Island Air flies between Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Lanai. // © 2014 Island Air
Following Oracle chief Larry Ellison’s purchase of Island Air in 2013, the carrier has introduced a flurry of initiatives designed to heighten the passenger experience on interisland travel in Hawaii.
For travel agents who want to assure their clients of smooth and enjoyable flights between Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Lanai, Island Air’s recent changes make a difference.
“Island Air has listened to its customers,” said Paul Casey, CEO of Island Air. “All of the improvements made over the last year benefit travel agents by providing their clients with a better customer experience.”
Ellison also owns the island of Lanai, home of two Four Seasons resorts. Island Air flies out of the commuter terminal at Honolulu International Airport.
Changes on the Ground and in the Air
In April 2014, Island Air debuted a new in-flight publication called Kikaha, which is the Hawaiian word for soar or glide.
At the same time, the carrier upgraded its Honolulu commuter terminal experience with new check-in counters, a new customer service gate counter and a 90-inch flat screen with scenic Hawaii videos. Along with free Wi-Fi in the terminal, travelers now have easy access to charging stations and electrical outlets.
Island Air also created a guest services department staffed by Four Seasons professionals. When incoming hotel guests arrive at the main airport terminal in Honolulu, staffers escort them to the commuter terminal in a Mercedes Benz van. While they wait for their flight to Lanai, Four Seasons guests relax in a new gate-side lounge with refreshments and concierge services.
In early July, Island Air and American Airlines started a partnership allowing both carriers to sell each other’s seats and place all flight segments on a single ticket.
This summer, Island Air has been pampering its passengers with special perks at its Honolulu gates. On certain days, travelers have enjoyed free island-style food, chair massages and live entertainment. The programs run through the end of August 2014.
Most recently, Island Air unveiled a new website. With its visually oriented design, the site immerses guests in the destination. The website’s online booking system has been redesigned and simplified as well.
“We see these changes as investments to expand our overall passenger base,” Casey said. “If we can put out an improved flying experience and product, it’s a win-win for us and our travel agent partners in the industry.”