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June 2008

From the Editor...

 

Rochelle delaCruz

from the editor…

Bag It?!

Everyone is impacted by escalating airfare, but we Hawai`i people are especially affected, since flying to the Islands is not only our main way of travel, it’s really our only way. People from other states – even Alaska – have the choice of driving home and while it’s true that gassing up the car has become painful these past few months, those of us from Hawai`i can’t even consider that option. We must fly home, (or take a slow boat, but no one I know counts cruise ships as transportation.)

So when American Airlines announced that it would begin charging $15 for the first bag checked in, I sat up and blinked. Whoa! And while American does not fly direct from Seattle or Portland to Hawai`i, it made me wonder about those airlines that do take us from here back to the Islands. That’s when I discovered that none of them charge for the first checked-in bag (yet), but by July 1st, all of those carriers will be charging $25 for the second bag we check in.

At first I figured that paying twenty-five bucks for a second checked-in bag was minor compared to the price of the ticket, but then I started thinking how island people travel with omiyage – gifts we bring for family and friends. I’ve taken back boxes cold-packed with fresh seafood, and watched as large coolers filled with salmon, clams, oysters and crab get checked in at SeaTac Airport. And for our flight back to the Northwest, don’t family and friends load us up with goodies to help get us through the winter?! But now I’m wondering what will be the impact of this luggage surcharge on some of our local traditions.

Many of us return to the Islands for graduations, birthday parties, baby lū`au and weddings. I always check in two bags, one with clothes and the other with gifts. But the next time I head home to Hilo, I’ll have to pay for my second check-in. Maybe I will…or maybe I’ll just fill my one allowed suitcase with Dungeness crab, and bag da clothes!

What about you…whachu goin do? ~RdC

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