Teary Aloha on Maui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Teary Aloha on Maui

Alton Farm Alton Farm
Dulce Takase and Theresa Kapunia Dulce Takase and Theresa Kapunia

By Mari-Ela David

KAHULUI (KHNL) -- Maui is feeling the brunt of Aloha's shut down.

There were a lot of tears and hugs at Kahului Airport, up until the very last flight to Honolulu.

With every arrival, every departure, and every shift change there is a sense of aloha.

"The hardest part is actually not losing the job," said Jeremy Borrello, former employee. "It's not seeing these people anymore"

 "I actually came in on my day off. One of our pilots called in sick, and I wanted to fly with my extended family," said Alton Farm, pilot.

Despite Aloha Airlines' end, employees continue to hold their heads up high.

 "Very sad. We're trying to be positive, we're hoping for a miracle. Yes we are, we are hoping for a miracle," said Dulce Takase and Theresa Kapunia, former employees.

And so are customers. Aloha stopped all outbound flights to the mainland, leaving vacationers stranded. Their options were to either book a flight through another airline or fly standby. But frustrated travelers say either tickets are too expensive or there are no seats.

"If we go back, our hotel is booked, our cars are done. Where are we going to go? My kids are tired and hungry, and we don't know if we should leave the airport and miss our standby chance to go. We're stuck," said Lucy Bickson, stranded passenger.

Customers were also stuck footing a bill for an invalid ticket. Aloha did not issue refunds. Agents told travelers to call their credit card companies to reverse charges.

"They said it could take up to a year to refund our money," said Bickson.

From stressful lines to teary goodbyes, both customers and employees say they hope a buyout is on the horizon to keep Aloha's 60-plus-year history going strong.

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