Aloha Airlines halting passenger service

March 31, 2008 7:12:57 PM PDT
Aloha Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a week and a half ago. It's been a quick goodbye for aloha airlines. The company filed for bankruptcy protection just a week and half ago and is now officially out of business when it comes to carrying passengers to and from the islands.

They ran out of time and they ran out of fuel after 60 years of flying to the islands they are history. 1,900 are out of work.

The counter is empty, the last passenger checked in and the last flight from Oakland to Hawaii has left. The end means if you have a ticket on Aloha Tuesday, you're out of luck. If a friend or relative is due back to the mainland, he or she had better scramble.

"You can call United and they will get you on another flight. They don't guarantee same day, but they'll do the best they can," said Susan Campos from Pacific Heights Travel Service.

"I called Aloha last night to see if I could get a refund. No answer, so they said try your credit card company so that's what I'm going to try to do. It will cost us about $325 each coming back on United," said Donna diLoreto, Campbell passenger.

High fuel prices and a low fare airline delivered a one-two punch. Aloha blamed what is called unfair competition. An obvious reference to Go Airline which challenged aloha and Hawaiian on inter island flights, charging as little as $20 a trip.

"Over $20 million they've lost as far as Go Airlines in concerned, but they were so far able to stick with it and as a result, Aloha just couldn't keep up," said ABC7's Aviation Expert Ron Wilson.

With vacation travel heating up, we'll see changes right away.

"Inter island flights a lot of them will be sold out for a while," said Campos.

"I don't think that you can avoid the higher fairs, they're going to have to have some way to make this up," said Wilson.

Rising fuel prices played a major role in the demise of Aloha. It's just a sign of the economic turmoil that the industry finds itself in right now and experts are telling us this latest incident won't be the last.

"The cost of fuel is making many airlines, in fact 90 percent of them, on the ragged edge of bankruptcy," said Wilson.

Fees and taxes have added so much that ticket prices have almost doubled. You could be flying standby and of course there's the problem with getting a refund and what to do next.