Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 1:21 p.m., Thursday, April 3, 2008

ATA passengers scramble to get flights out

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

ATA ticket holder Lauren Cox of Sydney, Australia, left, gets advice on her options from Patrick Boisvert of the state Airports Division, who was at Honolulu International Airport to help passengers scrambling to find flights.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

spacer spacer

Dozens of suddenly stranded ATA passengers wandered Honolulu International Airport this morning, scrambling to book flights on surviving airlines to get out of Hawai'i.

Many stood in line at American Airlines counters, which offered some of the first flights to the Mainland today. Several ATA passengers said they were especially angry that no one from ATA could answer their questions.

"There should have been someone here to help us out," said Julia Norlander, a 23-year-old waitress from Stockholm, Sweden, who was trying to find another flight to Los Angeles.

Monique Guttierrez, a 22-year-old Hawai'i Pacific University senior, was also scrambling to catch a flight to Los Angeles, to attend a cousin's wedding.

Guttierrez is in the wedding party and a bridal shower is scheduled for tomorrow. She and her boyfriend, Val Bunao, heard the news of ATA's shutdown this morning on their drive to the airport. "What the ?" Bunao said he shouted at the radio. "Maybe they knew they were going out of business."

When they arrived at the airport, Guttierrez said, she was upset and angry that "nobody was there."

State Department of Transportation officials, however, passed out double-sided, two-page information sheets to ATA passengers explaining the situation.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com.