n the wake of the devastating wildfires that swept through Maui, Hawaii, last week, American Airlines has taken swift and decisive action to provide vital support to evacuation and relief efforts on the island. The airline's response has been multi-faceted, targeting three key areas of assistance.
1. Providing Lift Off the Island
Ordinarily operating four scheduled roundtrip flights per day to and from Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui, American Airlines quickly ramped up its efforts after the wildfires struck. The airline expanded its flight offerings to and from the island and even upgraded the size of aircraft on certain routes to maximize capacity for evacuation purposes.
Since the outbreak of the wildfires on August 9th, American Airlines has managed an impressive 21 flights from OGG to major U.S. mainland destinations, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. These additional flights have facilitated the evacuation of over 4,200 passengers, ensuring their safety and well-being.
2. Delivering Relief and Supplies
The dedicated American Airlines team stationed on the ground in Maui sprang into action to provide aid and comfort to both local residents and tourists affected by the wildfires. A variety of essential supplies, such as blankets, pillows, onboard amenity kits, and water, were distributed to customers at the airport and throughout the island, where community members had sought refuge.
Moreover, American Airlines has joined forces with respected nonprofit organizations, Feeding America and Baby 2 Baby, to dispatch critical shipments of supplies to the island. These shipments include nonperishable food items, baby formula, diapers, feminine products, and other necessities.
The airline is also contributing to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts, demonstrating its commitment to helping the community during this trying time. AAdvantage® members have the opportunity to contribute and earn 10 bonus miles for every dollar donated, with a minimum donation of $25 to the Red Cross.
3. Offering Additional Support and Flexibility for Customers
In light of the State of Hawaii's advisory against nonessential travel to Maui County, American Airlines is echoing this recommendation and urging its customers to reconsider their plans. To provide added flexibility, the airline issued a travel alert, allowing affected customers to rebook without incurring fees, cancel, or receive a refund.
For those individuals who are bringing crucial supplies or other items to the island, American Airlines is waiving fees for the first and second pieces of checked luggage until August 25th. This initiative aims to encourage and facilitate the transport of essential items to help aid relief efforts on the ground.
As the situation on Maui continues to evolve, American Airlines remains committed to supporting the island's residents and visitors during this challenging period. The airline's dedication to providing lift, relief, and flexibility underscores its unwavering commitment to the communities it serves.