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Traveling on Hawaiian Airlines might mean you’re set for a relaxing getaway to Hawaii. But if you have to call off your trip, the change and cancellation policy generally is not all that relaxing.
Are Hawaiian Airlines flights refundable? While most Hawaiian airfares (excluding Main Cabin Basic) don’t incur change fees, the policies around making the change can be complicated — and you may not receive the full value of the original fare when you make a change.
In most cases, you’re only eligible for a full Hawaiian Airlines refund if you purchased a refundable airfare. Even if you’re open to paying for a more expensive refundable airfare, comparing those prices with the nonrefundable options isn’t the most user-friendly experience.
Here’s how to know whether you’re entitled to Hawaiian Airlines ticket refund — and how to actually get it.
» Learn more: The guide to Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Hawaiian Airlines refund policy
All Hawaiian flights can be canceled within 24 hours of booking (assuming the booking was made at least seven days in advance of the flight’s scheduled departure time) for a full refund to the original form of payment. For cancellations made after that, it depends on the fare you bought.
Here are the Hawaiian Airlines ticket refund rules for changes and cancellations outside of the 24-hour window:
Main Cabin Basic airfares
Main Cabin Basic fares are nonrefundable and non-changeable.
If you need to reschedule your flight, you’ll accept the sunk cost of your airfare in most scenarios (exceptions include if Hawaiian cancels the flight, which you can read more about below).
» Learn more: When should you book basic economy?
Main cabin airfares
If you purchase a standard airfare in Hawaiian’s main cabin, you unlock benefits that the Main Cabin Basic folks don’t get, including the ability to select your seat at booking, earlier boarding and, yes, the ability to change your flight with no additional fee.
Though unless you purchased a specific refundable airfare (more on that below), even these tickets are generally nonrefundable.
That said, it's helpful to be able to change main cabin airfares without getting dinged. Keep in mind that if your new flight is more expensive than the original, you’ll owe the difference.
Should you upgrade from Hawaiian Main Cabin Basic to the standard main cabin?
The difference in fare price between Main Cabin Basic and standard economy fares with Hawaiian varies by exact flight. But a NerdWallet analysis of more than two dozen Hawaiian Airlines flights across 2023 found that Hawaiian’s standard economy fares, on average, were 13.5% more expensive than the basic, non-changeable versions.
First class airfares
Like most main cabin airfares, Hawaiian’s first class fares give you the ability to change your flight with no additional fee. But for full refunds, you’ll need to have purchased refundable airfare (which is more expensive).
Refundable fares are exactly that: If you opt not to fly, then the fare plus other charges (like taxes and fees) are returned.
That said, even refundable fares on Hawaiian Airlines aren't fully refundable.
Flights for fares within the state of Hawaii will incur a $25 cancellation fee, and flights for fares within the continental U.S. or between the continental U.S. and Hawaii incur a $100 cancellation fee.
You can avoid the fee by electing to take a travel credit for future flight bookings instead, but the credit is only valid for one year from the date of issue.
How to request a refund on Hawaiian Airlines
The refund process depends on when you booked your Hawaiian Airlines trip and when the flight was canceled. Automatic refunds are given if you cancel the booking within 24 hours of purchasing a ticket.
Beyond this 24-hour window, you’ll need to be mindful of a few steps to get a refund from the airline. You can call Hawaiian Airlines reservations; however, to avoid long hold times, you can also submit a refund request online.
To cancel for a full refund, log in to your Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles account and navigate to "Reservations," where you’ll see a tab that allows you to cancel and make a Hawaiian Airlines refund request.
Don’t procrastinate. You won’t be entitled to a refund if you don't cancel your reservation before the first flight departs.
If you want a refund because Hawaiian canceled your flight
If Hawaiian Airlines cancels your flight, you’re entitled to a full refund no matter what.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, travelers are entitled to a full refund if the airline calls off your flight, regardless of the reason, and you choose not to travel on another Hawaiian flight. Airlines are required to make refunds within seven business days for purchases by credit card, or within 20 days if the fare was paid by cash or check.
Hawaiian Airlines travel credits
If you purchased a refundable fare, you can opt to get your refund in the form of Hawaiian travel credits to avoid paying a service fee to get the money back as cash. You might also get a travel credit for certain canceled reservations.
Just know that these credits expire, typically one year from the date they were issued.
Hawaiian flight credits can be used to book new trips on Hawaiian Airlines or partner-operated (codeshare) flights booked directly through Hawaiian Airlines. However, you can't use them to cover other Hawaiian-related services, products or fees such as baggage fees, seat upgrades, in-flight amenities such as snacks or headsets, or for purchases of HawaiianMiles, among other things.
However, if you have a few sets of vouchers that you want to combine to book a new, more expensive flight, that’s generally possible. A maximum of three separate vouchers can be used per passenger on a single reservation.
To redeem your credits, visit the Hawaiian Airlines travel credit hub page.
How to know if you purchased refundable Hawaiian Airlines tickets or not
If you booked your flight on the Hawaiian Airlines website, you were given the option of booking a refundable ticket. Generally, refundable ticket perks are offered as an add-on during booking, resulting in a higher price compared with nonrefundable tickets.
You can also confirm the type of ticket you purchased by:
Viewing the fine print on your original booking confirmation email.
Calling Hawaiian Airlines at 800-367-5320.
Checking the booking details on your Hawaiian Airlines account.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card