Superferry Takes Care of Stranded Passengers

KAIMUKI (KHNL) -- From feelings of frustration to satisfaction. Hawaii Superferry passengers get the help they want after services are canceled due to bad weather.

Most passengers have flown back home, but their vehicles are still stuck either in Honolulu or Kahului. With ferry service back on for Sunday, Superferry executives are making sure their passengers are reunited with their cars.

John Florence and his family took the Hawaii Superferry to enjoy Christmas on Maui. They even got up early to experience sunrise from Haleakala.

But when harsh weather conditions forced the cancellation of their return trip back to Oahu, they couldn't find anyone at the Superferry to help them.

"So once I started making phone calls, and looking for information, I'd get the message that someone would call me back, and no one called me back, and that became frustrating," said Florence.

Florence and his family flew back home Thursday. When he tallied the additional costs incurred because of the cancellation, it came out to more than $700. Even with ferry ticket reimbursements, the remainder is still $551.94.

"That's still five hundred dollars out of our pocket, plus the inconvenience and the time that it's taking me to fly back over just to get the ferry to bring it back over," said Florence.

But he received a call Friday from a Superferry executive, who gave him some reassurance.

"Pretty much any expense that I told him I had incurred because of this, he said it would be taken care of," said Florence.

Florence and his family say this experience hasn't soured them on the Superferry, but it has taught them to consider weather conditions before booking a trip.

"I wasn't expecting it, but now it's something I know to think about ahead of time. But in the summer months, yeah," he said. "I thought it was great. I loved having the van over there. I thought it was real convenient, and I would definitely do it again."

Florence will fly to Maui Sunday to pick it up, and then take the Supeferry back to Honolulu. And that expense, once again, is covered, not only for Florence, but for every passenger in the same situation.

About 35 vehicles on Oahu, and 75 on Maui will come back to their respective home ports.

And Sunday's Superferry schedule is a bit different. The Alakai will leave Honolulu at 9:30 in the morning, instead of 6:30. It heads back to Honolulu from Kahului around 2:15 pm.