Hawaiian Airlines Refusal of Refunds for Canceled Flights Class Action

The complaint for this class action alleges that Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. has been refusing to provide refunds to passengers when it cancels their flights. The complaint claims that this violates Department of Transportation policy as well as state and federal laws.

Hawaiian is one of the largest airlines in the country, with flights between the mainland US and Hawaii as well as to countries in Asia and the South Pacific. In 2019, the compliant claims, Hawaiian carried more than 11 million passengers.

The complaint quotes Hawaiian as announcing, in April 2020, that it was “reducing its scheduled service systemwide by 95 percent through April 2020” and has a “likelihood of similar reductions in May.”

Plaintiff Nataly Alvarez had booked a flight on Hawaiian from Los Angeles to Maui. Hawaiian canceled that flight and told Alvarez that she could ask for a refund online. The airline said “she would receive an e-mail once her refund had been processed.”

According to the complaint, Hawaiian’s Domestic Contract of Carriage says that customers are entitled to refunds when Hawaiian cancels their flights.

Alvarez asked for a refund, as instructed, but never received it. She has had difficulty even getting a representative on the telephone; her father managed to, but he was told that Hawaiian was only issuing credits, not cash refunds.

She’s apparently not the only person who’s had trouble getting a refund from Hawaiian. The complaint reproduces a number of online postings in which other would-be passengers complain about the same thing. Some of these also complain about the difficulty of getting hold of a live representative on the telephone, even after hanging on for an hour or more.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an Enforcement Notice on the topic, saying that airlines remain obligated during this pandemic to provide passengers with a prompt refund when they cancel flights. The refunds should include the price of the ticket and any optional fee charged for services the passenger is not able to use.

According to the DOT, the complaint says, “The obligation of airlines to provide refunds … does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control “(e.g., a result of government restrictions).”

The counts in the complaint include conversion, fraud, breach of contract, and violations of California and Hawaii state consumer protection laws.

The class for this action is all persons in the US who bought tickets on a Hawaiian flight scheduled to operate to, from, or within the US, whose flights were canceled or had a significant schedule change and who did not have their tickets refunded.

A California Subclass and a Hawaii Subclass have also been proposed.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Hawaiian Airlines Refusal of Refunds for Canceled Flights Complaint

April 20, 2020

The complaint for this class action alleges that Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. has been refusing to provide refunds to passengers when it cancels their flights. The complaint claims that this violates Department of Transportation policy as well as state and federal laws.

Hawaiian Airlines Refusal of Refunds for Canceled Flights Complaint

Case Event History

Hawaiian Airlines Refusal of Refunds for Canceled Flights Complaint

April 20, 2020

The complaint for this class action alleges that Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. has been refusing to provide refunds to passengers when it cancels their flights. The complaint claims that this violates Department of Transportation policy as well as state and federal laws.

Hawaiian Airlines Refusal of Refunds for Canceled Flights Complaint
Tags: Airline TIckets, Airlines, Failure To Pay For Refund