Hawaii airports laying off 662 workers on tourism reopening day

Over 660 Hawaii airport workers will be permanently laid off on October 15, the same day that the state is reopening tourism. They work for HMSHost, …

Over 660 Hawaii airport workers will be permanently laid off on October 15, the same day that the state is reopening tourism. They work for HMSHost, an airport subcontractor that manages concessions, restaurants, Starbucks, bars, pantry, maintenance, etc. at Honolulu International Airport, Kahului Airport, and Lihue Airport.

The State of Hawaii is allowing this subcontractorto permanently lay off nearly 85% of its workforce in Hawaii. There areapproximately 780 HMSHost employees who work at these three airports. UNITEHERE Local 5 represents these workers and approximates that the company will bepermanently laying off 470 out of 550 workers in Honolulu, 140 out of 170workers in Kahului, and 52 out of 60 workers in Lihue.

According to the latest WARN notices issued by HMSHost on August 12, the company was planning on permanently laying off 505 workers in Honolulu, 161 workers in Kahului, and 57 workers in Lihue.

UNITE HERE Local 5 condemns the layoffs and callsout the State and hospitality industry leaders for claiming they want to reopentourism to bring jobs back, yet allowing for mass permanent layoffs at thestate airports to happen.

In August, UNITE HERE released a nationwide report on the handouts that HMSHost received since the onset of COVID-19. HMSHost was on track to receive $475 million in aid in the form of rent relief and other handouts. Despite the massive aid that local governments have provided to HMSHost, the company is still moving forward with mass permanent layoffs.

“In the 22 years that I have worked for HMSHost, Ihave never felt so disregarded as a human being. After putting almost all of myadult life into this company, they are laying us off even though it doesn’tcost them anything to keep us on and call us back in as business increases,”says Jeanine Ng, a server at The Local in Honolulu Airport.

“In the middle of a pandemic when we need healthinsurance most, HMSHost cut off our medical coverage in June. I’ve had to payout of pocket for my medication that I need to live. And now as tourism issupposed to be reopening, they are permanently laying us off and throwing usinto more uncertainty for no good reason,” says Laurie Ann Javierto, who hasworked as a cashier at the Old Plantation in Kahului Airport for 33 years.

Local 5 will continue to take action to helpfurloughed workers and push the state and industry leaders to get it right thefirst time and reopen tourism so that workers get back to work safely.

Impressions Of The New Louis Armstrong New Orleans Terminal

All of the Uber and Lyft drivers who I talked to knew exactly what was going on, and the Lyft app navigated us there without a hitch, despite showing …

It’s not every day that you get to fly out of a brand-new terminal on its first day open, but that is precisely what I, and thousands of other passengers, experienced in New Orleans on Wednesday, November 6th.

Due to a stroke of luck (or misfortune, depending on how you look at it) and a conveniently-timed client, I had the privilege of being one of the first to experience the new terminal earlier this week.

Getting To The New MSY Terminal

The long-awaited new terminal still uses MSY’s (the airport code’s) existing runways, in a new building north of its predecessor. Sadly, the surrounding infrastructure hasn’t quite caught up with the inside of the terminal, and the main thoroughfare in is a little bit circuitous. Road construction isn’t set to be complete until 2023, so we have that to look forward to.

Factor in the overnight move, the concerns around drivers knowing where to go, and my must-attend meeting in New York City the next day, and I was more than a little nervous the night before.

Fortunately, my concerns were completely unfounded. All of the Uber and Lyft drivers who I talked to knew exactly what was going on, and the Lyft app navigated us there without a hitch, despite showing the old address. The ride from the Hyatt Regency New Orleans took about 25 minutes, and before I knew it, we were pulling up to the shiny new terminal.

MSY drop-off area

Inside The Terminal

The check-in area is located on the third floor, with security and departure gates located one level below, and baggage claim located on the bottom floor. As I walked in, the whole terminal felt incredibly open and airy, and much more akin to a modern airport in Europe or Asia.

MSY departures

The open mezzanines made the space feel huge, without having to walk a mile. I’ve heard of some people complaining about it feeling too sterile, but I absolutely loved it, in a next-generation Apple Store sort of way.

While I didn’t have a bag to check, I snapped a quick photo of the check-in area. All airlines operate from the same terminal, with the check-in desks in one location. Of course, this has its perks and its pitfalls.

Perhaps the biggest challenge with a terminal being consolidated like this is the potential for long security lines. Fortunately, I was through security in about three minutes, thanks to Pre-Check and CLEAR, which were running smoothly.

Everything on the security front felt pretty ordinary, and certainly not like they were in their first hours of operation. None of my colleagues ran into any trouble when they were traveling later that morning, either.

In fact, the biggest indication that we were at a new airport terminal was the abundance of camera crews, which was admittedly pretty cool.

Once past security, I headed toward the C concourse, which is currently occupied by United, Delta, and Spirit. I couldn’t help but notice that security is still partially under construction, too.

And if they get more lanes open, it won’t be a bad thing.


After turning left toward the C concourse, I made my way down the hallway, which maintained the same open and airy feel as the rest of the terminal.

The concourse itself covers the basics exceptionally well, with plenty of seating and charging stations – two of my favorite things.

MSY seating

The concourse itself has gates operating on either side, with plenty of eating establishments in the middle. I’d had a little too much Frenchman Street the night before to be excited about breakfast, but I did grab a couple of terminal shots before settling in and prepping for my day.

MSY Concourse C
MSY Concourse C
MSY Concourse C

The floor-to-ceiling windows offered great views of the tarmac (although less great livery, if you care about that sort of thing).

MSY views

Shortly before leaving, I checked out one of the nearby restrooms, which elicited no shortage of oohs and aahs from fellow travelers.

MSY restroom

MSY restroom

MSY restroomMSY restroom

Time flew by in the comfortable new terminal, and I even forgot for a while that I was at a place of business that had opened only hours earlier. In fact, the only real sign of any kinks being worked out were a series of overly loud boarding announcements, which were followed a few minutes later by an announcement reminding everyone to double-check their zone before making announcements. It wasn’t too disruptive, but I also wasn’t sad when things quieted down.

Before I knew it, I was on board my 737-700, which felt extra dated that morning. We taxied out for our on-time departure, but not before grabbing one last shot of the neighboring A/B concourse.

The New MSY Delta Sky Club

Right now, the Delta Sky Club is the only lounge operating out of the new terminal, and sadly, my reservation on United’s Friendly Skies meant that I didn’t have access this time around. Luckily, my husband and part-time trip report photographer was flying out later that morning, so I sent him in for, um, reconnaissance.

The festive atmosphere began before you even walked in the door, with plenty of press covering the opening.

MSY Sky Club Entrance

MSY SkyClub opening day

And it was pretty clear that Delta took pride in the day’s festivities, with everything from schwag:

Sky Club gifts

To a local artist who was signing prints of one of his paintings that hangs in the Sky Club:

That said, when I asked my husband what he thought of, his initial response was, “Nice, but smaller than I thought it would be.”

MSY Sky Club check-inMSY Sky Club check-inMSY Sky Club check-in
MSY Sky Club check-in

MSY Sky Club bar

MSY Sky Club seating

His tune (and my photo reel) quickly changed, however, when they broke out the champagne, shrimp and oysters.

Sky Club champagne

Sky Club oysters

This food display prompted a series of “Best Sky Club ever!!” texts, from someone who generally doesn’t really care about airport lounges.

I should probably mention here that this was opening day, and the seafood was clearly served from a popup cart, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect crustaceans on your next visit. But it is nice to see a lounge staff put so much care into their opening day festivities, and genuinely take pride in their product.

Overall Impressions

As someone who is used to East Coast airports, this was a refreshing change and a beautiful space. Sure, there was some congestion with security, and the drive-in isn’t ideal, but those issues will be fixed with time. In fact, if it weren’t for the camera crews and a few wayward overhead announcements, you wouldn’t have known that the space had only been open for mere hours.

But the most fun part of all was watching everyone’s reactions. People were oohing and aahing at everything from the airy new concourses to the restrooms, and for good reason. Let’s face it – flying isn’t usually that fun for the average traveler, and airports can be a pretty stressful place to hang out. So it was really nice to replace the typical TSA complaints with people gasping because the bathroom doors are tall.

So, while I’m sure some of the initial buzz will wear off, and a new airport terminal in New Orleans won’t bring major changes to my life, it was an absolute privilege to witness the festivities firsthand that morning.

Oh, and I made my meeting with time to spare. 🙂

Have you flown in or out of the new MSY yet? What do you think of the new terminal?

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Next phase of rideshare changes begin for users at Boston’s Logan Airport

Airport officials are moving Uber and Lyft pickup lots from specific locations near each terminal to a centralized location built inside the airport’s Central …

Travelers who use rideshares to get home from Logan Airport from Terminals B and E will see changes go into effect Monday that travelers from Terminals A and C had phased in last week.

Airport officials are moving Uber and Lyft pickup lots from specific locations near each terminal to a centralized location built inside the airport’s Central Parking Garage.


On Monday, passengers arriving at terminals B and E planning to use ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft will be picked up in the new Central Parking location.

Terminal B serves American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Boutique Air, and Terminal E serves all international airlines and all international arrivals as well as a handful of domestic flights.

If you use Terminal A or Terminal C, home to both Delta and JetBlue, the changes began last Monday.

Terminal A serves Delta and West Jet, and Terminal C serves JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Silver Airways, Cape Air and TAP.

The changes will not immediately impact where ride-share passengers can be dropped off.

On Nov. 11, all ride-share drop-offs between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. will move from the upper-level departure curbs to the lower-level terminal curbs.

On Dec. 9, Logan Airport plans to move all ride-share drop-offs, unless between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., to the Central Parking Garage.

Officials at the airport pushed for the changes to help ease traffic congestion during peak times along the airport’s often congested roads.

The airport said the move also allow them to implement ride-share rematch services that allows a driver dropping off a passenger to then quickly pick up a passenger. Officials said they expect rematch services will remove 1.5 million Uber and Lyft vehicles from the airport’s roadways.

“By creating a new ride app area in Central Parking, we are able to add amenities to improve the passenger experience and the walking distance to the terminals is the same as if a passenger parked their car,” the airport said.

The airport said the new location will offer protection from the elements, and localized heaters in the winter and skycap services including checked baggage for domestic flights.

Officials said any passenger that is disabled or has a mobility issue can request a curbside pickup or drop-off in the Lyft or Uber app. Alternatively, those passengers could choose to have airport staff help bring them to the new locations.

Massport is giving up 1,000 revenue-generating parking spaces to move the pickup location to the Central Garage.

Toronto Pearson set to be first airport in the world to partner with Uber Eats

Attention flyers: your trek through Pearson just got way tastier. Uber Eats has partnered with Toronto Pearson Airport to participate in the world’s first …

Attention flyers: your trek through Pearson just got way tastier.

Uber Eats has partnered with Toronto Pearson Airport to participate in the world’s first pilot (pun intended) program that delivers food to customers right at their gate. Starting in October, meals will be available for order through the Uber Eats app at the Terminal 3 International and Domestic Departures location.

Through the program, passengers will be able to order food from airport HMSHost eateries like Caplansky’s Deli, Paramount Fine Foods, Smashburger, Fionn MacCools, or Smoke’s Burritorie.

Toronto Pearson Is Now The First Airport In The World To Deliver @UberEats Right To Your Gate https://t.co/h4IyQG4Yuc#YYZ

— Margot Grabie (@MEGra18) April 5, 2019

“We’re making the dining experience a more convenient part of travel, in one of the world’s most innovative airports, one meal at a time,” Uber Head of Global Airport Products Marcus Womack explains in a press release.

The new Uber Eats pilot program is set to run during the third quarter of 2019, which is October through December, and will be available for passengers located at gates B22 – B41 and C30 – C36 in Terminal 3.

Toronto Pearson lands first-ever UberEats partnership with an airport

The space is becoming increasingly crowded, however, with players like DoorDash, GrubHub and CloudKitchens—former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s …

Travellers can use the UberEats app to order from airport food vendors and have it delivered to wherever they are in the 4,613-acre airport. The pilot will run until the third quarter of 2019. (Restaurant Dive)

Talking point: UberEats has a strong history in Toronto. It first launched in the city as a pilot project in 2015. It became a mainstay and has spread to more than 290 markets around the world; today, it’s Uber’s most profitable business. The space is becoming increasingly crowded, however, with players like DoorDash, GrubHub and CloudKitchens—former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s new venture—taking up market share. Carving a space in the airport food-delivery market—currently occupied by niche app At Your Gate, which operates in six U.S. airports—could help Uber maintain its growth over the competition.