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Surge in bookings leads to Hawaiian Airlines site crash, swamped phone lines: Here's how to avoid long hold times

May 15, 2021
3 min read
A Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A321neo.
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Hawaii rolled out its first iteration of vaccine passports this past week: Through the Safe Travels program, Hawaii residents who received their vaccine within the state can start interisland travel by uploading their proof of vaccination. This vaccine passport will allow eligible travelers to skip quarantine and testing requirements altogether.

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While there’s no news just yet for what vaccine passports will look like for out-of-state travelers, Hawaii has offered a pre-testing option to help individuals avoid quarantine since mid-October.

With the news of this vaccine passport, Hawaiian Airlines has seen a surge in demand, unable to adequately assist customers booking reservations. Their website crashed on Friday due to this influx of attempted reservations. Likewise, their call center is “experiencing unusually heavy call volumes,” with gruesomely long expected wait times.

If you’re looking to book travel to Hawaii soon, here’s what you can do to work around these long phone wait times.

Contact Hawaiian Airlines via live chat

According to the Hawaiian Airlines website, agents are available through the online chat function 24 hours a day.

(Screenshot courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

Even if that’s the case, I couldn’t find a way to reach an agent on a Saturday morning. If you want to go this route, your best bet is to refresh the page until the chat function is available again.

Text Hawaiian Airlines customer service

(Screenshot courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

If you don’t want to be stuck on hold for hours, another great option is to text Hawaiian’s customer service at 38-285. Note that agents are only available for assistance from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. HST, which is the equivalent of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

You should receive an automated text that you’re being transferred to a representative. Someone will be there to assist you with your reservation when it’s your turn.

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Reach out to Hawaiian Airlines via Facebook or Twitter

(Screenshot courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

Another option is to reach out to Hawaiian Airlines’ social media accounts. To speed up your process, you’ll want to directly message their Facebook or Twitter accounts with your full name, confirmation number, email address and flight number ready to go.

Bottom line

Hawaii will continue to become an increasingly popular destination with the recent vaccine passport rollout that will hopefully soon be available to all vaccinated travelers. With the uptick in the number of people hitting the road comes a potential headache: Contacting airline customer service. Be prepared to face long wait times when reaching out to customer support, and to try new avenues to make contact.

Featured image by Jon Brown
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more