Maui vacation? Not for a while. But you can help.

Hawaii Tourism officials released a statement over the weekend asking tourists to cancel or reschedule any planned travel to Maui as recovery from the wildfires continues.

“In the weeks ahead, the collective resources and attention of the federal, state, and county government, the West Maui community, and the travel industry must be focused on the recovery of residents who were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement. “Visitors with plans to stay in West Maui in the coming weeks and months are urged to consider rescheduling their travel plans for a later time when the overall situation has improved for area residents.”

The tourism authority says hotels in West Maui have temporarily stopped accepting bookings for future reservations and are currently serving as housing for hotel employees and families. Many of these hotels will also be housing evacuees and first responders working on disaster recovery.

Want to help?

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is directing donations to the Maui Strong Fund being administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

How does a free trip to Hawaii sound?

It may still be hot and summery where you are, but come winter, a trip to Hawaii will probably sound mighty nice.

Especially if it’s all-expenses-paid.

Sound good?

To celebrate the launch of Virgin America service from San Fransisco into Honolulu on November 2 and into Maui on December 3, 2015 the airline has teamed up with Airbnb for a contest with prizes that include attending the inaugural celebration with Sir Richard Branson.

Details about entering are here – but the grand prize includes a seat for you and a guest on the inaugural flight from San Francisco to Honolulu (with a return flight, of course) a three-night stay at a beachfront Airbnb estate with Sir Richard as the Airbnb host on the first night, invitation to all launch celebration activities, car rental, Go Pro camera and 12 hours of lessons from a professional kiteboarder.

Deadline for entering is September 30, 2015, with the drawing taking place on October 6. If you don’t win the grand prize, don’t give up: second and third place prizes are pretty darn nice as well.

Good luck!

Why is Maui’s Kahului Airport code OGG?


For most travelers to Maui, the airport code for Kahului Airport – OGG – has been a mystery, if they’ve thought about it at all.

Now there’s an 8-foot tall, 42-foot wide information-packed wall at the airport that tells the story behind the three letter code. And it turns out the airport is named for Capt. Jimmy Hogg, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot,Kaua‘i native and aviation pioneer whose life and flying career is charmingly described in the video below.



OGG2 copy

The new history wall is at Gate 19 at Maui’s Kahului Airport and was presented by Hawaiian Airlines, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Transportation Security Administration.

(All photos courtesy Hawaiian Airlines, except for the OGG image, which is courtesy of O8 Left, a really cool line of aviation and airport-related art.