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Old Dec 6, 12, 9:23 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SEA
Programs: HHonors Diamond, Alaska, American, United
Posts: 44
Baggage Fees Charged on Int'l HNL Stopover

DH and I booked an AA FF ticket (on Hawaiian, as a partner award) from Osaka to Seattle, with a 24 day stopover in HNL. (25K miles is an amazing deal!) The tickets were booked in July. We flew from Osaka on 11/13 and were not charged any baggage fees. (The free allowance is 2 bags PP). I read through Hawaiian's baggage rules (internet only; I haven't checked the contract of carriage) and it sure looked like the same 2 free bag rule woud apply. However, when I checked in for the flight this afternoon, I found out that we had no free baggage allowance, meaning that we would have to pay $25 for the first and $35 for the second bag. For 4 bags, that's a pretty hefty $120 charge.

According to my AA e-ticket on baggage info, it says:

"Baggage charge for your itinerary will be governed by Hawaiian Airlines.

BAG ALLOWANCE KIXSEA - 02P/HA

1st CHECKED BAG FEE - KIXSEA - JPY0/HA

2nd CHECKED BAG FEE - KIXSEA- JPY0/HA

ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES AND/OR DISCOUNTS MAY APPLY."

I also checked the Hawaiian website on baggage charges, which has this language:

"INTERNATIONAL CHECK-IN LUGGAGE

International baggage rules will apply for entire trip, including domestic segments regardless of stopover, providing the itinerary includes at least one ticketed international point. First international marketing carrier rules apply to any itinerary with an international segment."

Checking the Hawaiian Air Interational to/from North America charts, we have:

To North America, from Japan - 1st, 2nd - no charge.


So what is the justification for charging baggage fees on the HNL-SEA flight?? I already spoke to a telephone agent and was told that the stopover disqualified me from the free baggage allowance on the HNL-SEA leg. But she didn't seem to be very knowledgeble. After I asked for a supervisor,she claimed a supervisor was not currently available and all I could do was wait. I didn't want to burn up more cell phone minutes, so I hung up after waiting another 10 minutes.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 3:46 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SEA
Programs: HHonors Diamond, Alaska, American, United
Posts: 44
Got My Refund -- What Happened

Well, no responses to my submission, so I will close this by saying that I GOT MY MONEY BACK (or, at least the Hawaiian Air consumer advocate sent an email this morning stating that I would get the amount credited on my credit card).

I showed up at HNL airport for my flight (#22 to SEA) but was confounded to find out that the area was covered with check-in kiosks (with only 2 agents circulating). I showed the baggage disclosures to the agent, and while she appeared sympathetic, said she had no authority to change the luggage fees listed on the kiosk check-in machine ($120). I was told I would have to get into line to speak to one of two customer service agents. There were 20 people ahead of me in a very slow moving line. There was a third agent who appeared, so I asked him about the luggage fees, and he said: a stopover = new baggage charges. Again, they still got it wrong. So I had no choice but to pay.

What forced Hawaiian's hand? A complaint I filed online with the Department of Transportation. It's a pretty cool feature--I got there by googling--and I was able to compose the complaint and attach documents (the e-ticket confirmation and Hawaiian' baggage disclosure). I had read through most of DOT's discussion of the baggage fee disclosure rule (effective January 2012) and was pretty sure Hawaiian had violated the rule, but didn't expect any result. So I was surprised to find out that DOT had forwarded the complaint to Hawaiian (probably immediately) and they responded positively (what else could they do)?

While I realize that my issue was pretty unusual, I hope that it may be of help to others who may find themselves in the same boat.

One other thing to note: they DO weigh carry-ons at the kiosks, and the 25 pound rule is STRICTLY enforced. We had to remove 15 pounds of stuff, but fortunately, we were carrying personal items with a ton of space, so we managed to get everything stuffed in.
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Old Dec 15, 12, 4:27 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Programs: UA Premier Gold
Posts: 355
Good for you!

Sorry you had to go through such a frustrating experience.
HA cust svc has really gone downhill.
donnyb is offline   Reply With Quote
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