Hawaii’s Tourism Authority Will Now Pay To Get Tourists To Leave The State

Hawaii requires a 14 day quarantine for people arriving in the state. That’s why American Airlines carries an extra crew with them flying to Honolulu – one crew rests on the way to Hawaii, then works the flight home, while those who worked the flight over rest on the way back. They don’t get off the plane and trigger the quarantine rule.

The state has had just 55 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past week. Perhaps they benefit from warm, humidity, and a tendency to spend time outdoors. Perhaps the quarantine for arriving passengers put in place April 1 has helped as well.

But what happens when visitors to the Islands violate the quarantine order? In some cases they’re charged with a misdemeanor and fined, but in any case they’re asked to leave the state. And if they claim they cannot afford to do so, the state pays to ship them home.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has set aside $25,000 for the costs of sending tourists away if they refuse to abide by the state’s 14-day quarantine.

The state said in a press release that outbound travel arrangements are being handled by the Visitor Aloha Society, a non-profit group that normally helps tourists in Hawaii deal with problems during their visit, such as theft or a medical emergency.

“The ability to return people quickly to their airports of origin during the coronavirus crisis greatly assists law enforcement’s ability to ensure the success of our statewide emergency measures,” Hawai’i State Attorney General Clare Connors said in a statement.

Nineteen people violated the state’s quarantine orders and were “flown back to their airports of origin since the beginning of the emergency.”

Does offering a free airline ticket for violating quarantine encourage people not to violate quarantine, though?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The ignorance and stupidity being displayed from this scam-demic is well beyond anything I could have imagined.

  2. Hawaii has always acted differently. I’ll never forget they handed out cards on my American Airlines flight asking where I was staying. I refused to answer.
    They act like they’re not even part of the United States.

  3. The 53,000 American documented deaths thus far in short 2 months from COVID19 Pandemic are real and tragic. May they rest in peace. What’s egregious is the dereliction of duty by our so-called leaders to allow it to reach such level!

    I am sorry this has temporarily ruined your travel plans, but Hawaii is a state and states have the right and are responsible for their citizens’ wellbeing. Death is permanent, your inconvenience however won’t be permanent!

  4. Fascinating that people parrot the “death” numbers spewed out by our lying politicians and MSM. It’s almost like they haven’t done any research, whatsoever. Hint, hint.

  5. Poverty and stupidity go hand and hand and some of these comments reinforce this assertion- “scam-demic”? – “do the research”- these lines are the armor for the ignorant people that are literally fighting for the right to go back to business and make money for someone else – completely stupid- good luck and wash your hands

  6. @Dublin, considering the FACT that Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown by the USA in a land grab, it’s not hard to believe they would do things their own way. Seriously, US citizens must be brazenly ignorant to not acknowledge its ham fisted approach to colonialism in places that did not welcome American adventurism :/

  7. @James N,

    How many Benghazi hearings our corrupt politicians have had over 4 tragic deaths??? At that time, parroting the death numbers spewed out by your lying politicians and FOX “News”. So, don’t claim clean hands!

    We already know what can and likely will happen—as it’s happened before. Decisions are being made right now that will cost thousands of people their lives; they are being made for purely political reasons (not to mention greed); and chances are, no one will be held accountable!

  8. TEXAS (East) has a quarantine order for people that arrived from LA – state not the city.. @Dublin – how’s that for acting differently. FYI the form is mandatorily handed out by the airline, no one is forced to actually do so. It’s a voluntary tourism survey.

  9. James N still taking the blue pill it seems…you’re still in the SIMULATION, don’t you understand?

  10. I can’t figure out if the acceptance of this pandemic baloney is a byproduct of those who follow the travel world. But, between Gary, at this site, “Lucky” at One Mile at a Time, and countless others, it seems them and their followers have swallowed the narrative and appear incapable of questioning what they’re being spoon fed. How unfortunate.

  11. Whoa this comments section got weird. Keep it together everyone. Gary, just came to say there is a cohort of mentally ill people who have been flying to Hawaii to live on the beach. This grant money is for them.

  12. James N – FFS just tell us what you DO think is actually happening (vs just saying “it’s a hoax!” over and over again), and where you claim to get your “real news”. Otherwise just piss off and go back underground. You’re getting boring now.

  13. @Kalboz. “The 53,000 American documented deaths thus far in short 2 months from COVID19 Pandemic are real and tragic”. Total bollocks.

    Those death totals are grossly inflated by dishonest state and local officials padding number to get more funding.
    Heart attack? Must be COVID19.
    Stabbed or shot? Must be COVID19.
    Hit and run death? Obviously COVID19.
    Cancer? Must be COVID19.
    Choked on a bone? Must be COVID19.

    The real tragedy is the destruction of an economy with insane hysteria and unconstitutional stay-at-home orders. Poverty, hunger and suicide also kill but you don’t give a shit about that.

  14. Everything is a conspiracy, right wingnuts? Adjust your tin foil hats and reflect on why we have the worst leader in US history at the worst time in 100 years. Travel is dead until 2022.

  15. @ Jose — There’s little doubt that the COVID-19 death number is now being padded. There is a particularly egregious case today in California where a person died of a drug overdose, but because they also tested positive for coronavirus, they’re now a COVID death. But, at the end of the day, other than TDS sufferers trying to use the number to hurt Trump (like that’ll work!), what difference does it make? I suppose it could result in some extra pay to hospitals and such but so what? BTW, I suspect we’re talking 12 to 15,000 cases. When the CDC eventually releases its “all death” statistics for these months, it will be possible to make an educated guess.

  16. Chopsticks – EU has mostly socialized medicine and their numbers are higher than the US, per their death rate. They have zero incentive to pad their numbers up.

  17. @sullyofdoha
    I think they made out pretty well on the whole deal. The only reason they’re a state is because of Pearl Harbor. That’s it.
    Economically they’re about as useful of a state as Puerto Rico would be

  18. That’s not sure how the staffing is working on AA flights… They’re using an augmented crew just like on flights to Europe (or DFW-HNL in normal times). One captain, 2 first officers, and they get rest breaks during the flight.

    Ironically, it wouldn’t be legal to use two separate flight crews, or in each direction, for this trip. The duty day is scheduled for 14:32, but the duty day limit for an unaugmented flight crew is only 14 hours. Staffing it with an augmented crew allows for a duty day as long as 17 hours with three pilots.

  19. Gary, you have a really amazing Basket of Deplorable posters showing up lately (a dose of racism, a dash of xenophobia, a helping of hoaxing, and a ton of stupidity) – some of them I doubt are even travelers (let alone having a passport)

  20. @Gary. Is UA-NYC really your good friend? He keeps on invoking you. He never posts anything on travel. All he does is run around calling people names.

  21. This blog was a pretty good place til the hoaxers and xenophobes and racists (OJS, hint – look in the mirror and you’ll spot one) started showing up

  22. @Jose: I really agree with “Poverty, hunger and suicide also kill”. Hawaii has a huge tourism and hotel industry. I know it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but what are those people going to do for a living, if people cannot fly there without being quarantined.

    Similarly, I saw mainstream media totally trash 81 year old Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman for suggesting that Las Vegas could open up again. She is just trying to save her city, because everyone is unemployed do that reaction to the virus. I am sure the State of Nevada is not doing so well either.

    If the economy is not reopened soon, there will be nothing left. While we are debating the finer points of Covid-19 transmission, and trying to save lives, we may all be heading to real poverty, real great depression sort of stuff. In other word, no travel, because nobody can afford it. Hospitals that cannot afford sheets or bandages. That type of stuff.

  23. Whether American flies turnarounds from LAX to HNL or has them layover at a hotel for 24 hours is irrelevant. Airline crews are not required to quarantine here in Hawaii, because they are ‘essential workers’ exempt from quarantine

  24. “benefit from warm, humidity”? Certainly that’s not why they have low COVID-19 numbers. Just Google Singapore — 1,000 new cases per day on a small island right on the equator!!

  25. OJS: The Wynn CEO “trashed” Carolyn Goodman too.
    People who visit Vegas double-down on stupid all the time. It’s called “blackjack.”
    The Mayor is expected to avoid this.
    While I disagree that all businesses need to remain closed, and you can’t wear a mask outdoors , the casinos represent 37.5% of the state tax base.

    Goodman is scaring away potential business.

    Good thing the Strip isn’t part of Las Vegas. It’s in the unincorporated towns of Enterprise, Paradise, and Winchester, which are run by Clark County.
    In fact, Las Vegas isn’t “run” by Goodman either. It has a city manager.
    Do you think mob lawyer Oscar Goodman would want to be mayor if he had to actually do work? Those painfully long televised council meetings were the price of his admission to the “job.” Now Vegas has his mob lawyer wife scaring off anyone who thought about visiting.
    Do you think opening casinos will result in a rush of business from our main customers–Californians?
    Do you actually think the casinos are as stupid as the mayor? They are not going to open all at once, because there won’t be the same level of tourists. MGM has said as much.
    Yes, it sucks the valley has been changed for decades. I live there and have lost perhaps 25% of my net worth at an age where I live off savings and investments. For me, it’s not the stock market and won’t magically come back. It’s gone. I have to live with what “is” not what I might dream will happen.
    Reopening casinos today isn’t going to fill rooms.

    FYI, only about 1/3rd of resort revenue comes from gaming. It’s the “entertainment” destination aspect of Las Vegas with high-end restaurants, lavish entertainment, and nightclubs that are the draw. NOT gaming.

    Goodman picked a strange hill to die on.

  26. @ Chopsticks. Agreed. Many hospitals are now operating in the red. They need the Medicare payments for the Wuhan Virus of approximately $13,000 per patient and $39,000 if placed on a ventilator. (Payments vary but it’s on average.) Naysayers, please don’t take my word for it . . . do the research yourselves.

  27. @sullyofdoha, Hawaiians voted to request statehood. If you want to make a case that Hawaiians were too stupid to vote intelligently, then you’re welcome to your racism.

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