hawaiian airlines on-time performance slipped

Another Hawaiian Airlines Meltdown Just Infuriated Customers To The Max

Hawaiian Airlines can’t seem to catch a break regarding customer service and various technology-related problems. We were first alerted to the problem yesterday when Steph commented:

“Computer issues (or audit issues?) caused check-in delays, and all planes were grounded for an estimated 3+ hours (no telling if this will be longer at the time this comment is posted).

Customer service/gate agents made no efforts to make timely announcements, resulting in curious passengers filing at the gate to ask questions. Instead of making a clear announcement, airline staff rudely snapped at everyone for asking the same question and closed off access to the gate. Only then was a vague announcement made throughout the entire airport (Kona).

Our day is completely wasted due to this, and Hawaiian Airlines needs to take responsibility for the cost they’ve caused their customer to incur.”

Other online comments included, “Don’t trust Hawaiian Airlines. My son is right now stuck at an Oahu terminal, supposed to leave at 10:30, got lied to for several hours as to why the delay, now 4 other Hawaiian flights delayed and now has to stand in a line with over 60 people ahead of him either to be lied to some more or finally put on another airline to get home. I called Hawaiian to see how they are going to compensate…. We’ll never fly Hawaiian again. Getting rid of all c c.”

We’ve heard from other people too, personally and in things too vicious to publish. One such individual started a now-deleted Facebook post with, “F!*! Hawaiian Airlines.” His experience was similar to the other comments above. A regular customer of Hawaiian Airlines, he became disgruntled with the lack of transparency. Then he waited many hours to get on a plane after returning to the islands from New York.

Friday, Hawaiian Airlines canceled 46 flights, while 259 were delayed.

Flight cancellations and delays quickly mounted on Friday after first appearing late on Thursday. It’s too early to know how Saturday will pan out regarding the resumption of normal operations.

  • Honolulu had 22 Hawaiian Airlines flights canceled and 123 delayed.
  • Maui had 9 Hawaiian Airlines flights canceled and 55 delayed.
  • Kauai had 6 Hawaiian Airlines flights canceled and 35 delayed.
  • Kona had 7 Hawaiian Airlines flights canceled and 27 delayed.
  • Hilo had 2 Hawaiian Airlines flights canceled and 19 delayed.

What does Hawaiian Airlines say caused yesterday’s meltdown, the second in recent days?

Hawaiian said DRFortress, a third-party vendor, had a “power blip” yesterday that caused incredible delays and other problems. It was reportedly during that vendor’s scheduled maintenance that the internet outage inexplicably occurred. These issues impacted several other companies, including Hawaii Pacific Health. They indicated they had planned alternate technology for problems like this that allowed them to continue operations.

In the case of Hawaiian Airlines, it sounds like there was a single point of failure and no adequate alternatives to allow the airline to continue operating during the third-party’s service outage. As a result, Hawaiian Airlines had an extraordinary virtual ground stop in effect from 9 AM for at least three hours. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Flights were also diverted, including multiple Maui-bound flights that had to go to Honolulu Airport instead.

Hawaii Airlines said that “About 9 a.m. (Friday) we experienced a temporary internet outage in Hawaii due to a power disruption at our third-party data vendor during scheduled maintenance. The outage, impacting our Hawaii systems and headquarters, has been resolved, but we are experiencing flight delays as a result of the temporary outage. We’re working with affected guests and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.”

Hawaiian quickly pointed out that there was no relationship between yesterday and the horrible reservation system upgrade issues that have haunted it and its customers for weeks already. In that occurrence, more than 800 flights were delayed. It was far more severe and long-lasting since visitors reported still having problems booking reservations online using the Hawaiian Airlines app.

Who is DRFortress anyway?

The vendor, DRFortress, says it provides “Comprehensive Data Center Solutions for Your Mission-Critical IT Systems.
DRFortress is the largest and the only carrier-neutral data center and cloud marketplace operating in Hawaii. Experience the operational reliability, scalability, and security that DRFortress provides for all your mission-critical IT systems.” The company has experienced huge growth based on demand for its services.

The company website also said it offers “services designed to provide 100% uptime.”

BOH: For us, however, the issue isn’t their lack of ability to provide 100% uptime as their website suggests, but Hawaiian Airlines’ reliance on that assurance without necessary redundancy, which resulted in the untold loss of money and, more importantly, customer goodwill.

Did you get stuck in the meltdown?

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51 thoughts on “Another Hawaiian Airlines Meltdown Just Infuriated Customers To The Max”

  1. What a mess.

    The HAL website has also devolved into a much poorer version of itself. No more monthly calendar of fares. No scrolling through the weekly list of fares, you have to modify search. Miles award quotes are limited to a single day. The website also doesn’t remember your last search any more, you have to start fresh. Pretty sad.

    Been flying Hawaiian for over 30 years but have already flown on other carriers for various reasons including HAL going way downhill from what it was. Cost cutting can only go so far until it causes a collapse.

    I really feel sorry for the inter-island travelers. At least they have a choice now with SW.

  2. Hawaiian Airlines is still DaKine! You forget Frank DeLima used to make fun of island time Hawaiian and Aloha airlines?!! HA, against all odds, has become one of the top airlines in the world in the last decade in customer service and on time flights. You forget, this is an island nation! My wife is getting on her plane to HNL right now, she waits an extra hour to go home. No Big Deal! Aloha.

    1. What!! One of the Top airlines?? Doesn’t even have a contingency plan like other companies do!
      Only reason still in existence has a captive customer base.

  3. On Friday May 11, 2023
    I had a flight out from Kona – Honolulu
    @ 6pm and arrived Honolulu @ 6:30m
    Well , my flight was cancelled as I waited till almost midnight. cause the last fight from. Honolulu to Kona came in, I as the visitor guess center. She said that’s the last flight. Oh I know the last flight was @ 7:30 hours pm for those who waited 1:00pm – 6: 20 pm . So I got a flight 0n Saturday @ 12:30 noon but that flight never leave the ground till 4:30 pm . We sat in the aircraft 41/2 hrs. We arrive Honolulu @ 5 pm .! what a Mother’s Day weekend

  4. Why can’t these airlines get IT “right”? SWA’s issues were really an IT meltdown due to the fact that they haven’t invested properly in those systems for years. Hawaiian, on the other hand, made an investment, and then botched the rollout. This latest one where the outsourced data center had a “power blip” that shut down all of the servers wasn’t Hawaiian’s fault directly (note that DRFortress is the outsourcer of choice in Hawaii), but, again, this was an IT infrastructure architecture/design choice that Hawaiian IT made, so they certainly bear some responsibility. HIT decided to put all their eggs in the DRFortress basket, and, well, you see what happens when you do that. Experienced IT DR/BC folks know better, so what happened?

    1. a proper DR and HA systems has to be tested regularly to make sure it’s up and running in a reasonable of time. 3 Hours outage due to a DRs’s power outage is outrageous to be honest specially this is the DR company.

      1. DR (Disaster Recovery) and BC (Business Continuity) along with Backups, etc. is what I do for a living. I don’t have enough info on exactly what the design the Hawaiian is using for DR and BC looks like, but clearly, it’s insufficient. Critical systems like the ones that went down preventing the scheduling of flight should be both local redundant and additional redundancy to a separate data center. Sure looks like this wasn’t the case here since, again, failover between these redundant systems for critical systems should be measured in seconds/minutes and in some case, for VERY critical systems it can even by zero. All this costs money and company’s tend to not want to spend on this until they have a problem.

  5. The management needs to fired and sued in civil court. There is no excuse for their incompetence.
    As many people said , no transparency, no information. I have been trying for 3 days to find any information about my missing bags after flying to Australia. The department of transportation need a full investigation and fines levied against the management and company!!

  6. We were stuck at OGG flight #265
    We landed in HNL after 230a- 12+ hours late- car rental closed- stuck had to pay crazy high prices for Uber lost entire day of vacation- missed reservations.
    It was chaos, stood in lines for 5 hours to talk to agents to be told- i knew more then they did. Updates were 2 hours delayed throughout the day. It was the worse travel day!
    Tried calling on hold more then 90 mins, tried using their message- no one responded- totally all left to fend for ourselves.

  7. My flight was scheduled for Sat 8a SAN – HNL – OGG. I checked in as usual. Around 10:30 p on Friday got a text saying flight delayed to 9:30 am. That would make us miss our connection, so I waited 1.5 hours on the phone to speak with an agent who moved us to the next flight, but didn’t do it properly. We had paid cash for our tickets and upgraded with miles. Lesson Learned – we started our check-in 2 hrs in advance and at the end they we actually holding the plane for us and our luggage! As we attempted to check in the couldn’t complete the check in for the luggage since the agent on Friday didn’t cancel the first flight properly … it goes on and on – and finally I just said let me go to HNL and I’ll deal with it when I get there.

  8. Strange JW, BD, MG, DR, LB, ER not rushing to blame Southwest this time.
    I agree with Brian A, ” You rich, Don’t give a cr** about how much you pay for
    airfare? Fly HA.”
    New slogan for HA-You’ll get somewhere, sometime.

    1. Exactly my sentiment. When it was Southwest there were so many coimments about using HA instead of SWA. All the comments made about HA being a local company and SWA was hellbent on driving them out of business. SWA not understanding the culture of Hawaii.

      There have been some comments about how bad HA is now, but nothing like the comments made in December.

      I’m torn, because we mostly fly HA from SoCal to HNL. Have been checking airfares and HA just jumped from $1700+ to $2400+ SWA is looking good for our September trip there.

      No company is perfect, so I tend to overlook most of the pro HA, anti SWA comments made just a few months ago. But, people have to choose what’s best for them. No need to bash the other guys. Aloha


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