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HA not refunding refundable tickets?

HA not refunding refundable tickets?

Old May 7, 21, 1:07 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down HA not refunding refundable tickets?

I am curious about the collective experience and wisdom of other FT'ers. Last month I purchased a ticket for an October interisland flight on HA in refundable-F for 4 people. I was sure to make sure it was refundable-F, as they also offer nonrefundable-F. Thankfully, I kept copies of the e-receipts showing they were refundable. The website only offers the option to cancel for an e-credit, so I called. After a 2-hour hold time, an agent tried twice to offer me only an e-credit despite my repeating this was refundable-F and that I wanted a refund. Only after taking her name, reading her the HA contract of carriage, and using the word "fraud," did I get her to reluctantly agree to cancel and refund the tickets. Even then, I'm not so sure, as I have received no email confirmation of the cancellation or refund.

Incidentally, HA's contract of carriage states that refundable tickets can be issued a full travel voucher or else refunded less a $25 service charge.

I will wait the appropriate time to see if a refund hits my credit card. If not, I'll give their customer service one more try to do the right thing, then dispute the charge with my CC (submitting proof of refundable tix) and also with the consumer-protection division of our state attorney-general's office.

Has anyone else had this experience with fully-refundable tickets?

Also, let this be a warning to anyone who thinks they're booking a refundable ticket on HA!
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Old May 10, 21, 10:02 pm
  #2  
 
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I had a similar experience many years ago, but it was with a refundable roundtrip first class ticket to the mainland. I was told that while my ticket was a refundable ticket, it was a "restricted refundable" ticket. It did not help that when the e-ticket was issued via the web, the endorsement/restrictions field said NON-REF on it (?). I was directed to the fees schedule on the website (current version here - go down to the Reservation Fees section) by the call center. In the end, I wrote the consumer affairs office and they made a one-time exception and waived the Refund Fee. Since then, I've never booked a refundable ticket with HA and when I needed the flexibility, would book another carrier. I think it is wrong that while there is a check box to indicate you want to buy a refundable fare, there is no way to also indicate you want an unrestricted vs. restricted refundable fare.
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Old May 14, 21, 2:16 pm
  #3  
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Similar experience to yours, hawaii777, I did reach out to their customer service, letting them know I had disputed the charges with my CC and had filed a DOT complaint. I was crystal clear that my e-tickets all said REFUNDABLE. I received a terse reply that they were refunded. After going through all that, they still deserve the DOT complaint.
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Old May 17, 21, 9:44 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by msntriathlete View Post
After going through all that, they still deserve the DOT complaint.
Anyone who deals with Hawaiian customer service knows your experience is standard operating procedure - and they don't care.
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Old May 18, 21, 5:49 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Anyone who deals with Hawaiian customer service knows your experience is standard operating procedure - and they don't care.
Well then I'm glad I posted this. Most people who fly HA do not know this is standard operating procedure at Hawaiian, even though it obviously is. Let this serve as a warning to more people. There is an alternative airline now doing inter-island flights that doesn't commit blatant consumer fraud like this and actually refunds a refundable ticket.
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Old May 18, 21, 9:59 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by msntriathlete View Post
There is an alternative airline now doing inter-island flights that doesn't commit blatant consumer fraud like this and actually refunds a refundable ticket.
Unfortunately, their gates at HNL are out on Lagoon Drive or something, and their schedule is pretty weak for interisland business travel. Iím still hoping for AS to buy Hawaiian and save the good parts (in flight, most GAs, interisland schedule) while fixing whatís broken.
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Old May 19, 21, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
Unfortunately, their gates at HNL are out on Lagoon Drive or something, and their schedule is pretty weak for interisland business travel.
The gates aren't actually that bad - end of Diamond Head Concourse.

The biggest risk with Southwest is a cancelled flight - and they happen. If the mainland flight cancels it ripple effects the entire day on the interisland segments - where HA shines is spare planes at HNL and high frequency. Southwest free bags for many is a huge draw (and is a compelling reason to fly them). Me personally, for interisland - despite issues, HA is the way to go interisland.
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Old May 20, 21, 1:57 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
The gates aren't actually that bad - end of Diamond Head Concourse.
I might have been exaggerating a bit for rhetorical effect, but the distance from garage to gate is a whole lot longer than in the interisland terminal. Flying WN would probably add 10-15 minutes each way to my airport time, which adds up over 40ish interisland trips a year in normal times. Your other points are well-taken, and like you, I'm sticking with HA for interisland at least for now. I do think the pandemic has highlighted significant weaknesses in their "we're a tourism company, not a transportation company" business model, and am interested to see what will happen next.
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Old May 22, 21, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
The gates aren't actually that bad - end of Diamond Head Concourse.

The biggest risk with Southwest is a cancelled flight - and they happen. If the mainland flight cancels it ripple effects the entire day on the interisland segments - where HA shines is spare planes at HNL and high frequency. Southwest free bags for many is a huge draw (and is a compelling reason to fly them). Me personally, for interisland - despite issues, HA is the way to go interisland.
I'm the same way. For business travel (or people who have to go to Oahu for specialist medical appointments) Southwest can't match the frequency and convenience, and once you're gold or platinum then they start treating you like a customer. The checked bags don't matter to me because I never check them interisland and I'm platinum so I get three free ones anyway. And with the COVID checks at the neighbor islands when you land I want to be one of the first ones off so I can get on my way and not have to wait in line while people figure out the QR code.
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Old May 25, 21, 10:58 am
  #10  
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As someone who flies once or twice a year from PHX to HNL, this thread is the reason why I generally don't fly HA. If everything goes right, then HA is great (widebody service, buy up to extra legroom seating, great onboard product, etc.). However, if anything goes wrong, then I worry that HA wouldn't take care of it. So, I generally put up with AA's generally sub-par inflight product in order to not have customer service issues if I need to change or cancel my reservation. I will soon have another nonstop option with Southwest, which is great.

I think any consumer watchdog or attorney general would say a refundable ticket means exactly that. And a full refund should be cheerfully given!
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Old May 26, 21, 1:36 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
I think any consumer watchdog or attorney general would say a refundable ticket means exactly that. And a full refund should be cheerfully given!
DOT has jurisdiction in those cases - AG's know it is a waste of time due to the airline deregulation act.
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