News from Aloha Airlines quickly went from the carrier entering Chapter 11 and promising to “continue to operate as usual honoring all existing reservations and taking new bookings and an assurance to AlohaPass members and cardholders of the AirAwards credit card that they will continue to receive the same benefits as before,” to “Sorry… After more than 60 years of serving Hawaii, Aloha Airlines is no longer operating.”
In its Chapter 11 filing, Aloha cited its inability to generate sufficient revenues from its inter-island passenger business due to predatory pricing by Mesa Air Group’s go! airline. Aloha stated that it was forced to match the go! below-cost fares at a time when jet fuel cost was rising to record numbers. For Aloha, the recent $111 a barrel for oil would have meant an annual increase of $71 million in fuel expenses — a burden the airline could not take on.
AlohaPass members who did not redeem their remaining miles saw them disappear. And many were caught out because the demise of the airline happened so quickly. Those with the First Hawaiian Bank AlohaAirAwards credit card that earned miles have been offered a new Priority Rewards credit card that offers travel awards when earning Priority Rewards Cash Points on all purchases.
It’s a sad day when you lose your miles — but perhaps its even more upsetting when you lose your job — like more than 1,900 Aloha employees.