When I signed up for a trip to Kauai, I expected to be greeted by a friendly, friendly staff member at the gate.
Instead, I got a refund that was less than half of what I was due.
A refund is the amount of money you were billed for.
It can be a few dollars or a few thousand dollars, depending on how long you spend at the resort, and it’s usually less than the cost of the ticket you paid for.
I contacted the Hawaiian Islands Tourist Authority (HISTA), which handles refunds for visitors, and they told me they could not provide me with a refund.
That was only half the story.
I also got a statement from HISTA that I was not entitled to a refund and that the agency had sent me a “certificate of validity” for my trip.
A certificate of validity is the document showing you have the right to use a particular property, like a hotel room, hotel room or cabin, even though it was not valid at the time of the booking.
The HISTAs website says, “The certificate of validation will show the validity date of your reservation.”
I tried to use my HISTa card to make my reservation at the Waimea Resort, but I was told that the card was not approved for use at the facility, according to HISTAnswers.com, a website that offers help with Hawaii travel questions.
I was also told that my Hista card was invalid because it did not have a valid expiration date.
That’s not what the certificate of date should say.
The certificate should say, “Valid until June 30, 2019.”
But the HISTAP says that dates can change.
For example, a certificate of the date on the certificate is not valid until the end of June, so the date could be anywhere from October to June 2019.
That means that even though I was promised a refund, the HSTA said that the certificate was invalid.
And the certificate could not be used to book any other room at the hotel.
I called the Hawaii Tourism Office to complain.
I told the employee that I had a certificate and she said that she could not give me a refund because the certificate had expired.
I then called the state’s tourism department to complain, but they didn’t have any answers.
The State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) told me that it had received several complaints about the certificate and it was looking into them.
I’ve since filed a complaint with the DLNR, and I plan to do so in the coming days.
What does the Hawaii tourism agency have to do with it?
The DLNR said that it could not comment on individual cases.
“However, the DLNTR has the power to investigate complaints about a certificate if it deems it to be an unacceptable use of an official document,” according to the agency’s website.
However, it did say that it will “take appropriate action if it is determined that the certification is invalid.”
The DLNTS website doesn’t give any details about what that action might be, other than to say that “a certificate issued by the DLNP does not have to be valid.”
If I’m not entitled, I shouldn’t have to pay for a hotel.
It’s true that if you’re booking a room at a hotel, you’re not obligated to pay the hotel for that room.
But if you decide that you’re going to book a room with a hotel that doesn’t provide a hotel-room certificate, you are still obligated to have that room booked.
That includes the room you’re renting from the hotel, the rooms you’re staying in, the amenities that are provided in that room and the meals and snacks that are included in that hotel room.
And that includes any fees that have already been charged for that hotel.
When I booked my room at WaimeA Resort, the Waikelea Inn was one of the options I could use to book my room.
Waikea Inn has a hotel certificate that says “Valid Until June 30,” and that’s how I was able to book that room without having to pay a hotel for it.
The problem is, the certificate expires in six months, which means that I could not book another room at that hotel with a certificate that expires in that same period.
The DLNP’s website also says that a certificate issued under the Hawaiian Land Use Code of 1972 “may be used only to cancel an occupancy that has expired.”
I asked the DLNT to clarify what that means and to provide a copy of the certificate I received, but a spokesperson said the state had no comment on that.
The Hawaii Tourism Board also told me it had no official position on whether the certificate should be valid or not.
I don’t think the state is required to give me an official response on whether or not I’m entitled to my refund. I do,