4 Oct 2016

Businessman doesn't buy Hawaiian Airlines rationale for seat policy

5:28 pm on 4 October 2016

An American Samoa businessman, who filed a complaint with the US Department of Transport against Hawaiian Airlines, questions the rationale the airline has given for their new ticketing policy.

The airline no longer allows passengers to pre-select seats on flights between Pago Pago and Honolulu and will now weigh passengers at check-in before allocating seats.

Hawaiian Airlines said this was to manage weight distribution across the cabin.

Haleck's Enterprise's president Avamua David Haleck said if it were a safety issue he would understand.

"And of course Hawaiian is saying that 'yes it is a safety issue' but, you know, weight distribution ...so have we been flying unsafe for all these years?"

Hawaiian Airlines has been flying the Boeing 767-300 to American Samoa since 2003.

Boeing said the jet can safely fly 269 passengers at a distance of 11,000kms, in a similar cabin lay-out to that which Hawaiian Airlines has.

The distance between Pago Pago and Honolulu is less than half that at 4,176km's.

The US Transportation Department is investigating Mr Haleck's complaint.

American Samoa businessman Dave Haleck.

American Samoa businessman Dave Haleck. Photo: Supplied

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs