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Minor maintenance turns into overnight delay for Hawaiian Air

Hawaiian Airlines’ Monday night flight departure was rescheduled for yesterday afternoon and the flight left Pago Pago after 1:30 p.m. According to airline spokesman Keoni Wagner, the reschedule was due to in-flight crew rest requirements.

The flight arrived on schedule Monday night from Honolulu and Wagner explained that the departure was initially delayed by a maintenance inspection of minor damage to the plane's exterior caused by contact with the ramp boarding stairs platform.

“This was eventually cleared, but when the aircraft door was closed, a warning light was triggered,” Wagner said via e-mail yesterday morning responding to Samoa News inquiries. “This also turned out to be a minor issue, but before our maintenance crew could complete their inspection and paperwork, our flight attendants ran out of duty time.” (By federal regulations, crews must rest a certain number of hours for the time they are in the air.)

He said the flight was then rescheduled for departure at 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

Samoa News received a report that passengers remained on the aircraft, which was on the tarmac, for at least two hours, until they were allowed to deplane once the flight had been rescheduled for the new departure time. 

Asked for comments on this issue, Wagner said, “Passengers were onboard for three hours during the inspections, because deplaning and re-boarding would have lengthened the initial delay.” He also noted that “Passengers were fed after two hours onboard.”

“As a token of our regret for the inconvenience, we are offering all passengers a travel credit of $300,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian, the nation’s 12th largest carrier, announced yesterday in a news release that it carried 9,484,204 passengers in 2012, the most in the company's history. This is an increase of close to 10% of the number of passengers flown by the airline in 2011. Hawaiian Air has also consistently placed among the top U.S. carriers for on-time performance.