Good morning everyone. Last week, I wrote this post: PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes. In that post, I talked about checking existing reservations to confirm flight times. Sometimes, airlines make schedule changes, sometimes airlines will email you to tell you about the schedule changes, and sometimes airlines silently make schedule changes and do not inform passengers. I, unfortunately, found myself in the last category recently with an intra island Hawaiian Airlines flight.
My girlfriend and I had a flight that was originally scheduled to depart at 1:03pm, but the new flight time was 2:41pm. If we had booked a paid ticket, we could have easily called Hawaiian Airlines, explained that we needed to be on an earlier flight, and switched to the 12:31pm flight. Unfortunately, I booked the flight with 3,000 Virgin America miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees per person. But the really unfortunate thing is that since Alaska Airlines and Virgin America merged, Virgin America and Hawaiian Airlines are no longer partners, so they cannot book new award flights or modify existing reservation.
Long story short, Virgin America is no longer a partner of Hawaiian Airlines, so they cannot modify an existing Hawaiian Airlines reservation. Likewise, since the tickets were booked through Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines was not able to make any changes to the reservation. I would call one airline, explain the situation, and they would tell me to call the other airline. I bounced back an forth a few times, growing more and more frustrated. I ended up spending 3-4 hours on the phone with various agents from Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, and Alaska Airlines before I finally received a refund of my miles. In this post, I will share the information I learned and the steps I took to fix this situation.