SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Imagine flying all the way to Maui only to be told to you wouldn’t be allowed in. It was a worst-case scenario for one Utah family over the weekend.
Health safety measures require a negative COVID-19 test result before leaving the mainland, which the Alexander family had — yet they were still rejected entry.
Before leaving Utah on Friday morning, Robb and Pam Alexander and four of their family members got COVID tested.
They say the Hawaiian government sent them QR codes to scan when they arrived in Maui proving they filled out all the proper paperwork and had a valid negative test result.
Friday was a long day for the Alexanders, who flew from St. George to Salt Lake International to LAX, and then another five-and-a-half hours to Maui.
That's when their plans fell apart.
“This just blew us away, how they treated us,” Pam Alexander says.
The Alexanders say agents at the Maui airport scanned the QR codes supplied by the state of Hawaii earlier that day.
“And the lady came over and said 'well, that's not on our list, so you can't come in,' and we said 'are you kidding us? That's it?'” Robb Alexander said.
The agents were telling the Alexanders the vendor they used in Utah was not on the Hawaii-approved list, even though they were sent a QR code proving their negative result.
Before their trip, the approved test site Hawaii wanted them to go to was in Las Vegas.
The Alexanders called the state of Utah to see if there were other options and were given a travel code allowing them to get an approved test in St. George and still get into Maui.
Robb says even after doing that and getting to Maui they were told “they had all that and they just said it's not on our approved list and so we can't let you in and there's nothing we can do.”
The family vacation was supposed to be for one week, so quarantining for 14 days didn’t make sense.
The Alexanders say they asked to get tested there, but were told no. With no options left they had to book a flight back to Utah the very same day.
We won't ever go back; we'll probably sell our time share and will not go back. It was very hard on us,” Pam said.
The Alexanders say the same thing happened to 12 other people on their flight to Maui.
Calls to the Hawaii Department of Transportation were not immediately returned on Monday.