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Passenger Launched Hawaiian Goes Viral + Our Experiences

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We’ll start by saying that we’ve had surprisingly few problems on over 1,000 flights with Hawaiian Airlines. But we have recently encountered some issues, but nothing like what we saw on TikTok. Please take a look at what happened and let us know your views.

Hawaiian Air Passenger with a minor child ejected from the plane due to airline error.

Earlier this month, Ryan DeMarre (@ryandemarre) was going to fly from Seattle to Maui. He was on board flight HA 29. The aircraft had completed boarding and was awaiting departure.

According to TikVideo, which has been viewed nearly 4 million times, he was later removed from the plane with little explanation, claiming his ticket was invalid.

He is then seen walking through the A330 jumbo jet to the gate and exiting the flight. Then at the door, he seems to be trying to make sense of what had just happened.

The passenger said he purchased the tickets with his HA Visa card on the HA website.

@ryandemarre Hawaiian airlines kicked us off the flight for an “invalid” ticket. How do you get through security and board a plane with a minor with an invalid ticket? #hawaiianairlines #forced out #maui ♬ original sound – R Demar

A Hawaiian Air passenger left for Seattle, but his luggage is flying to Maui.

At the door, DeMarre asks, “Are we doing this flight?”. He is told: “No, your ticket is not valid. It’s not even valid.

He then asks the question seen on TikTok. “How do you get through the TSA and on a plane with an invalid ticket and a minor?”

As for his luggage, DeMarre was told, “It’ll be in Maui when you get there.” Airlines used to match passengers to baggage, but much of that was before the implementation of today’s baggage screening processes.

The underage girl was not invited to disembark.

DeMarre said her minor daughter was not asked to leave the plane, even though he was. He had the means to take her with him under the circumstances. If she had stayed, she would have been an unaccompanied minor. We don’t know how Hawaiian would have handled his status change to “unaccompanied” upon departure. This is because a gate escort and guardian contact is required and normally handled during the booking and check-in processes.

Flight accommodation the next day did not work out.

Airline staff told the passenger that he could be accommodated the following day. With other family members apparently already in Maui, and her luggage heading there as well, DeMarre decided to take matters into her own hands. He headed to Delta, where he purchased an additional round-trip ticket to Maui for the same day, which he said cost him $2,000 for him and his daughter.

@ryandemarre Hawaiian Airlines got it wrong. Explanation #hawaiianairlines #Delta Airlines #fyp #maui #launchedmyflight ♬ original sound – R Demar

The passenger received a refund that he demanded.

In the TikTok video, he wants HA to offer him reimbursement for his ticket and other expenses. DeMarre said in a follow-up TikTok that Hawaiian apologized and indicated there was a mistake on his part. We don’t know how this all happened and if the father and daughter were on different Passenger Name Records.

DeMarre was offered a full round trip, including other expenses such as the $2,000 Delta ticket. He said he was satisfied with the result. “I’m sorry it took so long, but ultimately I think the right thing happened in the long run.”

@ryandemarre In response to @adamefamily76 part 3 Hawaiian Airlines got it right #hawaiianairlines #launchedmyflight #fyp #Hawaii #maui #Thanks #georgiaguidestonesvandalized ♬ original sound – R Demar

Comments were all over the map; we’ll include just a few to get us started.

“They apologized because it went viral.”

“2,000,000 views, I’m sure they called you.”

“This is a great example of how an adult should behave when asked to leave the plane. Thank you sir.”

“Wait a second!?!? You just got off the plane? Didn’t you jump up and down and start screaming? I’m impressed.”

“Somebody messed up badly. Did you see anyone get in and take those seats after you got off?”

Curious coincidence with our own experience this weekend.

Your editors roam the state, writing articles for Beat of Hawaii. We are both heading to Kona this fall and had purchased tickets on Hawaiian Airlines for their nonstop flight from Lihue. Jeff had some intuitive sense to check it yesterday. He had trouble accessing the flight details on their mobile app, but saw the new itinerary on the HA website.

What he discovered was that the outbound and inbound flights had changed significantly since their purchase. The new flight to Kona was now several hours later than when the tickets were purchased. The return was even worse; a flight returning to Kauai in the late afternoon was now leaving Kona around 8 a.m. Not feasible.

The first issue is that Hawaiian never informed us (they had two email addresses) of these significant changes, either by phone or email. We both checked our spam folders and our regular inboxes, but there were no messages from Hawaii. If we hadn’t checked, the circumstances wouldn’t have worked as well as they did.

Two calls to the Philippines-based call center followed. Agents demanded a change fee of over $300 to get to flights closer to the original times purchased. Jeff told them there was no way he was paying change fees for flights that were changed by the airline rather than the passengers.

In the end, everything worked out and no change fees were required. It was frustrating, it required pushing, and it took a lot of time on the phone. The initial wait time before even reaching an agent was at least 30 minutes and that was just the beginning. In the end, it was just a funny coincidence with DeMarre’s TikTok.

To note. Since it was posted earlier today, at least four other people have reported simply having similar issues in which they received no flight change notices.

BOH takeout.

We will no longer depend on any airline to notify us of schedule changes. We will check regularly from the time of booking until the time of travel. Regular MJ’s comment is well taken:

“Nowadays, not checking your flight 5 days and the day before departure is asking for trouble. I’m disabled and I need a special seat without which I can’t even get on the plane. We are traveling United and are registered with them for this situation, however, sometimes unknowing agents changed our seats at the last minute. Luckily, those with higher authority have always fixed it. My partner finds it difficult to stay calm when things go wrong.

What would you have done if you had been asked to disembark because of an invalid ticket? Could you have stayed calm?

Photo of a Hawaiian Airlines flight landing in Maui.

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