Now That Hawaii Has Re-Opened, Some Restaurants Have Started Refusing Service To Tourists [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Some Hawaii restaurants are now refusing service to tourists. I’ve argued throughout the pandemic that much of what Hawaii has done to protect itself from Covid is driven by animus towards outsiders as much as science. Hawaii’s Discrimination in Public Accommodations law forbids restaurants from refusing service based on ancestry, that’s the closest prohibition on the practice I could find.

  • The Priority Pass-accessible Club JAX at the Jacksonville airport now lets lounge guests to order food and beverage items by scanning a QR code or tapping an NFC-enabled device at each seat in the lounge. You pull up a menu on your device and make your selection which gets delivered to a central pickup point for contactless pickup. Collinson, parent of The Club and Priority Pass, calls it “Ready 2 Order’ and expects to roll it out more broadly.

  • Qantas Frequent Flyer is a dumpster fire and has been for 16 years. Now, during a global pandemic with massively reduced travel demand, they’re reducing mileage earning and elite status credit for cheaper domestic fares, while increasing the points needed for upgrades.

  • 8 flights that show how Covid reinvented aviation.

  • Caesars Total Rewards claims 65 million members in the U.S. I had no idea and am sort of surprised (even if this is merely total names in their database with some duplication!).

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, 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. Thank you, Gary, for reminding readers about the animus towards outsiders in Hawaii. Covid is an easy way to put up a virtual border wall. This is also a place that doesn’t seem to think twice about placing house arrest GPS tracking devices on tourists and locking them in some sort of q̶u̶a̶r̶a̶n̶t̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶h̶o̶l̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶a̶c̶i̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ resort bubble because clearly they want tourist money, but no actual tourists.
    The Aloha spirit lives on . . . but only when you are opening your wallet and not your mouth.

  2. Maybe it is time to grant independence to Hawaii. Other than a outpost for the US Navy, Hawaii does not bring much to the table. Hawaii is off my bucket list if they are going to treat outsiders like dirt.

  3. SO Glad the Priority lounge in Jax Airport is open and the staff were very nice to all!! I was told the Delta SC will not open there till January…. as Nov and Dec are usually slow????? Not!!!!! sad but SC lounges are all over the place with what is ok…

  4. Got over my Hawaiian infatuation many years ago, I think watching Magnum helped to satisfy that. No desire to visit a rock in the middle of the Pacific so they can keep their attitude.

  5. Why go to the overpriced
    Mecca of Hawaii anyway? Mexico is wide open and accepting of all. Hawaii can’t seem to get their act together and their indecisiveness is enough to turn off most tourists.

  6. Have enjoyed my trips to Hawaii (last one was 10 days on Maui over Christmas as a family vacation) but I agree they are quickly falling off the “must go” list.

    I’ve been a number of times and had a good experience but the stories of bias against outsiders (aka Howlies) is legendary.

    I say but them lose and let them fend on their own. As a positive the US would lose one of the most solidly Democratic states in the nation!

  7. Gary – On Caesars Rewards my former company (before I retired) did consulting work for Caesars. Caesars Rewards is, by far, the most valuable membership program in the gaming industry (M Life is a very distant 2nd).

    One of the drivers of the El Dorado acquisition was Caesars Rewards and they are very quickly moving members from the 4 programs El Dorado had to Caesars Rewards.

    El Dorado let go the cast majority of former Caesars management when headquarters was moved to Reno but the IT group that is responsible for Caesars Rewards were all retained

  8. @AC Hawaiian term for non-islanders is “haole”. You have the pronunciation correct, just not the spelling.

  9. If those tourists were black and the Hawaiins were white, these would be front page headlines–and rightfully so. It’s race-based. All racism is wrong. “You’re not from around here, and we know that because you don’t LOOK the same as us, so we won’t serve you”? DISGUSTING.

    I have a goal of getting to all 50 states. Hawaii was 49. I got there in March right before it was too late. I have a newspaper with a headline that says “GO HOME!” I did, and now that I got what I wanted from an elitist place, I can say I honestly do not understand the infatuation. It’s no more special than any of the myriad tropical resorts available. I agree, grant it independence; it’s certainly not a part of the UNITED States. Now they even deny service to people who have proven to be COVID-free and passed all the protocols? Fine. You don’t want our tourism, I hear Cancun is very welcoming–and Rio (flight is the same length for me), and the Bahamas, and, heck, San Diego for that matter. Bye, Felicia!

  10. 60000 tourists have arrived in the state of Hawaii since the quarantine w/ negative COVID test. Of those 60k, 7500 people arrived without tests and were told to quarantine. Did those 7500 people fly with the intention of quarantining themselves? As I’m sure any reasonable person understands that Hawaii has very limited resources ( hospital beds , ventilators, and medical staff). Taking into account that there are people selfish enough to fly to a state with limited resources in the middle of a pandemic knowingly skirting state rules you can understand it’s people being wary of tourists. I should also add that during the week Hawaii reopened for tourism 8400 warnings 885 citations were issued for non mask compliance and other COVID related issues. Granted, while not all of these violations were perpetrated by tourists it does give a reason for the locals to be wary of tourists when you take into account the entirety of the issues.

  11. @Bill
    What house arrest GPS tracking device on tourists are you referring to? No tourist has ever been required to wear an ankle monitor.

  12. @ jedipenguin
    Aside from the fact that Hawaii is the most strategically important location in the pacific for the United States. It’s ‘bringing nothing to the table’ residents pay the most total taxes per capita and in return receives the worst roi in terms of taxes paid vs federal aid received.

  13. @Bill
    Travel bubbles are not an exclusive Hawaii idea, many countries are implementing and /or plan to implement them. It’s not a plan to generate ‘generate haole revenue without the haoles’. It’s a plan to keep the locals with very limited resources safe. People do have a choice…. everyone knows in advance about the stated resort bubble. It’s not a surprise upon landing. Aside from your commentary on the travel bubble you deflected the question of the gps tracking device…..

  14. @NFO, I didn’t deflect anything. Read the material in the link that I posted earlier. Straight from the Kauai mayor’s office:
    “Visitors who wish to stay at an Enhanced Movement Quarantine resort must agree to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that is tracked by the resort”

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