Hawaiian Airlines flight diversion makes 7 total in just 2 weeks.

Hawaiian Joins Mid-Air Diversions | Now 7 In Three Weeks

We are grateful for the tips received from our savvy, loyal readers. One person tipped us off to a flight diversion we had not seen and have since confirmed, and this time it was onboard bellwether Hawaiian Airlines. Tallying the mid-Pacific flight diversions in the past three weeks, it goes like this. There were 7 mid-Pacific diversions in three weeks and 5 in just about one week alone.

Hawaiian Airlines had a flight diversion on July 22 onboard flight 57 from San Diego to Maui. The plane, an Airbus A321neo, departed on time at 10:25 AM. Something happened that caused the pilot to turn the plane back to the mainland for an expected landing at LAX. Commentor Shan M. reported, “Flight HA57 from San Diego departed, and 2 hours later we turned around and landed at LAX. We spent the night in Los Angeles and flew out the next day. They didn’t give much information other than “airplane issues.”

Looking at the flight map (above) according to FlightAware, it appears that shortly after takeoff, the pilot decided not to transit the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. What transpired after that may have been the time needed to burn fuel before landing at LAX. This happens in specific circumstances. One example is when a plane must return to an airport sooner than planned following takeoff, and a reduction in the aircraft’s weight is needed for landing. In this case, the plane would have had a large quantity of fuel needed to get to Hawaii. Many aircraft types can dump fuel to expedite the process of weight reduction, but the A321neo cannot. We appreciate that being pointed out by commenter Mark L.

Commenters speculate on the causes of Hawaii mid-flight diversions.

In the comments on the prior two posts (links below), you see much conjecture as to what the causes of these incidents may have been. Someone pointed out that two of the three Alaska diversions may have been on the very same aircraft.

As you know, causes for flight diversions can range from medical (related to crew and passengers), weather (unlikely), unruly activity (we would have heard about that), and mechanical (the most likely). Someone even mentioned solar flares. Luckily, there’s ETOPS for mechanical issues on this longest stretch of ocean without diversions in the world. We look forward to more comments, but please stay away from conspiracy theories.

Hawaiian Airlines Hawaii flight diversion.

  • July 22 – San Diego to Maui.

hawaiian airlines

Alaska Airlines Hawaii flight diversions.

  • August 8 – Maui to San Diego.
  • August 9 – Honolulu to San Diego.
  • August 10 – San Diego to Honolulu.

Southwest Airlines’ flight diversions.

  • July 25 – Kona to Las Vegas.
  • August 6 – Maui to Sacramento.
  • August 15 – Oakland to Maui.

Southwest Hawaii Flights

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42 thoughts on “Hawaiian Joins Mid-Air Diversions | Now 7 In Three Weeks”

  1. You can add United Airlines to the list. My flight (SFO – HNL) was diverted mid flight back to SFO tonight.
    Reason – vague details about a traveller who was mentally ill and his behavior was becoming erratic.

    1. Just a follow up to my previous comment. This has a happy ending. We were afraid that United wasn’t going to be able to get us out until tomorrow. However, they added late flight (10:20 pm) and got us in 1:30 a.m. In addition, they gave each of us a $500 credit! Now that’s class.

  2. Add Delta 428 LAX Lihue in August 18th to the diversion list. Returned to LA to switch planes and took off for the second time 2 hours later.

  3. I travel Southwest weekly for work. I love the airlines easy change policies and overall efficiency. I have been flying Southwest almost 30 years! They have a great point system and companion program that adds up quick. If snacks are your biggest issue, throw some stuff in your backpack and move on.

  4. An airbus A330, tail number N390HA did what seemed to be a diversion at around 2:00 PDT this morning. I followed it on the Planefinder app..

    1. Follow up on my previous comment. It didn’t land, it just looped around and continued on its way Las Vegas to Honolulu.

  5. Hello, My husband and I were on a flight from Las Vegas to Honolulu on May 23, 2022 and we had to turn around about 30 minutes off the coast of California, dump fuel and land in LA due to a shattered windshield. They couldn’t tell us when we might get out of LA so my husband and I cancelled our flight and flew home to Denver. When I asked for a flight disruption letter from Hawaiian Airlines, it simply said the flight had a 14 hour 45 minute delay. Evidently they were able to get passengers out very late that night.

  6. Where’s all the bad mouthing of HA? Only when Southwest has issues, everyone comments they will never fly SW, will only fly Hawaiian. Where’s all the negativity about Boeing this time? Oh wait, it’s an Airbus and since not a Max, not a word about the Neo.

  7. In a way, as disconcerting as a spike in diversions may be, it does tend to prove out the ETOPS rules.

    It still gives me the willies though.

  8. I love that there is so much information on boh. But, it is also scaring me so much as the information is spooking me from enjoying my last trip to paradise. From social media screaming that tourists are horrible and locals dont want us, to overcrowded airports and tsa, and now the worry about needing to dump extra fuel for safe landings. I know most of this is normal behavior, but ignorance was truly bliss before social media. I just want the ole days of, calling the airlines direct, making a plane and car reservation, calling resort for room rental, and the fun pleasure of just flying and relaxing for the 12 hr flight. I really didnt mind it then. When we landed, there was pineapple juice and a beautiful flower awaiting us.

  9. Solar flares most likely scenario. GPS will be significantly affected by coronal ejections and commercial aircraft depend on GPS. The sun is currently going through a “solar maximum” right now. In fact, there was a major solar flare that hit the Earth about 2 weeks ago. So, there are more to come.

    1. Aloha Mark –

      With multiple redundant GPS systems, solar flares are never an issue. All of these incidents were related to systems that were required for an ETOPS flight.

    2. These days, all the aircraft flying to/from Hawaii probably have ADS-B, which is constantly reporting their GPS navigation accuracy. I don’t see a significant number of aircraft reporting any GPS issues on any of the dates of the diversions listed above. Check for yourself at gpsjam.org/?lat=33.69930&lon=-134.32194&z=3.8&date=2022-08-17

  10. That certainly is a lot of ugliness. I remember a year or two ago, Hawaiian had to try 3 times before they could make a flight from LA to Maui. It was a headwind and fuel issue. Hawaiian flies the Airbus. Thanks BOH for keeping us informed, you have a sweet page.

  11. Aloha guys – the HA flight was on an A321, which does not have the capability to dump fuel. The extended route was likely to burn fuel to – as you correctly pointed out – get below the maximum landing weight. This also indicates the issue was not time critical. In the event of a more serious issue (engine failure for example) aircraft without fuel dumping capabilities are capable of landing above that weight if it’s safest course of action. Mahalo!

    1. Hi Mark.

      Thanks so much. You all make us better with your knowledge. We’ll update the post to correctly reflect that information. But here’s a question. We see statements to the effect that that aircraft may be able to land at the maximum takeoff weight. Is that true, and if it is, why fly around burning fuel?


      1. As a rule, aircraft without fuel dump capability must be able to land at the max takeoff weight, which would be done in many emergency situations. But if time allows, burning off fuel makes for a lighter landing weight – which is a safer landing in nearly every way.

        There are many reasons why a flight may divert, and few that constitute an emergency.

      2. Mahalo you guys and keep up the great work – you are my go to source for everything happening here with us on the islands! Joel perfectly pointed out the “why”. It’s a bit confusing, but if we “can” burn down to the max landing weight, we will. If it’s more serious, the aircraft “can” land at it’s max take-off weight. This includes all narrow body aircraft like 737, A321 up to and including the 757. Anything larger than that can likely dump fuel. Mahalo’s!!

      3. If plane lands with its maximum take off weight, that’s called an over weight landing, the aircraft will then be taken out of derive and require an inspection, of the landing gear and other components.

    1. “Pathetic”? Really? You’d rather have them just continue on when in the pilots’ informed opinion there’s issues that might jeopardize the safety of the lives on board? Really?

        1. I don’t know. Only a pilot would be able to answer. I’m just providing a more probable explanation. There can only be 2 common denominators here. The sun and the type of aircraft. It doesn’t appear to be a specific problem with the aircraft so the intende solar flares could have a detrimental affect. Solar flares are typically sporadic and these flight diversions appear to be sporadic as well.

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