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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
Hawaiian 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.