Nightmare Hawaiian Airlines Flight Spends 3 Hours Airborne Flying LAX to LAX to… LAX
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Los Angeles (LAX) bound for Maui-Kahului Airport (OGG) departed Los Angeles International Airport two separate times before the airline ultimately canceled the nightmare flight. Hawaiian Airlines flight 33 was originally scheduled to depart LAX at 9:00am, arriving in Maui around 1:05pm. While the flight did depart on time, the flight never made it to its destination. Multiple issues involving separate onboard systems forced the aircraft to return to LAX two separate times, resulting in a nightmarish 12+ hour delay.
Hawaiian Airlines flight 33 operates on a daily basis and, according to Flightradar24, the flight from LAX to Maui has a consistent track record of departing and arriving on time. Unfortunately for the 207 passengers on board flight 33 this past Friday, the flight was anything but punctual.
The flight departed LAX and began its climb out of LA, eventually reaching a cruising altitude of 40,000 feet. A little over a half hour after the flight had departed, the crew informed passengers that the aircraft was experiencing mechanical issues, which meant that the aircraft would have to return to LAX for inspection. Almost 90 minutes after the flight departed, the aircraft arrived back at the gate.
While diversions are one of the worst scenarios any traveler could encounter, occasionally, they are inevitable. In most cases, diversions are handled swiftly and efficiently. In the case of Hawaiian Airlines flight 33, Hawaiian Airlines hoped to resolve the issues reported by the flight crew and eventually use the same aircraft for the flight to Maui later in the day.
After a little more than 5 hours later, Hawaiian Airlines flight 33 took off once again. However, the efforts to diagnose and repair the issues plaguing the 5-year-old Airbus A330-200 were ultimately in vain. Only minutes after the aircraft had departed LAX, the aircraft experienced additional complications with some of its in-flight systems. The aircraft climbed to 8,000 feet, at which point the pilots circled the airport attempting to resolve any issues affecting the flight. However, the aircraft ultimately returned back to LAX for a second time.
Luckily for the 207 passengers on-board Hawaiian Airlines flight 33, the second unsuccessful flight lasted only an hour and fifteen minutes before the aircraft was back on the ground and taxing to the gate. By that time, passengers had been in the air for more than two and a half hours and had traveled a total of nearly 800 miles yet they ended up right where they had started. Overall, passengers had spent almost 12 hours either at LAX or just off the California coast.
Following the second unsuccessful flight, Hawaiian Airlines made the decision to cancel flight 33. Hawaiian Airlines refunded the cost of the flight and provided passengers with a $100 voucher for future travel as well as hotel and meal vouchers. Travelers were eventually accommodated on later flights.
Hawaiian Airlines told CNN that the issues were related to ETOPS operations. ETOPS is an internationally mandated program involving certification of twin-engine aircraft for long-haul operations, often for flights in which an extended period of the flight is over water. ETOPS ensures that twin-engine aircraft can safely operate long-haul flights while minimizing the risks of engine and system failures. Passengers likely weren’t too thrilled with spending 12+ hours at LAX, however, in the unlikely event that the aircraft would have experienced a catastrophic failure, the outcome would have been far worse.
We have reached out to Hawaiian Airlines for a statement on the flight and will update this post with additional information.
(Featured image by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees