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Old 19 Feb 24, 12:02 AM  
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bambikate
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Aulani Waves and Disneyland Days: An Ohana Adventure - Day 9 United to the rescue!

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Day 9 - United to the rescue!
Packing, checking out of Aulani, swimming, bodyboarding, poke, dole whip, Mickey ice cream, ukulele lessons, a cancelled flight and eventually flying to LAX on an overnight flight.

We were checking out today but I had picked a red eye flight so a day wasn’t wasted travelling and so we could enjoy the resort for the rest of the day after checking out.

We got up and had some breakfast in our room then the girls chose what they wanted to wear that day (in the pool, after the pool and on the plane) and also what they wanted to wear in Universal the next day and then Andy and I finished off the packing whilst they went down to the pools.



Hi girls!



Packing took a while but we were able to condense it so there were 2 cases with Hawaii type stuff that we probably wouldn’t use again and souvenirs meaning we only had to access the other two the rest of our stay.

A couple of our small cases





We called Bell Services to get our bags and left the room just before 11am.

On our way to enjoy the resort!



We chilled for a bit and enjoyed the sun and the pools then decided to get lunch from Ulu Cafe again.

I saw these cool things they used to carry plates of food to the poolside for those ordering to their chairs - such a simple but clever design!



As it was our last day in Hawaii, I just had to have poke again, I had enjoyed it so much last time, I went for the fully customisable one and added a few more bits this time and it was even nicer.



The girls had the kids chicken tenders and fries and Andy had the kids chicken tenders are fries and a chicken Caesar salad.



After lunch, we went to the beach and paddled and the girls did some bodyboarding



They also did a bit of snorkelling and saw some fish in the sea (they do have a proper snorkelling experience at Aulani (Rainbow Reef) which you can pay for and see tropical fish but we didn’t fancy it this time as we heard it was extremely cold!)





Here’s our collection of wristbands for the week!



Mid afternoon, we decided to get some sweet treats and we got some Mickey ice cream sandwiches and a dole whip!





Look at this cute little guy!



We had wanted to take advantage of Aulani’s Luana Lounge, which you could book in for free in check in or check out day, which had a lounge area, TV, showers, lockers etc. This meant we could use the pools on the last day then shower and change properly before our flight even though we had checked out of our room. It has towels, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hairdryers, separate mens and ladies locker room, toilet and shower areas and a lounge area with water and sofas a dining table and TVs.

Andy was told he had to come down any time from 7am to book this on check out day. He went 10 minutes early in case there was a queue but found they were already allowing people to reserve it, which was a bit annoying but we did still manage to secure a 3pm slot (you get a one time access keycard and are allowed to stay for 1 hour) it’s such a great idea and it worked out so well for us - would highly recommend!















After freshening up, we went to our 4pm Ukulele lesson. We booked this free activity when we were there and initially there wasn’t space but we managed to snag a last minute cancellation.





It was a lovely activity but unfortunately it got completely ruined when my Apple Watch alerted me to a notification from Hawaiian Airlines. I stopped strumming along and opened the message and my heart sank. It said “Your flight has been cancelled, we apologise for the inconvenience, please contact customer services for more information”.

Needless to say it completely ruined the experience for us. I had told Andy and tried to stay calm and let the girls enjoy the rest of the experience but all I could do was worry and stress about how we would get home and how it would impact the rest of our holiday as the next morning we were supposed to be going to Universal Studios in California!

We were originally going to hang around for a bit longer and have dinner at Aulani as our flight wasn’t until 9pm but instead, we had to leave straight away and go to the airport early to sort out this mess.

We drove to the airport very stressed and trying not to get upset and hoped that it would be sorted one way or another. We stopped to fill the car back up en route.

We dropped the car off and got the little mini bus to the terminals.

Unfortunately, the experience in the airport was just as bad, if not worse. The Hawaiian desk had around 8 people stood around talking and no one in line because we had arrived so early presumably at a time there were no other flights checking in.

They were all talking to each other whilst we waited to be called forward and one said “So, are we still overbooked now or no?”

We eventually got called forward to a very brusk and unfriendly woman who didn’t even apologise for the fact we had been bumped from the flight. She said that it had been cancelled but I saw that it was still leaving at the same time but on a “smaller” plane apparently and with a different flight number… Basically, they had overbooked the flight and bumped us.

I asked if there was no way we could go on the flight as it was clearly still taking off and she said it was chosen at random and there was nothing they could do.

She told us that we had been put on another flight with United Airlines, leaving a couple of hours later (and also arriving a couple of hours later in LAX) and handed us some paperwork. That was it! No apology, no explaining where the United desk was. I stood in disbelief for a moment then said, we just paid for our luggage with Hawaiian ($120) can you refund that then please as we can’t use that now. “Oh, you’ve paid for that already? No, we can’t do that here you’ll have to call our Consumer Affairs office” and handed me a card with a number on it.

I asked if we would have to pay for bags with United, she said, “I’m not sure, you’ll have to ask at the United desk” I said “will we be seated together? I booked seats on our Hawaiian flight 8 months ago to make sure we would be seated together, I don’t want to be sat apart from my children.” I just got a “Again, you’ll have to ask United about that”. I said “Where is the United desk?” She said “Oh it’s at the other terminal.” No further information on how to get there. That was the end of the conversation. She couldn’t have been any more unhelpful to be honest and was very rude and standoffish.

Feeling incredibly disappointed and let down with the service we had received from Hawaiian, considering it was supposed to (in our eyes) be a luxury, premium airline, we had been treated so poorly.

We asked a security guard how to get to the other terminal and he said you could walk or take an internal bus. We decided to walk and it took about 15 minutes to get there.

Stressed blurred photo reflecting the chaos!



Nearly there!



When we found the United desk, Andy spoke to a lovely lady working there; she said we were too early to check in but explained what we would need to do when we checked in. We would have to pay another $140 for our bags here and there was no guarantee we would be sat together unless we paid to be seated together but they only had expensive seats left. She did say if we just asked at the boarding gate as we’ve got kids she was sure they would be able to accommodate (for free). I got upset at this point because I didn’t want to wait hours to find out if we would be sat together or not and I wouldn’t be happy with the girls being sat next to strangers on a night flight.

We did the bag drop and went through security then went to our gate to find some food.

Cute mini Starbucks mug Izzy found.



We were all starving at this point and bought some personal sized pizzas each and water and ate it at the gate. We were very early still and they were still using the gate for a prior flight.

This doesn’t look great but it was very tasty - this one was a BBQ chicken one!



When they changed over the staff for our flight, Andy stood by the desk waiting for them to be ready to talk to people; a few more people lined up behind him.

As Immy was 12 at the time, I checked their website and it does say they do try to seat families with kids 12 or under together, so I was hopeful they would be able to accommodate.

Thankfully, they were able to sit us together in a 2 and 2 and it ended up being in the extra legroom seats, which was a bonus on a night flight!

Andy’s photo he sent me whilst he was talking to the staff saying he was able to sit us together!


I finally felt like we could relax a bit now. It wasn’t the best end to what had been a perfect week in Hawaii BUT we were still going home the same day, we were all sat together and we wouldn’t miss any of our Universal stay (just a couple of hours later than planned).

It ended up taking 3 months of back and forth emails to get our money back for the bags - an absolute farce!

We got on the flight and it was very comfy, clean and the extra legroom seats were lovely. Staff were very sweet and the food was great - overall we said we would fly with United again - we were pleasantly surprised.

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Edited at 12:09 AM.
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Old 19 Feb 24, 02:29 PM  
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Briar Rose
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Ahh what a shame it ended like that for you. Hawaii looks amazing though!
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Old 19 Feb 24, 03:24 PM  
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Looks a good holiday, we are going August. Disgusting treatment by Hawaiin. They have since been bought out by Alaskan I think. I booked Alaskan as it was a bit cheaper, hopefully they are better than that shower. Nothing surprises me with airlines nowadays though.
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Old 19 Feb 24, 09:06 PM  
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Awful to here the airline spoilt your holiday a bit it was all going so well till then and the lady at the counter absolutely no help at all! The least she could have done was be sympathetic especially with you having two young girls😒
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Old 20 Feb 24, 09:40 AM  
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Not the end to a perfect trip that you want I agree, the lady at the HA desk could've been more sympathetic, I know it wouldn't have changed the matter but it might have helped with the stress.

We've booked with Hawaiian for our trip and flight times have changed for a couple of our flights but I haven't received any notification from them. I pop on the app now and again and noticed it there.

I hope you all got to de-stress at Universal the following day
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Old 26 Feb 24, 11:16 PM  
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What awful customer service and a rubbish way to finish up what had been an amazing sounding week otherwise!
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Old 28 Feb 24, 07:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by Briar Rose View Post
Ahh what a shame it ended like that for you. Hawaii looks amazing though!
Thank you

Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
Looks a good holiday, we are going August. Disgusting treatment by Hawaiin. They have since been bought out by Alaskan I think. I booked Alaskan as it was a bit cheaper, hopefully they are better than that shower. Nothing surprises me with airlines nowadays though.
Ooh how exciting! Oh I had no idea about that - how interesting. Their after care customer service is just as bad, you couldn't make it up! TFR

Originally Posted by Pep View Post
Awful to here the airline spoilt your holiday a bit it was all going so well till then and the lady at the counter absolutely no help at all! The least she could have done was be sympathetic especially with you having two young girls😒
Thank you yeah it was such a shame - it was the lack of compassion that grated on me the most. Ahh thank you

Originally Posted by dismamx2 View Post
Not the end to a perfect trip that you want I agree, the lady at the HA desk could've been more sympathetic, I know it wouldn't have changed the matter but it might have helped with the stress.

We've booked with Hawaiian for our trip and flight times have changed for a couple of our flights but I haven't received any notification from them. I pop on the app now and again and noticed it there.

I hope you all got to de-stress at Universal the following day
Yes exactly it wouldn't have changed things but it would have definitely made me less angry and stressed. Hope your Hawaiian Airlines experience is better than hours - that's exciting though! TFR!

Originally Posted by Wonder View Post
What awful customer service and a rubbish way to finish up what had been an amazing sounding week otherwise!
Yeah it's pretty rubbish. Thank you yeah it was amazing apart from that - TFR!
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Old 25 Apr 24, 08:39 PM  
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I’m so sorry your Hawaiian part of the holiday had to end like this 😢. The rudeness of that agent was unforgivable, some people shouldn’t be allowed in customer facing jobs!
I’m so glad that United came to the rescue and you weren’t split up from the girls
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