Alaska Airlines sends a rescue flight to Maui

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

Alaska Airlines is closely monitoring the devastating impacts from the Maui wildfires and continues to operate eight daily departures from the island. A flexible travel policy is in place for guests who’d like to change or cancel travel to/from Maui. 

To help people leave the island, we stood up a rescue flight, which departed from our Seattle Cargo facility this morning. The flight was filled with relief supplies including water, non-perishable food, pillows, blankets, towels, wipes, baby formula and diapers.

The aircraft will bring guests back to Seattle early tomorrow morning. Additional rescue flights are planned to help people leave the island.  And while we do not normally operate flights between the Hawaiian islands, we are sending rescue flights between Maui and Honolulu to move guests off of Maui and bring critical supplies in.Folasi was one of the lead ramp air freight agents who helped pack the rescue flight with relief supplies. In the two years he’s worked for Alaska, he says this is what our company is all about. 

“It felt good to be part of the team who are making sure that the supplies loaded safely so it can make it to Maui. I have family there, so seeing the plane take off made me feel good that Alaska Airlines acted quickly to help those in need and to know that the airline I work for responded so fast especially having family in Maui made me feel good,” he said.  

We’re also partnering with Airlink, which you can support here through cash donations.

Our hearts are with those on Maui, and our employees and their families, during this devastating time,” said Daniel Chun, Alaska’s Director of Sales, Community & Public Relations in Hawaii. “We hope we can help bring much-needed care and relief to those who’ve experienced catastrophic loss throughout the community.” 

Folasi is one of many remarkable employees stepping up to support the Maui community and our guests visiting the island. Pilots and flight attendants are volunteering to fly rescue flights, airport employees are showing up to lend a hand wherever needed, we’ve offered food and supplies to stranded guests at the airport, employees from Seattle have flown in to support the team on the ground on Maui, and our contact center employees have been helping guests who need assistance. It’s in times of crisis that our team’s values of own safety, do the right thing and be kindhearted shine through. We’re proud of the way all our employees are rallying together to help and care for the Maui community and our guests.  

Alaska employees at Maui (OGG) Kahului Airport today, along with cargo relief packages.

How you can help support Maui 

Alaska Airlines is donating  5 million miles to- Kanu Hawai‘i. Kanu Hawai‘i is one of our existing non-profit partners that provides opportunities for people to connect with one another and take action to build more compassionate and resilient communities across Hawai‘i.  In partnership with Maui Rapid Response, a local collective disaster response organization, the donated miles will be used by Kanu Hawai‘i to provide travel for Maui residents displaced by the fire so that they can relocate while they work to rebuild what they have lost.  The Alaska Airlines Foundation is also donating $25,000 to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), which is a member-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the cultural, economic, political, and community development of Native Hawaiians. CNHA has pledged to match our donation up to $250,000 in support of Maui wildfire relief efforts. Alaska employees are also able to support CNHA through Alaska’s matching gift program. 

“My heart is saddened by the wildfires on Maui, as we have lost over a century of historical and cultural landmarks in Lāhainā, local businesses and residences, but most of all, we have lost people from our lāhui, our community.  The people of Maui are strong and resilient and will rebuild, and although we may not be able to replace what was lost, we must do our part to provide relief in any form possible so that our Kānaka, our people, can once again stand tall.  
Eō e Maui Nui a Kama! #mauistrong” -Keoni, Alaska SFO Flight Attendant and member of our Pacific Islander Alliance employee group 

Traveling to/from Maui 

We are offering a flexible travel policy if you would like to change or cancel your flight to Maui.  In accordance with emergency orders from the state of Hawai‘i, we’re discouraging guests from non-essential travel to Maui. The flexible travel policy allows guests with planned travel to Maui to change their flight to another Hawaiian island. Alaska serves Honolulu, O‘ahu; Kona, Hawai‘i; and Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i.  To help the Maui community, for this emergency, we are allowing guests to cancel their reservations and receive a refund to their original form of payment upon request. As always, you can choose to keep the refund in your Account wallet or receive a credit certificate for future travel, but we are doing everything we can to encourage our guests to rethink their trips to the island right now. This post will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.