316 Hawaii Flight Delays, Up To 6 Hours | Airlines + FAA Brawl

Yesterday (October 26) saw the most significant number of single-day Hawaii flight delays we can ever recall; 316 in total! We heard about it first from two friends who were seriously stuck, and then we saw it on Flightaware. It started like this:

Audri wrote to tell us about her 6-hour delay on the Hawaiian Airlines flight 20 from Honolulu to Sacramento yesterday. She reported boarding before noon, but “over 6 hours on the tarmac, and we still haven’t taken off.” She added they also went to the runway and turned back “to the gate to refuel.” That was followed by deplaning and reboarding and a “Sheriff to finish dealing with angry passengers… Meanwhile, we’ve been served water twice and a tiny package of pretzel snacks.”

Meanwhile, BOH’s friend Susan was returning from a medical visit in Honolulu and found herself stuck there and unable to get home for hours. Gone are the days for now when you could count on flights between the islands running on time, as we found out ourselves just last week during another spate of  Hawaii flight delays.

Honolulu Hawaii flight delays Wednesday.

  • 1 American Airlines
  • 4 Alaska Airlines
  • 3 Delta Airlines
  • 9 Mokulele Airlines
  • 112 Hawaiian Airlines
  • 24 Southwest Airlines
  • 6 United Airlines

Maui Hawaii flight delays Wednesday.

  • 1 American Airlines
  • 4 Alaska Airlines
  • 9 Mokulele Airlines
  • 47 Hawaiian Airlines
  • 13 Southwest Airlines

Kauai Hawaii flight delays Wednesday.

  • 2 Alaska Airlines
  • 1 Delta Airlines
  • 23 Hawaiian Airlines
  • 4 Southwest Airlines

Kona Hawaii flight delays Wednesday.

  • 2 Alaska Airlines
  • 1 Mokulele Airlines
  • 27 Hawaiian Airlines
  • 6 Southwest Airlines

Hilo Hawaii flight delays Wednesday.

  • 2 Mokulele Airlines
  • 14 Hawaiian Airlines
  • 1 Southwest Airlines

Airlines and FAA Brawl over flight delays.

Yesterday was grim as airlines suffered over 14,000 flight delays per FlightAware with more than 20% of all U.S. flights delayed. That’s nuts. Believe it or not, that’s an improvement from the summer when 20k+ flights were delayed daily.

Is it a pilot shortage, airline mismanagement, the FAA, or a runway repair to blame?

Early in this mess, the pilot shortage was often listed as the cause. But the airlines have repeatedly said that the FAA has a role in the trouble. Delta and Southwest have been among those who had pointed fingers in the government’s direction, including when Delta said ATC was the leading cause. United Airlines CEO said that ATC was the airline’s top concern. JetBlue said that air traffic control (ATC) staffing is a huge issue, and they face a “challenging environment” because of ATC delays.”

But the FAA keeps pushing back, saying it is an airline problem instead, and they suggest that the airlines aren’t being transparent and that most of the delays have nothing to do with FAA. How can both of these be true? FAA may indeed be having trouble hiring and retaining controllers, even with a starting pay of $130k/year.

There is also a runway closure at HNL for the airlines to deal with. But adjustments to schedules should already have occurred to mitigate any runway-related delays. That appears not to have happened.

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35 thoughts on “316 Hawaii Flight Delays, Up To 6 Hours | Airlines + FAA Brawl”

  1. Yes this was the day we were part of that mess. 20 minute gate delay arriving at HON from LIH. Passenger stood up and screamed at me. Don’t know why. Gate agent and baggage handling issues. The LAX bound Hawaiian flight was delayed 5 hours by those things and runway construction.

  2. We always flown Hawaiian Flight 20 & are still preferred company. knew upon entry to airport baggage was broken making it difficulty to navigate to security. board on time at 1200, then approx 90 min notice of baggage delay waited longer nearly 3.5 to 4 hours at the gate, upon taxing to runway I hear grinding from right wheel, messaged daughter & spoke up to those around me like “your hear that” ? up at the runway then plane takes sideroad informed not enough gas need to refuel. Another 90 min delay, passengers hangery they let us off 20 in terminal. Reboard people stressed start argue with staff get kicked off, police, one passenger panic attack I intervened as RN assist her safe off plane, need better way to manage & compensate 5.5 delay

  3. My husband and I had a wonderful flight back on Hawaiian airlines flight HA 64 from Kauai to LAX. The flight crew were all wonderful, very helpful and accommadating. We had a very safe flight. So sorry to hear a bout delays of other flights.

  4. We experienced flight delays from seattle to Maui on Wednesday.
    We were 2 people also effected by the delays from Maui to Oahu on wednesday. It was crazy. People everywhere..flight delayed x2. Then have to wait 30 minutes to take off waiting in back up.
    Total 2 hours late. Gate workers were so confused. Can we have a refund ? Lol

  5. Aloha, how many of these delays were less than 30 min delays? Also what was the arrival time to destination? Sometimes you can depart late and still be on time or early depending on the cushion that’s put into the block time, (gate to gate).

    1. Oh I forgot to add that there are maintenance delays that can’t be helped as well as ATC delays into places like SFO due to weather. Some people wonder about why being delayed for weather when they see clear sky’s at their departure airport but the weather at their destination is a mess or below the instrument landing minimums, so that’s why it’s better to wait it out till it passes. (Another ATC delay). There’s so many factors in why a delay occurs.

  6. Our flight from HNL to SMF on 10/27 was delayed because the plane we needed from Kona was not allowed to take off to Honolulu for an hour.


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