For Hawaiian Airlines and a plane full of passengers headed for Maui, the third time was not the charm…
Last Friday, Hawaiian Flight 33 from Los Angeles to Maui took off on-time around 9:00AM. Once in the air, though, a warning light illuminated and the plane returned to Los Angeles. Mechanics had a quick look, repaired the issue, and the plane took off again. Once in the air, though, another warning light came on…and the plane returned to Los Angeles again. Mechanics fixed the issue. The plane pulled back, taxied to the runway, and a third light came on. Returning to the gate for a third time, Hawaiian cancelled the flight.
While Hawaiian would not say what sort of problems the aircraft experienced, Hawaiian did confirm the problems were “separate and unrelated faults with different systems.”
Safety is our top priority, and we apologize for the inconvenience to all our guests who were aboard Flight 33 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Maui’s Kahului Airport today. We understand our guests’ disappointment and deeply regret their travel plans were disrupted.
These flights have more rigorous safety requirements because of the greater distance between suitable airports. When there is an abnormality on an over-land flight it can, and often does, continue to its destination. However ETOPS flights operate to a more stringent safety standard. Our aircraft have redundant systems, yet our standard is to respond to any indication of abnormalities with an abundance of caution.
ETOPS refers to extended-range operation, a classification for aircraft designed to travel over water.
Each passenger received a full refund, $100 voucher, and was alternate transportation to Maui or their finial destination. Some were given hotel and meal vouchers.
Passengers said “Aloha” (hello and goodbye) five times during the ill-fated flight 33. I would have just gone home and deemed it a sign to stay away from Hawaii!