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. Wife was stuck in HNL for 14h coming from another HA Tokyo redeye flight. Total chaos. Employees left clueless, randomly putting passengers on replacement flights, regardless of travel history. Entire flights disappeared from view.

    BOH, as a lifelong enterprise software professional I feel you hit the mark on your comment regarding HA’s total reliance on a data center provider like DRFortress. Exactly.

    HA leadership, consider setting up a skunk works type operation outside your IT org to rethink your entire IT stack, approach, and historically grown patchwork, on a conceptual level and from the ground up. Nothing else might work here.

  2. We were in the mess yesterday (Fri) on Maui trying to get back to Oakland. They finally canceled our 1:00 pm flight, at 9:00 pm!! It took them another hour to get our bags to the baggage carousel, although they said the bags had been offloaded an hour prior for “weight rebalancing.” We were led to several times but I can’t blame the gate agents because it’s not their fault. Had the mgmt told us the truth we may have been able to get home the same day on another carrier. So here we sit at Southwest on Saturday. It’s going to cost them a lot in rental car fees as well refunding today’s flight and half of our original trip.

  3. Flying from Lihue to Honolulu and then onto Sacramento today on Southwest. Everything is running smoothly on Southwest. I did see many delays and one cancellation on the boards in Lihue for Hawaiian. Happy I’m a longtime Southwest customer for many reasons.

  4. So we are sitting in Maui airport the Sat after Fridays mess. Our flight has been delayed it states for 2 hours of now. The bag drop off and getting boarding passes also so disorganized. And the kiosks to check in are not even working. HA used to great, now just another company who has lost its way

  5. We have been at OGG since 9:30a, moved from gate to gate, delayed and now cancelled, standing in another line that is not moving for rebooking, etc. I understand things happen but Hawaiian Airlines guest services is appalling Now in this line for 4 hours, no movement., no water, no snacks, people are almost passing out. Left airport at 8:30p, been at the airport for nearly 12 hours with very little communication from Hawaiian Airline staff. Eventually, told no more vouchers for hotels, food etc. Had a very difficult time finding a hotel. Finally, found one at 9p.
    Rerouted for flights today via telephone agent only to find out we have no seats. 2 hours spent on phone trying to sort this out in the middle of the night to no avail.

  6. We are trying to get back to Ontario California. We were lied to many times yesterday before the flight was cancelled. There was very little communication to the passengers. We were flown to Maui this morning and our connecting flight to Long Beach has already been delayed 2 hours. This is our first time to Hawaii and probably our last because of Hawaiian Airlines. The agents and crews have been helpful and wonderful but whoever is in charge is doing an awful job.

  7. I voiced an opinion that there might be something else going on here other than just ineptitude on a commercial basis concerning HA. It just seems all of a sudden HA is experiencing a lot of *screw ups*. What seems a little different are the reports of airline employees not putting a good fave on this with being rude etc. Why now? Didn’t HA have an almost mythic reputation for aloha and all the good stuff Hawaii is? Are there new CEOs or corporate leadership now. Why this change? Mahalo for all you guys do in keeping those people who want to know informed.

  8. Ok folks,
    You’re fortunate enough to be there, myself+ also, Considering the times we live in, You go anywhere, knowingly plan for delays, period.
    Make the best of it as these may be the best days you’ll ever see,….

  9. I was a Lihue last night. Flight 314 to Honolulu. My flight was supposed to leave at 327 pm. By this time I got to the airport Hawaiian was fully aware flights were delayed. I got no message. Actually they never said anything about my flight the entire night, neither via text/email, nor over airport announcements. It’s like all the Hawaiian representatives ran and hid. Southwest Airlines brought in a plane from Honolulu to help people get to UH graduation and saved the day. At least 5 southwest staff members rapidly booked hundreds of people and I got to my destination by nightfall. There is no way to contact Hawaiian to get a refund, hold times are several hours long.

  10. My name is Lucio Gussetti. I flew out with my wife of jfk on May 12, direct to HNL on HA51. As we landed in HNL it was chaos. Our connecting flight to Kona was inexistent on the screen. Then it appeared with no indications of delay. Then it was cancelled. I received a message of rerouting on another flight at 8:50 pm. I lined for hours to get a new boarding pass. When it was issued I was in STBY, ridiculous. I complained and was pushed back. Then also the 8:50was cancelled. By that time it was past 10:15 pm, no vouchers for hotels available, no hot food, just water. We camped on the floor.
    We were eventually squeezed into a 8:05 am flight, 16 hours delay.
    Ground personnel was constantly overwhelmed, no real time info. Sheer incompetence.


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