Hawaiian Holdings, Inc.

It's no surprise finding Hawaiian Holdings being headquartered in a building within spitting distance to Honolulu airport as its main subsidiary is Hawaiian Airlines. Founded in 1929, the airline transports people and cargo from Honolulu to cities in the western US. I flew over here from San Diego via Hawaiian Airlines.

In the accompanying picture you can see a ramp going up the side of the building, that's where one goes to find the entrance to the offices. I check in with the receptionist and explain how I mailed a letter of introduction a month earlier to CEO Mark Dunkerley. I ask if Dunkerley's secretary can be called to find out who ended up with the letter. The receptionist says it most likely went to Keoni Wagner, Media Relations, and that one MUST have an appointment to see him. I try explaining that just about anybody can answer my questions but it's to no avail. The receptionist then says to have a seat while Wagner's secretary checks his schedule.

The reception area is very small with only a few chairs. I note the plant (fake) and poinsettia (real). On a wall hang four framed photos of Hawaiian Airlines planes and also an employee of the year plaque. On the reception counter there's a display with Hawaiian Airlines Visa credit card applications and several Hawaiian Airlines in-flight magazines.

So, 15 minutes pass, then 20 and when it reaches 25 minutes I ask the receptionist if I've been forgotten. The receptionist calls up Wagner's secretary and I'm told the only time available is Tuesday (five days from now) at 10:30 AM for 10 minutes. It's told in a "take it or leave it" voice. I take it. I'm then asked for the phone number of the hotel I'm staying at in case there're any changes.

Upon returning to the hotel on Monday (the day before the scheduled meeting) there's a voice message from Hawaiian Holdings. The woman says an emergency came up and my meeting has been cancelled and "there's no possibility of rescheduling it for another day". Boy, nothing like making me feel insignificant. If that's the way they treat people then maybe it's no big surprise to learn they were recently in bankruptcy.

SIDEBAR: Over the years I've visited quite a few airlines. How does my reception at Hawaiian Airlines rank? Here's a list of airlines visited and their grades.

Grading Scale A=Excellent, B=Good, C=Average, D=Poor, F=Flunk/Failure

Alaska Airlines---A
America West---A
US Air---B
Swiss---F, then "A" on second visit
Texas Air---F
Hawaiian Airlines---F
Pan Am---B