Honolulu Airport Gate Holds, Runway Work, Delays Wreak Havoc

Hawaiian Airlines’ Flights Encounter Multiple Issues

Some problems in the past few days as Hawaiian Airlines flights encountered multiple issues. We rarely write about incidents like these, but took notice when there were three within a few days. Kudos to Hawaiian Airlines for their great aplomb in handling of these unfortunate situations. It just goes to point out that life happens on aircraft traveling to and from Hawaii.

Last week there was a fight on-board a Hawaiian Air flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles. The altercation was apparently due to one passenger reclining their seat to the chagrin of the passenger seated in the next row. On Twitter, someone noted “Pilots made a u-turn mid-flight to LAX from Honolulu. Passengers say a flight attendant was hurt trying to restrain the two men.” We heard that it was thankfully just shouting, but that it was heard throughout the cabin. The two were arrested when the flight landed back in Honolulu, and the remaining nearly 300 passengers and crew were later re-accommodated.

We so relate to the discomfort we can feel when sitting in small airline seats for a long period of time, such as when flying to and from Hawaii. Interesting to note that Hawaiian took out the seat recline entirely on their inter-island flights a few years ago. We actually prefer it this way, except on long haul. It’s a reminder to keep your anger in check when flying and to be akamai with fellow passengers who are equally frustrated, no matter which airline you’re traveling on.

Also, sad news that a 74 year old man was found dead in the lavatory on Saturday night’s flight from Tahiti to Honolulu. Hawaiian Airlines confirmed the death occurred early Sunday morning. The flight continued to Honolulu.

Lastly, Friday’s flight from Honolulu to Oakland encountered mechanical issues. There was a reported discrepancy in an on-board monitoring system. Out of an abundance of caution, the pilot turned the new A321neo plane around and returned to Honolulu. The flight was in the air for less than 90 minutes before landing in Hawaii. Passengers were then provide alternate travel.

Hawaiian Airlines Fight

Remember Go!Hawaii? British Airways takes the cake and flies to wrong country. 

It’s been a long time since a flight in Hawaii has gone to the wrong place. About 10 years ago, now defunct Go!Hawaii pilots fell asleep while en route to Hilo from Honolulu. The pilots flew 25 miles past their destination while air traffic control (ATC) desperately attempted to rouse them. One of the pilots later told the FAA that it wasn’t unusual for him to sleep for the full inter-island flight. With inter-island flights being as short as 22 minutes in duration, it’s just a good thing those pilots aren’t flying here any longer.

Due to entirely different reasons, this weekend a British Airways plane destined for Germany instead flew to Scotland. The issue was an incorrectly filed flight plan, which caused the pilot and cabin crew to believe the flight was bound for Edinburgh. After a brief stop, the plane went on to Germany. Didn’t anyone notice they weren’t flying in the right direction?


17 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines’ Flights Encounter Multiple Issues”

  1. We are headed to Maui for a destination wedding..depart from either Muskegon or Grand Rapids, Michigan..we are traveling on January 6th, 2020 and returning on Jan 16th. My husband and I and son in law and daughter NEED extra legroom and wider seats if possible..Please, can you help? How much $$ are we to expect? What kind of arrangements can be made?

    1. Hi Rhonda.

      More space is related to additional cost, in air travel as in other things. Starting at about $900 in economy, $1,400 in premium economy (more legroom, same width as economy), and $2,000 in first class out of Grand Rapids. Other airport is more. That’s if you buy today. Unless you are willing to have a very long connection time (20 hours+ duration), doubtful prices will come down by waiting. With a very long layover, it could come down to just under $600 in economy, and perhaps $1,000 with extra legroom. First won’t come down.


  2. I will be forever grateful to the man in front of me on a flight from Dallas to Germany. I have very long legs (36″ inseam) and was crammed into a middle seat. The passenger in front of me leaned his seat back and must have felt his seat crash into my knees. Without any prompting, he kindly moved his seat forward and it stayed that way the entire 12-hour flight. Special place in heaven for this guy.

  3. I’m all for doing away with reclining seats.If we still had the leg room like we used to, recliners would be OK. But it’s all about squeezing in more seats and raking in money. It’s a shame that I have to spend extra money to get extra leg room and to have a non reclining seat in front of me . I can’t wait to get back to Maui. Thanks for all the great info you send. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Pete.

      Thank you. Interesting to see quite a few people are concurring with elimination of seat recline in economy.


  4. With passengers being packed into tighter and tighter rows, and the size of passengers growing, the airlines would be wise to eliminate any recline in the seats. People are uptight before they get on the plane and some rude person fully reclining in the face of the passenger behind them is an unneeded irritant, Parking is packed at airports, TSA lines are long, boarding is inefficient and different classes of seating seems un-American to many. Eliminating reclining seatbacks might be the first step in returning travel to a more humane condition. Getting rid of the animal menagerie would help too. Unless the airlines like this kind of acting out? It’s got to cost them a lot of money and many frustrated passengers.

    1. Different classes of seating un/American? Please. Everyone has the opportunity to buy the seat they want.

  5. The Hawaiian Airline flight from San Fran to Honolulu March 19th cancelled hours after we had boarded the plane, then it was a mess of news before Hawaiian took the plane out of service and they spend hours rebooking passengers to United. 7 hours later my wife and I were on a United flight that was packed jam of hawaiian passengers. 5 hours flying after being crammed into the smallest seats and leg room I ever encountered, I end up with dark bruises all over my left ankle. Still have those bruises on my left ankle today, March 25.
    Hawaiian is losing us as travelers .

  6. Hats off to Hawaiian Air….irregularities always have and always will happen. They have been serving Hawaii since 1929
    and as savvy travellers know their experience and local roots show. Nice to see SWA jump into the market. They will stimulate new
    energy into the market, it will be fun to see. The comment about traffic is a valid one. This spring break HNL ran out of parking. If SWA stimulates the market too much and are perceived as the cause of further over crowding the backlash will not be good.

  7. I have claustrophobia and want to literally scream if someone in front of me reclines the seat. I choose aisle seats so I can turn my whole body towards the aisle if this happens. I’d be delighted if no seats on flights reclined. Or if passengers were polite and asked the person behind them if reclining would be bothersome. I NEVER recline my seat, ever. I bought a pillow type thing when I flew from California to Australia and I could be very comfortable sleeping without reclining my seat.

  8. ADD more flights!!! ADD more flights!! Aloha Airlines shut down 11 years ago…Please South West Airlines help the Hawaii people have a choice!!!

    Alaska Airlines you need to jump on board and spread your wings with deals and routes, Thank You!!!!

    Anyone have any idea who will be utilizing the old commuter terminal (island airs old gates) ???
    I hope not HAL

  9. I am looking for airfare from HNL to BNA. I realize SWA doesn’t do redeye’s and would require an overnight. The event is in September. I found airfare from BNA to HNL for $212, which I scooped up. Suggestions on when to expect good September rates? Thanks!

    1. Hi Danielle.

      Currently about $300+ with cheapest fares of longer duration and more stops. Best price might be up to $80 less, and if that happens could be in next couple of months.


      1. Aloha,
        I realize the majority of the time things go great and its refreshing ti see you cover problems and issues when they occur.
        Mahalo for that.
        Might you consider writing about and warning people about the terrible traffic on the islands so people get prepared for it? Maybe you could include times and areas to advoid.
        We been coming to the islands for 30 years and this winter has been the worst ever.
        If you’re in Ohau and heading towards Honolulu in the morning or away in the evening you might need to add an extra hour to your trip.
        We gave up on going to Maui due to traffic.
        Kaua’i is becoming a real headache. Took us 90 minutes to get from Anahola to Cosco late afternoon. The bypass in Kapa’a didn’t help.
        Skipped going to Hanapepe one Friday cause the traffic up to The Tree tunnel at Koloa was a dead crawl. Went the following week but left at 10am to spend the whole day on the west side.
        People just need to be informed so the make better travel plans on the islands.

        1. Hi Lee.

          Yes Hawaii does have traffic. And sometimes it can be really bad especially if there’s an accident and a two lane highway gets closed.

          Living here we learn to work around it and find that overall that is still pretty easy to do. Others may disagree. Staying out of rush hour on all the islands is at the top priority. Now I think we have traffic until visiting the mainland, whereupon I see what traffic is. Our take….



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