Travel Agencies Help Out Stranded Aloha Passengers

Wendy Goodenow
Wendy Goodenow

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Clients and empoyees of Aloha aren't the only ones being affected by the airlines closing.

Travel agencies have been trying to help people who made bookings for immediate and future travel on Aloha Airlines.

Many travel agencies are closed on Sundays. But when the word got out that Aloha Airlines was shuting down, HNL Travel agents were glad they got a jump on the large number of calls they were anticipating.

"Then Monday morning when we came in, we had pulled all the Aloha ticketed reservations, so we could immediately start working on the changes we had to make," said Wendy Goodenow.

The number one question from this agencies clients is how to get a refund.

"Although it appears we pay the airlines, it's really the client passing the money through us to the airline," Goodenow said.  "If they did buy tickets by cash or check, they will have to file the bankruptcy court claims."

Some travelers are willing to take the loss.

"Some people say it's not worth the hassle for $200 or $300 to have to go through the bankruptcy claim issue," said Goodenow.

Things have calmed down a bit since Monday, and there are fewer phone calls. But this isn't the first time agents at HNL Travel had to scramble to take care of their clients.

"It was kind of like when NCI pulled all their ships out of Hawaii all of a sudden, it was a double effort to re-accommodate clients," said Goodenow.

With the departure of Norweigan Cruise Lines and the closing of Aloha Airlines, it's tough to say when or if Hawaii's travel industry will ever be the same.

"What's normal in this industry? There is none, there is no normality in travel," said Goodenow.