The Perfect Enemy | Kokua Line: Is it acceptable to fly with COVID-19? - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
May 27, 2022

Kokua Line: Is it acceptable to fly with COVID-19? – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Kokua Line: Is it acceptable to fly with COVID-19?  Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Read Time:3 Minute

Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story!

Question: While on a visit home, my nephew and his wife tested positive for COVID-19; they were symptomatic and self-­isolated for the remainder of their trip. They contacted Hawaiian Airlines and asked to change their flights because of their positive status. Hawaiian Airlines representatives advised that since their tickets were nonrefundable and nonchangeable, they would have to buy two new tickets, which they did and flew home about a week later. This cost them a lot of money. My question is, Is it now acceptable to fly with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis? My nephew and his wife chose to do the morally correct thing, but if Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t work with people in this situation, I fear many people, for financial reasons, would choose to fly home and expose others to COVID- 19. I have some trips planned and now I am rethinking them.

Answer: No, and passengers who are honest about their diagnosis wouldn’t be able to get on the plane even if they wanted to, because Hawaiian Airlines, like numerous others, has passengers self-screen before boarding. “We have a check-in health attestation form that asks our guests if they have COVID- 19 symptoms or tested positive for the virus. If they do, we will discuss travel options available to them,” said spokesman Alex Da Silva.

Hawaiian has eliminated change fees for Main Cabin, Extra Comfort and First/Premium Class tickets, allowing those customers to reschedule a flight for any reason without paying a change fee. By contrast, Main Cabin Basic tickets, the lowest fare between Hawaii and the mainland, can be rescheduled once due to COVID-19 without a change fee. Any fare increase between the original and new travel date would apply.

“Even though Main Cabin Basic tickets are nonchangeable, we still offer a one-time change fee waiver if we are informed of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis,” to allow the passenger to recover and reschedule, said Da Silva, adding that the airline would review your relatives’ experience.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says not to travel for a full 10 days after a positive test or when COVID-19 symptoms begin. This guidance relies on the honor system, as there is no testing requirement for domestic travel and the airlines’ health surveys are self-attestations, depending on people to tell the truth.

COVID-19 cases are rising in many parts of the country, including Hawaii, the CDC says.

Q: Is camping suspended all summer at Bellows?

A: Pretty much, for the general public. Overnight camping at Bellows Field Beach Park has been suspended since April 18 and will not be allowed at least through Sept. 1, to accommodate sea turtles nesting along the Waimanalo coast. The closure might extend through Labor Day weekend, but that decision has yet to be made, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Day use is allowed on the weekends, although bathroom and shower facilities close at twilight. The closure affects DPR’s campground and facilities. A separate area for military-connected recreation remains open.

Auwe

Auwe to people setting off fireworks already. They sound like bombs going off. It’s May — way past New Year’s and too soon for the Fourth of July. — Eastsider

Mahalo

A big mahalo to Grant, a good Samaritan who helped retrieve my sun umbrella Friday, which had blown down to the slippery rocks just above the surf off Magic Island. I was unable to negotiate the large gap up and down between the walkway and rocks where the umbrella was lodged. Lucky we live Hawaii where there are so many good Samaritans willing to help and kokua without hesitation. I’m so grateful. Thank you, Grant! You made my day. — Happy senior


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.