We were to leave for the airport around 8 am Thurs, July 28, for my youngest nephew’s wedding in Kona. Hawaiian Air--10:15 am-- from SFO to Maui, then to Kona…all in one day, which would get us there by 2:30 their time. Plenty of time to get to the condo and relax before joining the family and the other attendees at 5:30 for the welcome reception.
Too bad I didn’t hear the text that came in at 4 am….especially since I didn’t sleep most of the night. The text said our flight was delayed until 7pm due to maintenance on the plane and they had us booked tentatively at 9am IF we contacted them to confirm. By the time I read that, it was too late, seeing as we live 35 min from the airport, had reservations to leave our car at the Hilton and get a shuttle, another 20 min or so, and commute traffic at that time could put us 45-60 min from the airport.
Matthew called the airline after I read the email stating the same—flight leaving at 7pm—to see if anything else was available. No. We would get into Maui at 9:30pm with no flight guaranteed to Kona, but they would get us on the first available. I looked up those flights and guess what? There are no flights available after that time. That meant sleeping in Maui, but where? Certainly not in the airport. But we’ve seen many pictures on the news of just that, so he called back to see if they guarantee a hotel room. They were terrifically helpful…had no number for the agents in Maui, couldn’t give us specifics other than they’ll help us in Maui as soon as land, etc.
By the end of the day, we’d called Hawaiian Air 5 times about what to do and what to expect.
Finally, after still having no idea if they’d provide a hotel room, I called around and found one in Kihei, Matthew contacted Hawaiian one last time and booked a room for 7am to Kona.
Somewhere during the day, I talked to my brother-in-law and realized everyone had plans all day Friday — all the young men were playing golf and nothing else was planned for the wedding party, so after pondering that, I suggested we leave Maui later so we could sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast at what looked like a lovely hotel on the water.
When we finally got to SFO, there was one long line at Hawaiian with no 1st class line and everyone there was on the delayed flight...with only 1 agent handling everyone. Another agent showed up 10-15 min later to help. We were given vouchers for $30 to use only at SFO for food with now barely time to eat. We were hungry after so long a wait and strange-in-limbo day, ordered food, and wolfed it down before zipping to the gate to board. Then we waited. No boarding. No explanation. Leaving time 7:10, still standing waiting at 7, 7:10....7:20. I think we boarded close to 7:45 or more, but sat on the tarmac for maybe 15 minutes at least before taking off.
When we got to Maui, it was 9:30 pm, 9:45 by the time we got our bags and found the agents who were supposed to help us with vouchers, etc. We told them I'd made reservations for the night in Kihei because no one could verify we'd have a place to sleep there since no flights were leaving that night for Kona.
They hadn't printed anything for us ahead of time saying they couldn't get SFO information before we left. Really? They had all day, and we'd called H Air 5 times trying to get in touch with Maui. We had to wait while they found a hotel for us, which they said had a lovely lanai where we could enjoy breakfast, cancelled the one I had (saying it’s 25 min. away—11miles?), and printed vouchers for hotel, breakfast, and taxi (too late for shuttle). We found a taxi after standing in the wrong place awhile, gave him our voucher and the name of the hotel, and finally left the airport.
Once at the hotel, the desk clerk told us our vouchers were incorrect and shows that hotel, but the information about payment showed the Courtyard Marriott, so they couldn't accept it. While she tried calling H Air, I called the Marriott--no we weren't booked there either. We gave her our credit card and just accepted we would have to hassle HAir for reimbursement later.
Remember how I changed our booking because we were staying in a "lovely place?"
The bathroom looked updated, but then why was the shade so poorly mounted?
Of course the breakfast voucher did not go through, so we paid for breakfast, saved all the receipts and discussed this with the agent at the airport. Even the agent made a face when we told her where they'd had us stay saying they should have put us at the Courtyard which was much nicer...they have 3 places and this was the worst. Yeah, we noticed. No lanai, large room, but badly in need of remodeling, etc.
We now have to send everything to consumer affairs for reimbursement. All this and first class too. A lot of good that did me.