also booked a ticket on the same date and was charged a fee — a full refund.

Johnson called the resolution “entirely acceptable” but said she wished the airline had taken care of the issue sooner.

“They made it right, and that’s all I care about,” she said.

  1. manongindashadow January 23, 2019 4:21 pm Reply

    Hmmm! I wonder how many others like this was never caught.
    Hawaiian Airlines…..pew! Can’t wait for the competition to come. It will be only then Hawaiian Airlines will probably have all kinds of promotions.(I would hold my breath on it)

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