More than 200 Hawaiian Airlines passengers aboard Flight 33 said “Aloha” to Los Angeles — and it meant both hello and goodbye.
The plane was headed to Maui’s Kahului Airport from Los Angeles International, but turned back three times, said Alex Da Silva, the airline’s senior manager. Twice, the plane had already taken off.
The third time was not the charm, and Da Silva said the flight was finally canceled.
All of the turn backs were due to separate and unrelated faults with different systems, Da Silva said.
The 207 passengers on board were refunded for the flight and given $100 credit for a future flight. They are also being accommodated on other flights and will be given hotel rooms and meal vouchers.
“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,” Hawaiian Airlines said. “We understand our guests’ disappointment and deeply regret their travel plans were disrupted.”
The airline attributed the caution to the over-sea flight being classified as an extended-range operation (ETOPS).
“These flights have more rigorous safety requirements because of the greater distance between suitable airports,” the airline said. “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.”