Hawaiian Airlines plans baggage procedure change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines plans baggage procedure change

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaiian Airlines is gearing up for a baggage procedure change that starts on June 1. Some travelers are worried, but the company insists most customers won't even notice the difference.

Kona resident John Bertsch flies to the mainland two to three times a year.

"I'm a pretty frugal traveler. I'll get on the internet," said Bertsch.

Now an upcoming change could affect customers like Bertsch who transfer to connecting flights in Honolulu. Travelers will be affected if a connecting flight is not on Hawaiian, and the flight between Honolulu and the mainland or an overseas destination is booked separately from the interisland ticket. Passengers will have to go out and claim their bags, run them through an agriculture screening in Honolulu, re-check the luggage, pay any baggage fees and then pass through security again.

A spokesman for Hawaiian Airlines said an overwhelming majority of the company's customers should see no change at all since most travel on single-ticket itineraries.

"Hawaiian has adjusted its baggage procedures to make sure we are not fined under new DOT (Department of Transportation) rules that affect a very small number of travelers that book connections on separate tickets," said spokesman Keoni Wagner in a statement.

Airline analyst Bob Mann believes that there are economic incentives for the company to make certain transactions less convenient.

"Whether it's purely for compliance purposes or whether it's kind of a veiled suggestion to book the through fare and not subject yourself to the process, I think that's a reasonable question for Hawaiian," said Mann of R.W. Mann & Company in Port Washington, New York.

But Wagner said that Hawaiian is just trying to avoid any fines while also making sure that bags are promptly delivered to their final destination.

For more information on Hawaiian Airlines new baggage policy, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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