Another Day Another United Airlines Hawaii Diversion

Yet Another United Airlines Hawaii Diversion Today

Thanks to a tip from reader Darin, we learned that United Airlines flight 643 from Kona to SFO diverted today to HNL. We’re waiting to learn more about the exact cause of the problem as details start to emerge.

Another United Airlines Hawaii diversion was just reported: Triple Whammy! Three United Airlines Hawaii Diversions this Week.

Today’s diversion only got a relatively short distance from Hawaii when it turned abruptly, returning this time to Honolulu. The same aircraft then departed Honolulu. The original flight departed Kona at 1:22 PM and returned to Honolulu just two hours and twenty-one minutes later, at 3:43 PM. But due to unknown circumstances, the flight didn’t arrive at the gate until 5:07 PM. Once the cause of today’s diversion was rectified, the same aircraft was originally to depart Honolulu at 5:00 PM, with an estimated arrival in San Francisco early on Friday morning, Pacific time. That, however, did not happen. The flight did not leave Honolulu and appeared to be subsequently canceled entirely.

The aircraft involved is another Boeing 757-300, Registration N7581. That’s the same variant that was involved in last week’s mechanical diversion. On May 24, another United Boeing 757-300, performing Flight 2380 from San Francisco to Honolulu, diverted with 223 passengers and 7 crew onboard. In that instance, the FAA reported only that the plane suffered from rudder (control) issues. After about a five-hour delay, passengers arrived in Honolulu on another aircraft.

Two days ago, we reported on yet another previously unreported United Airlines Hawaii diversion. In that instance, the problem was related to an engine issue in which one of the two engines was shut down. This took place on United Flight 348 on Saturday, May 20. That plane was a Boeing 789 Dreamliner bound from Maui to Chicago, which diverted to San Francisco instead.

And rounding out the past two weeks of Hawaii flight diversions, on May 15, we reported an over-water diversion involving a Southwest Hawaii flight with a shattered windshield. That flight was from Honolulu to San Diego.

Why Hawaii Flight Diversions are so noteworthy.

Flights to Hawaii are unique since they are some of the world’s longest-distance overwater flights without a diversion point. Over 2,500 miles separate Hawaii from the US mainland. In a diversion, a flight can be up to three hours away from the closest diversion airport. Thus with Hawaii flights, safety and diversions take on additional significance when compared with overland flights. Read Hawaii Has the World’s Longest Over-Water Flights.


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10 thoughts on “Yet Another United Airlines Hawaii Diversion Today”

  1. Apparently today TWO flights from Kona to San Jose—Alaska 856 and Southwest 1357–diverted to Honolulu. No explanation why. I have a flight home on this route in a few days, so I’m curious why two separate flights on the same route would need to divert.

  2. My flight on United from LAX to HNL was turned around on the runway for a fuel pump failure. Was repaired and we took off about 2 and a half hours behind. Rather safe than sorry but its concerning to hear.

  3. Diversions are preferred over a forced landing in thr ocean. Better to arrive alive, even if it not the planned destination.

  4. I was on this flight from KOA to SFO on Friday. There was a loud pop sound in midair. Sometime later the captain came on a said the left hydraulic stabilizer broke and we were turning around. The plane had to turn around very slowly as they were not able to bank the plane as normal. Once on the ground we had to wait for the fire dept to come out and check the plane for Hydraulic fluid before we could get a tow back to the gate. I was happy to land safely, and I understand mechanical failures can happen, However, United has been awful to deal with in the aftermath!

    1. Wow. How is this happening so frequently. These flights need more attention by the media to put the airlines in their place.

  5. Hi BOH,

    Thought I’d put on your radar yet *another* United HAWAII diversion today. This time, UA384 from DEN to HNL left DEN circled and landed 45 minutes later. 10 hours later, FlightAware shows it still hasn’t left DEN. United seemingly puts their oldest 777-200s on this route so mechanical delays seem more likely.


  6. On May 24, my wife and I were on United flight 643 from Kona to SFO and had to come back to the gate because of a warning indicator for the fuel pump on the left engine. After a 2 1/2 hr delay, they determined it was a loose wire rather than a bad pump, and the flight did complete successfully (I’m happy to say). Not sure what the tail number was, but would be interested to know if it was involved in another incident.

  7. Was there a mechanical issue on United Flight May 17th from SFO to Honolulu? We were told we were landing in 20 minutes but the plane circled many times and took way longer. We finally landed at least 40 minutes later—and 6 emergency vehicles with their lights on lined the runway-although the landing was fine. It was disturbing to say the least.

  8. I flew this flight and aircraft the day before, it was delayed incoming to Kona as well. They stated aircraft maintenance for the delay outbound to SFO.

  9. Hey, BOH Folks…

    It does seem recently there have been a lot of “in-flight events” that have made flight diversions necessary. I never had a doubt about getting to Hawaii in 4 and 3 engine aircraft. Now with all of the twin engine aircraft having sooo many “diversion” issues over that long stretch of water, one does wonder how far down the clock has ticked.

    BOH is excellent at digging out all sorts of statistical information to bring balance to stories. Maybe a look at the FAA records over the last 10 years at diversion statistics to get a fair picture of how many there have been, what types of aircraft, old vs newer aircraft, etc.

    Are there more or just far more flights that increases probabilities.


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