Hawaiian Airlines schedule change -- refund?

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Feb 6, 2018
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#1
I bought 4 First Class tickets last December for travel mid-May 2018. My elderly parents (eighties both, dad is disabled), my husband, and I booked a direct flight from Honolulu to Portland to go to my daughterʻs college graduation. I had put us all in the first row, to minimize the distance my dad would have to go to get to the bathroom and so my husband and I could be right next to help them. HA changed plane configuration, so now we are in Row 3, two behind my parents. Despite several calls to CS, weʻre stuck there and will have to take our chances on flight day. Not happy. Then I find out that the departure time has been moved 45 minutes later, which means we donʻt get to PDX till 10pm. At that hour of the night, 45 minutes later is a hassle. I ask HA for a refund, so I can try to find another flight on another airlines that will be less difficult. They say no; best they will offer me if a) a non-direct flight that gets in at 9pm (no, my dad isnʻt very mobile and I donʻt want to negotiate two airports); b) a flight on another day (no can do); or c)a credit (which definitely my parents wonʻt be likely using, given that they havenʻt flown in 30 years).

Is a refund unreasonable?
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Unfortunately, phone calls to "first responders" don't always bring the desired resolution. They also don't provide any written proof of promises made. With that in mind, you can use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your case. Before you do, be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the initial Company Contacts page first.

With regard to the extra 45 minutes, that could be more difficult to resolve to your satisfaction. Even if successful, between now and the May flight more changes could happen and you'd be chasing a better flight again. Typically, a delay that short will not be considered enough reason to obtain a new schedule ...
 
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Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
45 minutes is not consisdered a substantial change for a full refund. The change must get you into your scheduled airport more then one hour later.

From their rules:

The passenger will not be eligible for compensation when he/she is accommodated on comparable air transportation, or other transportation scheduled to arrive at the passenger’s next stopover or, if none, initial destination within one (1) hour after the scheduled arrival time of the passenger's original flight or flights.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
If your appeal fails, you can politely ask the gate agent "fix this" for you. Explain that you want to/need to assist your parents and can best do that form row 1. I expect they will be very sensitive to that.

Please do come back after your flights and let us know how it all worked out ...
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
If your appeal fails, you can politely ask the gate agent "fix this" for you. Explain that you want to/need to assist your parents and can best do that form row 1. I expect they will be very sensitive to that.

Please do come back after your flights and let us know how it all worked out ...
I agree with VoR ... arrive at the airport nice and early; you can always go have a meal if your issue gets solved quickly. I've been an 'orphan' since the age of 35, so I appreciate how you're making this work for your family. It will be a delightful evcnt.
 
Feb 6, 2018
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#7
Thank you everyone for your encouragement! The perspective and the encouragement is much appreciated.

Good news...I did pursue this with the Customer advocate (with ccʻs to some of those on the company contacts) and after several back and forths, lo and behold, my money will be fully refunded. I am thrilled, rebooked on another airlines that will get us in earlier and seat us together.
 
Likes: SierraRose49
Jan 6, 2015
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#8
That is good news. Does you new schedule have enough margin in it to accommodate this scenario? If not, you may find yourself in the same dilemma ...
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Very good idea Lalimom to budget in extra time just in case. It will be a very meaningful trip for your parents to see their granddaughter graduate from college.