• Report: #979958
Complaint Review:

Hawaiian Airlines

  • Submitted: Sun, December 09, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, December 10, 2012

  • Reported By: Shraon — Seattle Washington U.S.A.
Hawaiian Airlines
Honolulu, Hawaii United States of America

Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Charged Baggage Fees on International Itinerary in Violation of Their Baggage Rules Honolulu, Hawaii

*Author of original report: Got My Money Back, Thanks to DOT

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My husband and I booked an international itinerary (KIX-HNL-SEA) using American Airlines FF miles.  For this itinerary, we had to use Hawaiian Air (a partner).  American FF rules allow passengers to a stopover, so we arranged to do so in HNL.  Under the baggage disclosure (contained in the email itinerary sent to us by American), there were to be no baggage fees for the entire trip.  The text reads as follows:

Baggage charges for your itinerary will be governed by Hawaiian Airlines

(BTW, I should note that airlines travelling to and from Japan provide for 2 free checked bags.  What a great difference from travel within the USA!)

Not good enough?  So, I checked out Hawaiian's baggage fees for International Check-In Luggage, which is on their website.  Here is the relevant language:

"International baggage rules will apply for the entire trip, including domestic segments regardless of stopover, providing the itinerary includes at least one ticketed international point." (emphasis added)

"Regardless of stopover" should mean that even if a passenger elects to stopover (in Honolulu, in this case), the 2 free bag international rule will continue to apply.  "Regardless of stopover" language appears to be intended to preserve, not limit, this benefit.

There is a chart of fees covering travel to North America from Japan (that is, from KIX (Osaka) to SEA (Seattle): the chart says 1st and 2nd bags, no charge.

Even though the rules are pretty clear, we were charged $120 for 4 bags at the airport $25 + $25 + $35 +35).  Even when I pointed out the language from their website, the agent's position was that if a stopover was involved, it turned the HNL-SEA segment to a "domestic" one, which meant the imposition of baggage fees--a position which is totally contradicted by their own stated policy.

DOT instituted final rules effective January 2012, requiring airlines to post accurate disclosure of their baggage fees on their website, as well as on e-ticket confirmations.

I filed a complaint with the so-called Consumer Affairs Office at Hawaiian, as well as with the DOT. I will update as the case progresses.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/09/2012 06:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hawaiian-airlines/honolulu-hawaii-/hawaiian-airlines-hawaiian-charged-baggage-fees-on-international-itinerary-in-violation-o-979958. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Got My Money Back, Thanks to DOT

AUTHOR: Shraon - (U.S.A.)

Just submitted my RIPOFFREPORT last night, and today I received an email from Hawaiian's consumer advocate informing me that they were refunding my $120 baggage fee.  Well, it wasn't due to the report I submitted, but to a complaint I filed with the Department of Transportation yesterday.  I found the form by googling, filled out a report, and attached the e-confirmation and Hawaiian Air baggage website disclosure on international baggage fees.

I know that the DOT inquiry was the catalyst because Hawaiian Air sent a cc to DOT.

Anyone who believes an airline is operating in noncompliance with its baggage fee disclosure should file a complaint with DOT.  Even if it does not result in a refund, DOT probably keeps a file on these complaints and may use them as a basis to take administrative action (i.e., impose a fine) against the airline at a later date.

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