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May 16, 2012

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They flew nonstop Portland *to* Maui as late as spring break this year. But not to Portland *from* Maui. See you on Alaska.

http://tinyurl.com/dx3mfwy

Cry me a river for f's sake, you take an annual vacation, and in Hawaii no less. Most of the people I know are still in throes of the recession.

Robert, I guess none of the people you know were on the completely full flights to and from Honolulu we were on. There's lots of people who enjoy a Hawaiian vacation. It isn't all that expensive, compared to going to Europe or many other places.

I know there are nonstop flights on Alaska from PDX to Maui, but I can't seem to find any nonstop flights from Maui to PDX. I'm not going until Thanksgiving, so perhaps Alaska's nonstop flight from PDX to Maui is being discontinued at some point as well? Any ideas? Thanks!

Maggie, I just checked on the Alaska Airlines web site and found two non-stop flights from Maui to Portland, Oregon.

Flight 862 leaves Maui at 10:50 am and arrives in Portland at 7:10 pm. Flight 816 leaves Maui and 10:30 pm and arrives in Portland at 6:53 am.

But at first I just checked some days in early April. Looking at late November, I found the same flights -- but not on every day. Maybe you happened to check one of the few days that the flights either are sold out already, or aren't available.

Hawaiian 767 vs. Alaska 737...I'll take the 767 (even through HNL) EVERYTIME! The problem is I accumulate hundred of thousands of Alaska Miles every year and so I get the 737. Unless one goes 1st Class (not a great points value), better be at least front 1/2 of the 737 or you'll get to duke it out with all the aisle surfers waiting to use the (malodorous) facilities at the back. HNL isn't that bad, certainly not bad enough to create a ridiculous rant because you can't go direct.

Sir,

I am a Hawaiian Airlines employee. And to answer your question, the flight was not a revenue generator and was unable to sustain itself. The one time a year you flew to Maui must have been the busy season, because the average seat count over 365 days was 45-70%, which is cause for higher base cost (fuel, salary, airport fees) which are in turn passed on to our guests causing the average one way seat to rise to over $480+ average just to break even. By removing that flight we can offer our guests a Honolulu bound flight which is at 90%+ capacity which will lower the cost to our guest. The inter-island connection is also at a 90% capacity which allows us to continue to pass on lower fares for the entire flight legs.

Unfortunately consumers do not realize the actual cost of operating an airline. While some airlines have foot holds in many markets and can have some markets absorb the cost of others; Hawaii is where we were "born and raised" and plan to stay. We strive to provide all our guests with the most economical and fastest way to our island home. We hope that in the future there will be more interest in Maui from Portland and will continue to explore the possibility of resuming service.

Thank you, Aloha Mai Ka Kou for offering your feedback.

Author, it would do you well to better understand a business decision you judge based on one trip a year - during high season. What arrogance! Rest assured the organization has weighed your individual inconvenience with the need to operate a sustainable business. Remember, you have options - Alaska Airlines. AND they have a fantastic Visa card for point hoarding.

Tara, did you read this post? A Hawaiian Airlines employee who is very familiar with the direct Portland - Maui flights told me that she/he couldn't understand why the nonstop flight was cancelled, since it was almost always full.

Repeat: someone who knows the passenger load told me "I can't understand why Hawaiian did it -- management doesn't tell us employees anything." I believe this person more than Hawaiian Airlines management, since she/he has first hand knowledge of the direct flight -- all through the year, not just when we usually go.

Which isn't high season, by the way. We usually go to Maui after the high winter season, not during spring break, and before summer. Meaning, in late spring, when rates are lowest at Maui condos. Yet even then, the direct flight from Portland to Maui was almost completely full, every time we went.

Sure looks like Hawaiian is just trying to make a few more bucks at the expense of Oregonians. But all they've done is give more business to Alaska Airlines.

i, too, have just had my maui via honolulu exerience for the first time and have written them and told them about my dissatisfaction with what they have done...their claim that the planes are not full enough is boloney as i go twice a year and both times off-season and the planes are about 3/4 full...if hawaiian would rather lose nearly all their maui bound passengers to Alaska Air, be my guest, i will not fly them again..former 12 year customer....

What is the average cost of a r/t nonstop flight from pdx to maui? Thanks for the info.

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