Unbelievably, it’s been only four days since we wrote about the last Hawaii flight diversion. Then tonight, an American Airlines Boeing 789 Dreamliner diverted en route to Honolulu from Phoenix.
The plane departed Phoenix Sky Harbor and was in the air for over three hours before touching down at LAX. The rerouting was caused by a passenger behavior issue onboard. American Airlines confirmed that the diversion was “Involving an unruly customer. We thank our crew for their professionalism and our customers for their understanding.”
The Dreamliner flight departed Phoenix at 11:14 AM for what should have been about a six-hour thirty-minute flight to Honolulu. Instead, after flying well past the coast and into the Pacific on its way to Oahu, it abruptly turned back, as seen in the FlightAware image above.
After apparently depositing the unruly passenger(s) in Los Angeles, the plane again departed for Honolulu. The aircraft is due to arrive at Honolulu within minutes from now. We’ll update this as we learn more.
An earlier article this week on Beat of Hawaii, featured a Honolulu flight diversion that resulted from a flight attendant being choked. That occurred last week. And with today’s incident, there are a total of eight recent Hawaii diversions for bad passenger behavior.
Last week’s diversion was on an Air Canada Flight from Vancouver that made the unexpected diversion to Hawaii to have the passenger removed and arrested.
Pacific Ocean flights are always problematic in terms of diversion choices since there are so few. This plane would have continued to Honolulu if the flight had been another hour into its journey. Until the midpoint is reached over the Pacific, flights return to the mainland when there are issues.