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Old Jun 28, 11, 7:16 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: MR:LIFE-PLAT, AA ExecPLAT, AmEx GldPrmr+PLAT
Posts: 85
Poor HA Response to Online Question

To set the stage I fly to american samoa a few times a year (among other places in the pacific) and the only way to get there is either from Honolulu, Apia, or New Zealand. HA used to fly twice a week to PPG on Sun and Thurs. This has changed to three times per week on Mon, Tue, and Thurs. In my curiosity, I wanted to understand how they set the schedule, and the following online query was sent to HA:

Hello,
I am curious about your schedule for HNL to PPG and back. I noticed you moved from SUN and THURS flights to Mon, Tue, and Thursday flights, with the Tue flight ending with the flight on 8/23. Then, it will just be Mon and Thurs flights.

My question is, how long do you plan to keep this schedule and is there ever a chance you do something like Sunday, Wednesday, Friday to American Samoa?

With that flight nearly always being FULL CAPACITY, why not make that flight schedule a bit more condusive for people going there for vacation or business (staying the work week or a vacation week). The citizens of Am.Samoa will take the flight regardless of the departure day, but you would probably increase traffic or at a minimum, make your passengers who fly HNL & PPG much happier.

Please let me know, I'd love to understand this better.

Thanks, FFP



The response I got from HNL after 2.5 weeks:

Response (Ram)06/21/2011 04:56 PM
Aloha,

Thanks for the inquiry and we apologize for the delay.

Please call Reservations department regarding your inquiry - 1-800-367-5320

mahalo!


Now I don't know who "Ram" is but he/she is lucky they were not within throwing distance when I read their response to my question.

I then called Reservations as I was told in the event "Ram" was not avoiding my question, and was told by reservations (prepare for shock) that they: 1. do not make the flight schedule ("we book travel and do not make the schedules")... 2. Cannot find someone who can answer my question in the scheduling department... and 3. Do not understand the flight day changes that have taken place with the HNL to PPG route.

So... is there anybody out there that is close enough to HA customer service that understands my question and may actually have a thought on this particular route to & from HNL & PPG?

I would appreciate any thoughts... (or similar stories about how effective the HA customer service team is)
flysfromPIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 28, 11, 3:58 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: HNL
Posts: 753
Quote:
Originally Posted by flysfromPIT View Post
To set the stage I fly to american samoa a few times a year (among other places in the pacific) and the only way to get there is either from Honolulu, Apia, or New Zealand. HA used to fly twice a week to PPG on Sun and Thurs. This has changed to three times per week on Mon, Tue, and Thurs. In my curiosity, I wanted to understand how they set the schedule, and the following online query was sent to HA:

Hello,
I am curious about your schedule for HNL to PPG and back. I noticed you moved from SUN and THURS flights to Mon, Tue, and Thursday flights, with the Tue flight ending with the flight on 8/23. Then, it will just be Mon and Thurs flights.

My question is, how long do you plan to keep this schedule and is there ever a chance you do something like Sunday, Wednesday, Friday to American Samoa?

With that flight nearly always being FULL CAPACITY, why not make that flight schedule a bit more condusive for people going there for vacation or business (staying the work week or a vacation week). The citizens of Am.Samoa will take the flight regardless of the departure day, but you would probably increase traffic or at a minimum, make your passengers who fly HNL & PPG much happier.

Please let me know, I'd love to understand this better.

Thanks, FFP



The response I got from HNL after 2.5 weeks:

Response (Ram)06/21/2011 04:56 PM
Aloha,

Thanks for the inquiry and we apologize for the delay.

Please call Reservations department regarding your inquiry - 1-800-367-5320

mahalo!


Now I don't know who "Ram" is but he/she is lucky they were not within throwing distance when I read their response to my question.

I then called Reservations as I was told in the event "Ram" was not avoiding my question, and was told by reservations (prepare for shock) that they: 1. do not make the flight schedule ("we book travel and do not make the schedules")... 2. Cannot find someone who can answer my question in the scheduling department... and 3. Do not understand the flight day changes that have taken place with the HNL to PPG route.

So... is there anybody out there that is close enough to HA customer service that understands my question and may actually have a thought on this particular route to & from HNL & PPG?

I would appreciate any thoughts... (or similar stories about how effective the HA customer service team is)
First of all, I don't know what sort of answer you are expecting here. Sure that was a pretty poor response but would you be any happier if he had said something along the lines of:

"Sorry, we have no idea about future plans for PPG schedule and those that do won't be sharing speculations with you."

Sorry for the sarcasm but I just don't know how much you can expect with that type of question.

That said, I definitely empathize with you as I think HA CS can be pretty poor sometimes. I asked what I thought was a relatively easy question last month and immediately received an automated reply stating I would receive a response within 3 days. 10 days later I received a nonsensical response including some bad web links. I had to follow up twice to get them to give me the information I was looking for but they eventually gave me exactly what I was looking for.

What I do think is unreasonable in their response to you was that it took 2.5 weeks. This is terrible, but I'm not surprised after my recent experiences.
saacman5033 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 28, 11, 4:57 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KOA, ITO, LAX
Programs: HA Pualani Platinum, UA Premier Silver
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by flysfromPIT View Post
To set the stage I fly to american samoa a few times a year (among other places in the pacific) and the only way to get there is either from Honolulu, Apia, or New Zealand. HA used to fly twice a week to PPG on Sun and Thurs. This has changed to three times per week on Mon, Tue, and Thurs. In my curiosity, I wanted to understand how they set the schedule, and the following online query was sent to HA:

Hello,
I am curious about your schedule for HNL to PPG and back. I noticed you moved from SUN and THURS flights to Mon, Tue, and Thursday flights, with the Tue flight ending with the flight on 8/23. Then, it will just be Mon and Thurs flights.

My question is, how long do you plan to keep this schedule and is there ever a chance you do something like Sunday, Wednesday, Friday to American Samoa?

With that flight nearly always being FULL CAPACITY, why not make that flight schedule a bit more condusive for people going there for vacation or business (staying the work week or a vacation week). The citizens of Am.Samoa will take the flight regardless of the departure day, but you would probably increase traffic or at a minimum, make your passengers who fly HNL & PPG much happier.

Please let me know, I'd love to understand this better.

Thanks, FFP



The response I got from HNL after 2.5 weeks:

Response (Ram)06/21/2011 04:56 PM
Aloha,

Thanks for the inquiry and we apologize for the delay.

Please call Reservations department regarding your inquiry - 1-800-367-5320

mahalo!


Now I don't know who "Ram" is but he/she is lucky they were not within throwing distance when I read their response to my question.

I then called Reservations as I was told in the event "Ram" was not avoiding my question, and was told by reservations (prepare for shock) that they: 1. do not make the flight schedule ("we book travel and do not make the schedules")... 2. Cannot find someone who can answer my question in the scheduling department... and 3. Do not understand the flight day changes that have taken place with the HNL to PPG route.

So... is there anybody out there that is close enough to HA customer service that understands my question and may actually have a thought on this particular route to & from HNL & PPG?

I would appreciate any thoughts... (or similar stories about how effective the HA customer service team is)
Hawaiian Airlines is currently in the process of expanding its routes to Asia and transitioning from Boeing 767s to Airbus A330s. Unfortunately, the fleet size is going to remain the same for the next few years with 21 aircraft used for long-haul flights and 15 aircraft used for interisland flights. With the addition of daily flights to HND, ICN, and KIX there aren't enough long-haul aircraft in HA's fleet to continue its thrice-weekly service to PPG.

While the citizens of American Samoa will take the HNL-PPG flight regardless of the departure day, Monday and Thursday probably had higher load factors compared to Sunday and Tuesday. In addition, there's some "political posturing" by Gov. Togiola Tulafono that's not exactly helping...
http://www.samoanews.com/viewstory.php?storyid=24989
http://www.samoanewsonline.com/publi...ewspaperid=189
KOADude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 11, 2:57 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: MR:LIFE-PLAT, AA ExecPLAT, AmEx GldPrmr+PLAT
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by saacman5033 View Post
First of all, I don't know what sort of answer you are expecting here.
Saacman - my expectations were indeed low on this one but I was crossing my fingers that I would get something better than to "call reservations." Perhaps I should have clarified some areas/questions better.

In any event, I received an email back from HA that provides some of the insight I was hoping to get. I will post it here shortly.

Lastly, my questions (albeit long-winded) were just seeking some understanding --- so any info is better than no info.

Since I fly a long way there for work, I'd prefer to work Mon-Fri and then leave. That would necessitate a Sunday and Friday flight, but I was cool with the Sunday / Thursday arrangement they had until this Spring. Recently HA moving to a Monday/Thursday arrangement means I could only work Tues, Wed, Thurs, which is not much time for such a long trip from the East coast. I know 3 vs. 4 days doesn't seem like much but in my work it is. Unless I want to stay the weekend and leave the following Monday (I prefer not to) I was stuck. That is the impetus for my question which was 100% selfish to ask. They changed the SUN/THURS schedule that I liked!
flysfromPIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 29, 11, 3:11 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: MR:LIFE-PLAT, AA ExecPLAT, AmEx GldPrmr+PLAT
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by flysfromPIT View Post
I will post it here shortly.
HERE IT GOES:

Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 2:30 PM
subject Hawaiian Airlines - Customer Advocate : :
mailed-byhawaiianair.com

2:30 PM (2 hours ago)

June 29, 2011


Mr. FlysFromPIT

Contact Ref. #xxx

Dear Mr. FFP:

We apologize that your inquiry was inadequately answered with an automated
response and have addressed this issue with our Technical Team for
corrective action. As you indicated, our current base schedule for flights
to and from Pago Pago is twice weekly on Monday and Thursday. During the
summer months of June to August and the December holiday period, we add a
third weekly flight on Tuesday whenever a spare aircraft is available.

Yes, while a few Pago Pago flights on occasion may be full, this route is
not consistently booked at a level which would warrant increasing the
operation of the third flight beyond the current planned periods. As
stated in the agreement between Hawaiian Airlines and its passengers
(Contract of Carriage), our schedules are subject to change without notice.
Schedule changes are enforced for many different reasons including Daylight
Savings time adjustments, flight capacity, or aircraft availability.
Although the current base schedule is planned to remain the same for the
foreseeable future, we have shared your feedback with our Scheduling Team
for their review and consideration.

Mr. FFP, we thank you for taking the time to contact us. We extend a
warm aloha and look forward to serving you on your future travels.

Sincerely,

TS
Sr. Resolution Coordinator
Consumer Affairs Office


So in the end, I get my question answered so KUDOS TO HA on this one in the end.

Their info was helpful but the only thing left to point out is that I am not so much concerned about the 3rd flight being added as much as I want the 2 flights they do have consistently to be on 'better' days to allow a better "work week" on the island. Again - my selfishness was why I asked the Q in the first place.

Interestingly enough, over the last 3 years I've flown this route 16 times (8 RT's), and when combining all 16 flights I could probably count the total number of open seats (I think all on 767-300) on the entire plane on 2 hands. Maybe I just fly at the peak times? ...And the amt of cargo going in and out of each plane is more than I think I have ever seen anywhere else.
flysfromPIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 11, 1:39 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,773
Quote:
Originally Posted by flysfromPIT View Post
HERE IT GOES:


So in the end, I get my question answered so KUDOS TO HA on this one in the end.

Their info was helpful but the only thing left to point out is that I am not so much concerned about the 3rd flight being added as much as I want the 2 flights they do have consistently to be on 'better' days to allow a better "work week" on the island. Again - my selfishness was why I asked the Q in the first place.

Interestingly enough, over the last 3 years I've flown this route 16 times (8 RT's), and when combining all 16 flights I could probably count the total number of open seats (I think all on 767-300) on the entire plane on 2 hands. Maybe I just fly at the peak times? ...And the amt of cargo going in and out of each plane is more than I think I have ever seen anywhere else.
Since this airline makes money in most quarters, I would defer to their judgment. The seats may be full with 2 flights per week year round and 3 in the summer. But if they went with three in the winter, would it be full? Maybe not.

As for cargo, with 2 flights per week, sure it is full. But in the winter? Maybe not.

And finally, maybe fares on this route go for X, but fares on another route go for Y. So maybe they can make MORE money on another route.

There are a lot of variables and since there is not huge competition to this destination it's telling you that it's not a huge windfall money maker.
WebTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 11, 2:44 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: HNL
Programs: UA 1K, HA Pualani platinum, Hilton diamond, Marriott gold, Priority Club platinum, SPG
Posts: 304
I've given up using the online inquiry because of the automated response. Sent inquires a few times over a six month or so period, and each time I got the "call reservations" response. Have found it most useful to Google the question as the search function on Hawaiian's website is not the best, and the reservations folks usually have no clue as to how to answer the question. Thank goodness most of the folks we deal with face-to-face are nice/competent.
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