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. Sounds like they’re stuck in an old vacuum. No competition! Maybe they need a reliable business internet provider, like Starlink Business.
    It’s that checkerboard theory.
    There’s dirt over the entire board, and each department is given a broom to clean their square, but no dirt ever leaves the board!

  2. Been a longtime Hawaiian Miles Cardholder. A week ago I was trying to make a reservation to fly from Portland to Lihue. I had an expiring $100 companion discount.
    The website wouldn’t let me use my companion discount. I called the 1 800 support number
    but no help. Tried the online chat, no one even responded. I filled out their online complaint form and was told that I would have to make another reservation in the future
    in order to use my expiring companion discount which means that I will end up losing my companion discount!

    The big picture here is that Hawaiian Airlines is struggling financially due to the fare war with Southwest. It’s fairly obvious that they are cutting costs everywhere which
    really hurts customer service.

  3. Hawaiian Air screwed up an entire day of travel last week. Flying back from Bali to Maui, I had a ticket from Sydney to Maui thru Honolulu on HA. Had included a day to explore Sydney where I’d never been. Instead I spent the morning on 2 endless stressful phone calls to HA as they insisted my ticket (purchased on Kiwi.com) was not valid, even though I’d been in touch with HA many times since its purchase, for seat upgrade and other details. I ended up going out to the Sydney airport 6 hours early, where they finally they straightened it out at the counter, involving another 45 minutes. They never apologized. Flight delayed an hour and they were negligent in updating us on details. They ruined my day in Sydney.

  4. Be Aware,Use your Airmiles now.
    Bank of Hawaii is in trouble, BOH stock has fallen from $80 to $33 and fell 25 percent just this week.
    Your Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard Airmiles are not insured and will likely be gone if BOH defaults.

  5. After we sat on the plane in Kona for one hour and I knew it would be impossible to make my doctor appointment in Honolulu. I asked if I could leave the plane as there was no point in going to Oahu, they refused. I went back to my seat for another hour and a half. Flight attendants were laughing and joking with each other, all smiles. Cockpit crew occasionally made up an estimated time when we would take off only for that time to expire. When they finally allowed us to get off the plane the staff on the ground were as rude as could be, barking at us if we asked any question, giving us no clue as to how to proceed. I even asked an employee of Alaska if they knew anything due to the hostility we were getting from Hawaiian Airlines employees.

  6. I love your factual statistics. 35 flights delayed in Kauai. Really? That’s fascinating considering that is somewhere near 2 times the number of flights they operate. (Lmao).
    I fly regularly for medical appointments and customer service has deteriorated in recent months and now I can count on Hnl. ground delays from understaffing by both the airport and the airline. We always have to wait at the gate while Hawaiian tries to scrape together enough rampers and gate agents to unload the plane. Over many years, I have needed to explain to out of staters on many occasions that what they are experiencing is a result of no competition. At Hawaiian “we don’t care because we do have to” is the modus operandi.

    1. Hi Brent.

      Delays include both arrivals and departures and the information is completely accurate.


  7. We flew Hawaiian May 1- May 8 from LAX to Lihue. No problems whatsoever. The Hawaiian agents at LAX actually were out at the kiosks helping anyone that had a issue. We of course gave ourselves plenty of time. We always fly Hawaiian and luckily never encountered any problems.

  8. Thanks BOH for reporting on Hawaiian and DRFortress. I flew HNL to SFO on 5/09. Was worried about a cancellation, but fortunately encountered only a departure delay of about an hour. It was not until 15 minutes after the posted boarding time that gate agents announced delayed boarding to the milling crowd. Delay was to wait for arrival of additional cabin crew. Indeed Hawaiian could have improved its communication. Also I did not receive the usual email asking me to participate in a post flight survey.

  9. I have been using Hawaiian airlines almost exclusively for the past 10 years, most of times it has been a pleasant experience. I found it better than the other airlines I have used. But since October of last year I have had nothing but problems. 11 hours delay in October and lost luggage and delays in November. And I had a very difficult time booking my June 23 flight. I booked my flight got a confirmation number but no-receipt. When I tried to get my receipt online they said I hadn’t booked a flight that started a 4 hour journey on line to straiten out. I am not sure I will use Hawaiian airlines in the fall .

  10. Can’t blame the customers reactions but that was in no way HA’s fault. It was a third party data server that effected multiple businesses in Hawaii, Queens Medical Center, Bank of Hawaii among others. With all the advantages of HA being a local carrier benefiting the state, this time being local caught them out.

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