Passengers on a United Airlines Hawaii flight were surprised but greatly relieved yesterday when they arrived safely back in San Francisco instead of at their destination in Hawaii. That following a mid-Pacific technical problem en route from San Francisco to Kona. This is something we’ve never experienced ourselves, but it certainly had to be scary being over the Pacific with something serious enough to turn around.
Flight 694 was about 90 minutes into the flight when undisclosed mechanical problems resulted in the crew diverting back to San Francisco. Following circling needed to dump fuel, the flight landed safely in San Francisco. Whatever the issue, it was apparently resolved, since the same aircraft is en route to Kona again today.
The 6 year old Boeing 737-900 aircraft originally departed San Francisco at 11:48am and was due to arrive Kona at 1:58pm. After turning around, it instead landed in San Francisco at 2:35pm. The flight resumed on a new aircraft at 5:27pm and arrived Kona at 6:55pm.
Hawaii Mid-Way Point Determines Where Plane Lands.
As you know, a Hawaii flight turnaround for mechanical, medical or other issues, 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, sometimes worry about, but have not had happen personally. Have you?
Statement from United Airlines.
“The aircraft landed safely, and customers deplaned normally. Customers will continue to Kona on an alternative aircraft with a new crew. We are providing customers with compensation and apologize for the inconvenience.”
Kudos to United Airlines for a safe conclusion.
Image courtesy of FlightAware.com