Hawaiian needs to face fare competition

Old Jun 14, 17, 4:17 pm
  #1  
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Hawaiian needs to face fare competition

I'm a HA Platinum flyer for years and a million+ miler on UA. I fly HA because it supports our local economy and local people (except the phone reservations department), they have a good flight cabin atmosphere and generally are on time. Their pricing has become HORRIFIC to the Hawaii local travelers both inter-island and many of the mainland destinations. It is far cheaper to fly to Asia where there is enormous competition. I encourage United, Southwest, Alaskan, American, Delta to all jump into the various markets as I am now flying them because of the better fares. Have you tried flying to Vegas where there is no competition (except Aligent & Charters)? The Vegas fares are above HORRIFIC, they are ATROCIOUS! I thought traveling HNL to ITO was bad, Vegas is now their highest mainland fare and competition is overdue in that market.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by cdavishi View Post
I'm a HA Platinum flyer for years and a million+ miler on UA. I fly HA because it supports our local economy and local people (except the phone reservations department), they have a good flight cabin atmosphere and generally are on time. Their pricing has become HORRIFIC to the Hawaii local travelers both inter-island and many of the mainland destinations. It is far cheaper to fly to Asia where there is enormous competition. I encourage United, Southwest, Alaskan, American, Delta to all jump into the various markets as I am now flying them because of the better fares. Have you tried flying to Vegas where there is no competition (except Aligent & Charters)? The Vegas fares are above HORRIFIC, they are ATROCIOUS! I thought traveling HNL to ITO was bad, Vegas is now their highest mainland fare and competition is overdue in that market.
While I have still been able to find decent fares occasionally, I do agree that HA is less and less appealing. While the in-flight atmosphere is nice, it was not consistent at all. The "who-you-know" attitude with FAs and GAs has gotten out of hand. Yes, empowering agents to do the right thing is a positive, but in my experiences, on HA it's been used more to do nice things for friends and acquaintances.

Furthermore, there are many times when I've been met with hostile attitudes from agents for no reason. Growing up in the islands, I was raised to treat everyone with respect. But for some of these folks, even starting with a smile isn't enough. Two examples: (1) While approaching the GA to board, passengers were scanning their tickets on the pad. GA snaps at passengers saying something along the lines of "oh I'm sorry, should I leave then?" while giving "stink eye." (2) Again getting looks and attitude from FAs for bringing my own trash to the galley and asking for a cup of water. This wasn't during meal or other service times too, so they weren't busy with other responsibilities, they just wanted to talk and relax.

In addition to the fares, their FF program isn't the greatest. First, the lack of CPUs except for Platinums on interisland gives little incentive for elites. Personally, I don't think that premium cabin seats should be given to non-revs before moving elites up, but I see how the argument could be made for both sides. Secondly and more importantly, saver award availability is a joke. It's hard to use miles for any reasonable rates.

All-in-all I've decided to vote with my wallet and split my flying to other airlines and given up trying to maintain status on HA.
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Old Jun 15, 17, 11:01 am
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I agree the mileage program sucks overall, but Platinums also get 2 upgrades for mainland flights, and 6 upgrades for international flights if you fly 75K in a year, and more for every additional 10K flown, on top of the interisland upgrades. The process of redeeming the certificates can be annoying compared to other airlines, but I don't actually think HA is actually that behind in terms of upgrades. Yes, you get a lot less upgrades at the top tier than the competition, but the top tier is also much easier to achieve, plus you can earn extra upgrades as you fly more. Flying 40K miles is enough to get Platinum, I can't think of a competitor that would give you any upgrades at all for flying that amount.

I actually don't find saver availability that bad, compared to the competition. With AA, the other frequent flyer program I'm in, I can find good saver awards on their partners flying west, but saver awards to the mainland are nearly impossible now. I have much better luck with HA.

My biggest complaints with HA are the fact that elites can't pick Extra Comfort seats for free, the quantity and quality of the lounges, the outsourced phone customer service, and the selection/cost of the IFE. On the positive side, I like their young fleet, great service on board (most of the time), the new lie flat seats, and their route network.

I agree there needs to be more competition, though the situation is more dire interisland than to the mainland. For the mainland there's plenty of competition, even for Vegas, if you're willing to stop on the west coast. Though I am surprised HNL-LAS nonstop has so little competition, given how popular a destination Vegas is from Hawaii.

Last edited by Kumulani; Jun 16, 17 at 9:58 am
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Old Jun 15, 17, 11:25 am
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We can all bemoan the HA FF program and pricing, but it will only change for the better when HA is hurting financially. A look at HA's stock performance over the last 10 years (roughly since Aloha went bellyup), indicates that their executives are earning their bonuses:

https://finance.yahoo.com/chart/HA#e...IjpmYWxzZX0%3D

In short, HA's stock is up 509%, compared to NASDAQ at 142% and the S&P at 62%. Don't expect any changes that benefit FFs, as clearly stockholders are quite happy with the status quo.

Last edited by 747FC; Jun 15, 17 at 11:29 am Reason: Clarification
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Old Jun 15, 17, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Kumulani View Post
...

My biggest complaints with HA are the fact that elites can't pick Extra Comfort seats for free, the quantity and quality of the lounges, the outsourced phone customer service, and the selection/cost of the IFE. On the positive side, I like their young fleet, great service on board (most of the time), the new lie flat seats, and their route network.

I agree there needs to be more competition, though the situation is more dire interisland than to the mainland. For the mainland there's plenty of competition if you're willing to stop on the west coast. Though I am surprised HNL-LAS nonstop has so little competition, given how popular a destination Vegas is from Hawaii.
Yes to both of these points! I recently matched to UA of all airlines and found the E+ access to be a huge benefit. On HA, my upgrade rate to EC seats was somewhere around 1/20 over two years. And yes, competition is good. That is a surprising thought. UA just announced increasing flights/capacity to HI, and LAS wasn't on there. It's almost as if no one has ever heard of the "ninth island."

A benefit that I do like is the CC credit for elites. I will be cancelling when my AF fee hits since I don't fly enough on HA anymore.

Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
We can all bemoan the HA FF program and pricing, but it will only change for the better when HA is hurting financially. A look at HA's stock performance over the last 10 years (roughly since Aloha went bellyup), indicates that their executives are earning their bonuses:

https://finance.yahoo.com/chart/HA#e...IjpmYWxzZX0%3D

In short, HA's stock is up 509%, compared to NASDAQ at 142% and the S&P at 62%. Don't expect any changes that benefit FFs, as clearly stockholders are quite happy with the status quo.
Unfortunately this also makes a lot of sense as well, and does help explain the corporate behavior. However I'm not sure how it explains the overall CS culture of the company (although that isn't the topic for this thread). Fortunately, I got in on a good chunk of that growth. It's too bad I wasn't smart enough to have an exit strategy. Just sitting on it still.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by cdavishi View Post
The Vegas fares are above HORRIFIC, they are ATROCIOUS! I thought traveling HNL to ITO was bad, Vegas is now their highest mainland fare and competition is overdue in that market.
There's lots of fare competition on LAS-HNL. AA, DL, UA, AS (and AS/VX) all have fares (and lots of seats) in the market. What HA doesn't have is competition on non-stop service. What's your time worth to you?
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Old Jun 16, 17, 10:06 am
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Honestly, if you're going to be a frequent flyer on HA you just have to accept that it's mainly a tourist airline, and it works well for them. As much as I wish they would give us the EC seats for free, they don't seem to be having any trouble selling them, and the sales are probably more profitable than the increased loyalty if they gave them away.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 11:00 am
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As a tourist who has seen the fares rise higher and higher for interisland, I've actually not gone to islands besides HNL as much as before because of the additional cost. Or I fly from the mainland directly to another island and only go interisland one way.
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Old Jun 16, 17, 11:45 am
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Is Vegas the only US market where they don't have competition?
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Old Jun 16, 17, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ucdtim17 View Post
Is Vegas the only US market where they don't have competition?
They have competition to Vegas. The only US market they don't have competition to from HNL is Sacramento, if you count United to EWR as competing with Hawaiian to JFK.

Las Vegas: Allegiant, Omni (Vacations Hawaii charter), and Delta has a flight scheduled for the Christmas season
Los Angeles: American, Delta, United, Virgin America
New York: Delta (seasonal), United (to Newark)
Oakland: Alaska
Phoenix: American
Portland: Alaska
Sacramento: none
San Diego: Alaska
San Francisco: Delta (seasonal), United, Virgin America
San Jose: Alaska
Seattle: Alaska, Delta
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Old Jun 16, 17, 2:19 pm
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The Vegas competition is a little different (and lesser) than the regular year round scheduled competition on all the other routes.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jun 18, 17 at 10:28 am Reason: removed quote to shorten thread
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Old Jun 17, 17, 12:04 pm
  #12  
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Part of my reference to competition is the fact HNL-LAS on HA is non-stop flights. I can fly to virtually any destination in the world with multiple stops and in comparison with direct flights, consider that comparing apples to figs.
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Old Jun 17, 17, 4:23 pm
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To add on to my earlier post, one nice thing about HA's upgrade certificates is that you can use them on award tickets. With AA Executive Platinum status, the systemwide upgrades only work on purchased tickets. The systemwide upgrades are overall easier to use though, since you don't need to wait until right before your flight to use them and can waitlist yourself if there aren't any immediate upgrades available.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by cdavishi View Post
Their pricing has become HORRIFIC to the Hawaii local travelers both inter-island and many of the mainland destinations.
Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
As a tourist who has seen the fares rise higher and higher for interisland, I've actually not gone to islands besides HNL as much as before because of the additional cost. Or I fly from the mainland directly to another island and only go interisland one way.
Why do you guys say inter-island pricing is high? It's pretty comparable to other airlines short mainland flights. For example I picked a random date in July for HNL-KOA which came out to $128 rt. BOS-JFK was $123, JFK-DCA was $139, and SFO-SMF was $217 (!) for the same date. Actually, I'd say the HNL-KOA route is a good deal considering you can't drive it in a few hours like you can the other routes.
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Old Jun 21, 17, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by cdavishi View Post
Part of my reference to competition is the fact HNL-LAS on HA is non-stop flights. I can fly to virtually any destination in the world with multiple stops and in comparison with direct flights, consider that comparing apples to figs.
Are you complaining that other carriers don't serve LAS-HNL non-stop? That's their choice in an unregulated market.

If you're complaining about price, see ITA Matrix for non-stops HNL-LAS-HNL for 7-9 day stays and compare them to the prices offered on carriers with one-stop service. HA isn't just competitive - it is the benchmark low price on many dates.

HA service non-stop



including HA and 1-stop services by UA, AA, DL, and AS

Check your own thirty-day date range and length of stay parameters if you don't like mine.



Prices by five carriers with a lot of seats on an unregulated domestic route is pretty much the archetype of competition.
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