Nearly 200 passengers on a United Airlines Hawaii flight found great relief when they arrived in San Francisco instead of Hawaii on Sunday. That following a terrible and unnecessary issue that occurred en route from Denver to Kauai.
We just spoke with our friend Carol, who was on this flight and confirmed the entire issue. “Passengers were told that we would be on board at 7 pm. We were on the plane just before 8 pm, waiting for coffee pots for the galley. I’m sure every one of us on the flight would have said just get us out of here instead. In addition, the entertainment on the first flight was only working on about half the aircraft and on the second flight, the audio portion went out for hours. Though it was great to finally be able to use the bathroom, the passengers were all very angry and frustrated. I felt really sorry for the people at Lihue who had been waiting for the flight to San Francisco.”
Passengers started noticing problems even before the announcement of the United Airlines Hawaii flight diversion. They first saw that one of the airplane’s four lavatories was locked and reported out of order. Then a second bathroom was locked. Then came these dreaded announcements:
1. All of the aircraft toilets are full and cannot be used.
2. Toilets were not serviced before departure in Denver.
3. Flight is being diverted to San Francisco which will more than double the travel time.
Hawaii Mid-Way Point Determines Where Plane Lands.
As you may be aware, a flight turnaround for mechanical, medical or in this case, otherwise, may occur at any point until you reach the mid-way point between the Pacific coast and Hawaii (about 2 1/2 hours). It’s something we always watch for and sometimes worry about. United Airlines Hawaii flight 1219 was nearing that half way point to Kauai, when the plane turned back.
The 20 year old Boeing 757 aircraft took off from Denver at 11:40am and was due to arrive Kauai at 4:37pm. After turning around, it instead landed in San Francisco at 6:28pm. The flight resumed at 8:55pm and finally arrived Monday morning at 12:37am. It isn’t clear whether the plane was serviced or replaced.
Statement from United Airlines.
A spokesperson from United Airlines said: “I am very sorry that our lavatories had reached capacity while Flight 1219 was en route to Lihue…. A decision was made to turn back and land in San Francisco where arrangements were made to change planes…. I can appreciate that this experience was disappointing and unpleasant…. We regret the unexpected delay and inconvenience this caused you…. Your satisfaction is important to us so I hope you will accept our offer of apology…. We welcome the opportunity to provide better service for you the next time you fly with United.”
The airline offered either a $200 travel voucher or 10,000 bonus points as compensation. Beat of Hawaii’s take – that’s pathetic compensation under these circumstances.
Airline Quality Ratings.
This inexcusable situation caused us to look at just how people are rating airlines these days. While reviews are often not very objective, here’s what we found on checking airlinequality.com reviews.
Hawaiian Airlines 6/10
Alaska Airlines 6/10
Delta Airlines 5/10
United Airlines 3/10
American Airlines 3/10
Next time on United Airlines to Hawaii, you may want to ask on boarding if this issue was checked.
Image courtesy of Flightradar24.