Stab Magazine | The People Vs Hawaiian Airlines: The Saga Continues

The People Vs Hawaiian Airlines: The Saga Continues

“Yep Hawaiian air is blownnnnnnnnnn” – Mason Ho 

Words by stab

When an airline finds itself under public scrutiny based off high fares to fly boards, surfers rejoice. It’s the crux to surf travel, and after John John’s JetBlu debacle it feels good to give it back to the airlines. Anyone who’s ever paid an equal price or more to fly their boards to a wave rich destination as the round trip fee can attest: it’s a sham. And, not to mention Hawaiian Airlines pulled in 81 mil in bag fees last year, which, as Kelly Slater so bluntly stated, is “a ridiculous and default profit racket.”

D payne HH

Here’s Dusty Payne’s thoughts on Hawaiian Airlines. But, we’re not sure what’s better: the fact this made the nightly news, or Mason Ho’s input on the whole ordeal.

Over the past few days, after a charge led by Mr Slater and Bob Hurley, many have taken to social media to speak out against Hawaiian Airlines’ board flying policies. Let’s examine:

Freddy Patacchia Jr: Please repost or comment on @hawaiianairlines if you’ve ever had to deal with their ridiculous board fees. I’m so happy that this has finally come to the public’s attention. Over the past 15 years I’ve tried my best to NOT fly Hawaiian Air due to their board fees. A good alternative for me has been American Air, $150per board bag (multiple boards) as long as it’s under the weight limit.

Sebastian Zietz: I’m so happy this made it to the news! I’ve been putting my boards on aloha air cargo the day before my flights and purchasing a rental car on Oahu just to drive to pick the boards up and connect to where I’m going. It started two years ago when I got in an argument with Marianne the supervisor in Lihue. She told me I wasn’t allowed to bring my boards and would not allow me to pay extra. When I told her I would miss my $2000 connection to Australia she told me “OH WELL, it’s on our website” after scolding us and kicking us out of line we sat around wondering what to do; she came around the corner and told us we were “red flagged”!! @hawaiianairlines bring the aloha back! No other airline has this regulation #kooks

Zeke Lau: @hawaiianairlines is blown!!!! No other Airline makes you limit the amount of boards in a board bag. I do everything I can to avoid traveling on @hawaiianairlines for this very reason. Something needs to change!

Granger Larsen: It is so true. I don’t even take @hawaiianairlines anywhere because of their surf board policy. What we have to deal with spending all this money all year just for tickets then to spend almost just the same amount for our surfboards to get on is ridiculous. Yup Hawaiian air is blown! Haha.

Peter King: Truth Power! Make this right … They only will allow you two boards total on the plane! Ridiculous!!! @hawaiianairlines … #SurfersBoardsMatter

But, as is common with most protests in opposition to corporations: Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t give a fuck: We’ve gotten a lot of feedback in the last few days about our surfboard policies. It’s feedback we value and we want to respond to it directly here. Hawaiian Airlines carries a lot of surfboards—it’s part of who we are—and we’ve given these rules a lot of thought. We don’t expect everyone to agree with our policies, but we thought it would help to share some thoughts on why we have them.

First, we take transporting your boards seriously. We understand their importance and do our best – not always successfully – to make sure they arrive in the same condition in which we accept them. There is a cost to that mālama (care) – unlike a checked-in suitcase, our customer service team must hand-carry surfboards from acceptance to the belly of the plane and manually process them through security screening. Plus, we’re liable for damages if something goes wrong. The fees we charge are intended to cover those costs, and we try to keep them reasonable and competitive.

Second, we enforce some restrictions when it comes to checking in surfboards. The one that’s gotten a lot of attention this week is the limit of two boards per bag. That limit is based on our experience that it’s more likely boards will get damaged when three or more boards are packed together – damage for which we are rightly held liable. The majority of the other US airlines have the same rule, for the same reason.

We try our best to inform our guests about these policies before they travel, because nothing is more upsetting and frustrating than learning about them at the airport. Information about ocean sporting equipment is maintained here –

The community’s feedback on this specific policy has been heard loud and clear. This is a subject that is deeply personal to all of us at Hawaiian Airlines, as long-standing supporters of our local ocean sports and with many of our employees surfing when they’re not at work. We’ll continue to do our best to get your boards transported safely, and to extend you our very best hospitality. Mahalo.

Yeah, mahalo…



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