Has Hawaiian Airlines Corporate Lost Its Aloha & Pono?
Seems so. Not the line people, of course. They are incredible i.e., the call center, ticket counter,
flight attendant folks, etc.. Yet many principle executives at the top who run Hawaiian Air seem to have lost theirs - including its CEO. (BTW, "pono" in Hawaiian refers to what is "right, in integrity, balance.")
HA corporate of late seems to have embraced greed and exploitation of its passengers BIG TIME!
Of the indicators, please note the following:
- Ticket change penalty of $150
- Recent addition of $25 fees for exit and bulkhead rows
- Recent checked bag fees ($25 fee for first, $35 for the second)
- A seemingly "hidden" fare increase when one endeavors to change a flight online noting in one case a $96 fare hike in a flight on top of the change fee despite the original flight still able to be purchased online at the very same fare previously paid. [continued below]....
.....An undisclosed $10 fee for changing even a Coach Plus ("no-fee change") ticket online.
And this is BIG - establishing a new fare sequence whereby instead of tickets being lower if one buys earlier (which used to be the smart thing to do) HA fares are now higher when buying earlier. INDEED, as much as 50% less within three weeks of purchase! Imagine the same flight three weeks after purchase costing half the original price without refunding to the lower price! Does this signal aloha, "pono," and respect for customers?
HA may say it needs all these charges to be financially solvent. Yet alas, HA has expanded its operations to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Philippines and New York City. Does this expansion reflect financial problems?
And catch this HAs CEO, Mark Dunkerley, with an annual salary and benefits package of $6.3M in 2010 was the second highest paid airline CEO in the country under Deltas Richard Andersons $8M! Given this CEO compensation, imagine how high the salaries of HA's Senior VPs must be!
By contrast, Southwest Airlines - said to be the most solvent in the business - flies more planes, flights and passengers daily than any other domestic airline WITHOUT all those charges. AND, its CEO's salary was of that of HA's!
It seems HA corporate is so steeped in avarice it has wholly forfeited the image and values it purports to represent thereby marketing itself upon i.e., the historic foundation of aloha and ohana imbedded in the Hawaiian culture that has made Hawai`i the #1 tourist destination in the world.
So, if you also dont like the road down which HA corporate officers are going, please make your voice known via its customer advocate office by calling HA's switchboard (808-835-3700) - or by contacting HAs Investor Relations Senior Director, Susan Donofrio (908-719-3206).
If especially courageous, you may also wish to call the central switchboard at 808-835-3700 to ask for Mr. Dunkerleys executive assistant and/or HA's Senior VP of Communications and Public Affairs, Ann Botticelli.
We need to turn this around, for what HA has come to represent (outside of its very warm, caring, line staff) more and more reflects the very elements that have exploited Hawai`i for centuries - i.e., a five letter word that begins with G.