The Response of Airlines to Hawaiian Wildfires

The Response of Airlines to Hawaiian Wildfires

In the wake of devastating wildfires in Maui, several major airlines including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have taken steps to assist customers and facilitate their departure from the affected areas. The wildfires, which have tragically claimed the lives of at least 36 people and prompted widespread evacuations, have left behind a trail of destruction. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, airlines have added flights and increased their service in order to help travelers return home safely.

American Airlines, for instance, has shown its commitment to supporting affected travelers by operating all scheduled flights to and from Kahului Airport in Maui. Moreover, the carrier has gone above and beyond by adding an additional flight to accommodate the increasing number of evacuations. To ensure the comfort and safety of passengers, American Airlines has replaced some of its Airbus A321 narrow-body planes with the larger Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which offers more seating capacity with 273 available seats. This strategic move demonstrates the airline’s dedication to providing efficient evacuation services.

In solidarity with affected travelers, Southwest Airlines has also taken action to assist those affected by the wildfires. The airline has added additional service to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland as well as intra-island flights. This proactive response demonstrates Southwest Airlines’ commitment to providing support and travel options for those affected by the natural disaster.

Alaska Airlines, too, has joined the collective effort to aid affected individuals. The airline has added a “rescue flight” to its schedule, bringing the total number of departures from Maui to nine. Alaska Airlines places a strong emphasis on the safety of its employees and passengers, putting their well-being at the forefront of their operations. The airline continues to assess the need for additional rescue flights to ensure the successful evacuation of as many people as possible.

United Airlines’ response

United Airlines, on the other hand, has canceled its inbound flights to Kahului Airport for Thursday but has made arrangements to fly aircraft in empty to pick up stranded travelers on Maui. While their approach differs from other airlines, United Airlines remains dedicated to helping passengers affected by the wildfires and prioritizing their safe return.

To alleviate the financial burden on affected travelers, all major airlines have generously waived fare-differences and cancellation penalties for those whose travel plans have been impacted by the wildfires. This empathetic response from the airlines not only supports their customers but also demonstrates a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

The swift response and extra efforts made by major airlines such as American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Alaska Airlines in the face of the devastating Maui wildfires should be highly commended. By adding flights, upgrading aircraft, and extending services, these airlines have prioritized the safety and well-being of their customers during this challenging period. The spirit of unity and assistance in the face of adversity is both inspiring and reassuring. It is moments like these that remind us of the importance of community support and the dedication of airlines to go above and beyond for their customers in times of crisis.


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