Helping Hawaii

I always love hearing from our readers and sharing their stories and thoughts with the Hotel Business audience. But sometimes, it’s not a “letter to the editor” that I feel is important to share. It’s a note to me. And, really, to the hotel community.

After news of the destructive and heartbreaking fires in Hawaii, I reached out to our friend and industry colleague Monica Salter, VP global communications & social responsibility, Outrigger Hospitality Group, to check in on her, the company, employees and family, and to see if there was something we could do to help with the tremendous devastation our neighbors in Hawaii continue to face. She was kind enough to stay in touch with me and provide information, which I’m sharing here, to help spread the word about how you can donate. We are stronger together when we come together as a community.

Thankfully, all of our Outrigger Maui employees have been accounted for as safe from the wildfires; however, many have lost their homes as part of the destruction. We are offering hotel rooms to any Outrigger employee, alongside their family, who has been displaced by the Maui fires. Additionally, Outrigger has a significant room block within the Hawai‘i Fire Relief Housing Program, which has been established for relief workers and community members in need… We have received many heartwarming messages of aloha and compassion for Maui. For those asking about providing assistance, specifically for Outrigger employees displaced by the wildfires, there is a dedicated OutriggerCares Maui Host Relief Fund. Furthermore, donations can be made to Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, which is aimed at providing support to the impacted community at large.

Additionally, members of GHA can donate at

To the Editor:
I can fully relate to your message [in your Editor’s Note, August 2023]. On July 28 & 29, my wife and I were flying from Washington Dulles to Toronto on Air Canada on the first of their five flights a day. Between every possible issue—from lack of crew, timed-out crew, sitting on the tarmac for two hours, mechanicals, weather, etc.—we, too, were forced to pay for a night at an airport hotel. With all assurances we were booked on the first morning flight, we arrived at the airport to find out they did NOT rebook us as they said they did. Because this was a cruise line ticket, you have very limited opportunities for rebooking or changing airlines. Regardless, the first flight did not go off either on day two. Because I am a 1K member with United and was returning on a United flight, they assisted with Air Canada and got us booked from DCA (National) on a delayed flight we barely made via a cab ride from one airport to another. Finally, we arrived in Toronto one hour before cruise ship departure at 3 p.m. More than 31 hours.

I agree with all of your points, BUT it was the outright non-truths from Air Canada that I cannot accept. Personally, I have had in-seat miles of more than 3 million. At 77 years old and partially disabled, the lack of truth is the ultimate sin. The unfortunate issue is the airlines suffered like all of us during COVID. Now that the hospitality industry is rebounding, they are not able to respond, as they did not invest in the future—yet many received government subsidies. They are giving our industry a negative reputation and deserved to be called out.

– Dr. David C. Miles
Chairman, Miles LeHane Companies Inc.

Editor’s note: Dr. Miles is a retired Marriott executive and spent 32 years as an executive senior coach on leadership and service, is the author or two books on career management and was the developer of ServSafe while at Marriott.