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Hawaiian Air/Orbitz Madness

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After searching extensively for the itinerary with the fewest and shortest layovers, I booked my partner a flight on Hawaiian Air through Orbitz to go from Kauai (LIH) to Nashville (BNA).

A few days ago I received an email notifying me of a change in my itinerary. They have added FIVE HOURS to my schedule. I would have to wake up at 3:30AM to make the long drive to the airport in order to make the new 6:29AM flight. (The original flight left 11:15AM.)

I spent THREE aggravating hours on the phone with Orbitz and Hawaiian Air (four separate calls). Hawaiian Air says that since Orbitz approved the change to the itinerary—any additional changes would incur a fee—plus the new, higher price difference. Orbitz says they never “approved” the change; they were simply notified of it, and forwarded the info to me. I received sympathy, but was told that they are bound by Hawaiian Airlines’ rules.

There are no equivalent (or even close) options on Hawaiian Air. But, an almost identical itinerary to the one I booked is available at a lower price flying Alaska Air/American. I feel I deserve a full refund so I can book an itinerary equivalent to the one I reserved. After all, I didn’t request to make this change. How can they arbitrarily make such a drastic change—and then say I’m stuck with it?

The best Hawaiian Air will offer is a credit that can only be used by the person to whom the original ticket was issued—within one year. My partner will not be doing another trip to Hawaii in the next year—and HA doesn’t offer any flights originating in Nashville.

I’m simply incredulous that they can get away with this. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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