Hawaii Flight Delays

Hawaii Flight On-Time? 2023 Airline Performance Review.

In light of ongoing flight delays, cancellations and diversions, including another one we just learned this morning, here’s the year-to-date performance of all U.S. airlines with flights to Hawaii. It’s worth noting that the airlines and the US DOT continue to clash over high rates of delayed and canceled flights.

Airlines have argued that the government is responsible due to air traffic control problems and is at fault for not having enough staff, while the government has blamed the carriers. Luckily, the airlines with the worst 2023 year-to-date on-time performance don’t even fly to Hawaii. Those include JetBlue, Hawaii hopeful Frontier, Spirit, and once-Hawaii-flying Allegiant.

Also see New 2024 Airline Rules Include Refunds For Hawaii Flight Delays.

Latest Hawaii flight diversions in pre-Christmas run-up.

The latest diversion we learned of today was Alaska Flight 810 from Lihue to Seattle. On Saturday, the red-eye flight departed at 9:53 pm. However, instead of traveling to Seattle, it diverted to Honolulu, where it arrived at 11:32 pm. It left Honolulu at 1:11 am and arrived in Seattle at 8:30 am yesterday. The flight was delayed more than three hours in total. It isn’t known whether or not this would be a diversion that would be deemed to be “controllable” by the airline. Read on for the importance of that. This event followed two other Hawaii flight diversions late last week.

Hawaiian Airlines’ on-time performance in 2023 did not live up to its usual first-place standards.

That’s true for various reasons, not the least of which is the Hawaii Department of Transportation and Hawaiian’s problems in spades dealing with the seemingly unending Honolulu Airport runway repair. Adding to that problem was the Hawaiian Airlines 2023 meltdown that has been lingering since the company performed a reservations system upgrade which threw a significant wrench into its operations.

Instead of coming in first for the year, as it has done many times, Hawaiian instead rounded out the worst five airlines for on-time performance in 2023, coming in 5th worst, with nearly 25% of flights arriving later than planned, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

Given that short interisland flights took it especially hard earlier this year with the Honolulu Airport problems, it isn’t surprising that the length of delay was at least moderate compared with mainline carriers. Mainland flights were given priority to interisland flights during much of the runway repair-caused delays. Hawaiian’s average delay was just 32 minutes, which is about half of that for American, Delta, and United.

2023 flight delay data courtesy of FlightAware.

Just a tenth of a percent better than Hawaiian was Southwest, which is at least doing better than just one year ago. But Southwest also had some problems earlier in 2023. They are the subject of new rules, including $75 passenger vouchers.

Moving up the list to the more reliable on-time performers came American Airlines. They were one-upped by United Airlines, followed by Alaska Airlines, which came in second. And first place went to Delta Airlines.

Tell us about your 2023 experience with Hawaii flight delays, diversions, and cancellations. Mahalo.

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6 thoughts on “Hawaii Flight On-Time? 2023 Airline Performance Review.”

  1. I’m happy to hear my long used American Air is doing well. But, I just received word that they cancelled a flight in May and now have to be at the airport at 2 or 3 A>M>! That’s not happening, so will probably just cancel my whole trip to the islands. All this negativity and issues, is too much to even worry about any more.

  2. Once again you have ignored the Canadian airlines in your on time performance data (and virtually all other articles). I think that I have repeatedly read that Canadian travellers make up a significant portion of Hawaiin tourism. If you claim to speak for the travellers to Hawaii, why does it look like you are solely concerned with American travellers?

    1. BOH can certainly choose whether to include Canadian travel in their on-time flights analysis and reporting. When I searched for roundtrip Air Canada flights from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Honolulu, I only found one Air Canada flight pair at the Google Flights website, and the return flight was an overnight red-eye. Perhaps most “significant Canadian tourists” connect through U.S. cities on U.S. airlines? If true, then the BOH article covers the on-time experiences those travelers experienced in 2023.

      1. Thanks for looking into this Paul. I don’t know how balanced the search engine for Google is, but I just went on the Westjet.com site and found 3 daily trips from YVR to OGG, let alone the rest of Hawaii, and on Air Canada there were 2 or 3 per day YVR – OGG (but some through HNL). The other message thread regarding Arrival Requirements from HTA showed 10% Hawaii travel from Canada. So maybe I am just another inferiority complex Canadian who doesn’t like feeling ignored.

  3. Mahalo,

    In your first news article posted today, it gave info regarding commitments airlines make for delayed or cancelled flights.
    What has been your experience with Alaska Airlines Vouchers for a 3 hr delay? Do they just decide on a particular amount?
    I’m assuming it’s not the price of a ticket.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Melissa.

      We have not yet had experience with that. Honestly, we like others may have just let it go. But no more. Again these are only where it can be argued that the cause was within the airline’s control. We’ve had long weather caused delays that this would not relate to.


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