I-Team: Hawaiian Airlines efforts to prevent another nightmare of delays
By Kristy Tamashiro,2023-05-16
HONOLULU (KHON2) — From Kauai to Hawaii Island, Hawaiian Airlines flight cancellations and delays caused a travel nightmare for travelers. It’s all due to a third-party internet outage.
For a University of Hawaii at Hilo graduate, the flight impacts caused uncertainty during graduation weekend with her family stranded at Honolulu’s airport for six hours.
“I’m glad they were able to make it to my graduation, but other than that I think Hawaiian Airlines should have a backup plan on things like this” said Tui Puletiuatoa, a Hilo resident. “Especially when there’s special events, people are trying to see their family.”
So were there any backup plans? KHON2 asked Hawaiian Airlines. The company said in a statement:
“We proactively canceled some flights and also deployed larger aircraft on Neighbor Island routes to get passengers to their destinations and reset the operation. As for contingency, in this case both the primary and backup power of our third-party data vendor were affected. We are reviewing the circumstances that led to Friday’s outage, as well as our response, to further minimize the risk of future disruptions and do better for our guests.”
It wasn’t just Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaii Pacific Health and Bank of Hawaii also saw impacts. It was due to expansion work at DRFortress, a third-party internet provider, serving many companies in Hawaii.
So KHON2 asked the question, what are they doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
KHON2 reached out to DRFortress and said that expansion work isn’t expected to be done until June 1. The company said it has implemented safeguards as work continues. It’s working with its third-party vendors to complete full equipment inspection for potential failures and it’s working with all customers to make sure their equipment on their backup power circuits is installed properly.
U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda said it’s critical that another outage like this doesn’t happen.
“When you live on a neighbor island and having represented now our neighbor island communities, you understand what a lifeline it is,” said Rep. Tokuda, (D) Hawaii. “So we’ve really got to make sure that our infrastructure is sound to make sure that people have reliable air transportation to get between our islands. It’s critical.”
Hawaiian Airlines is offering travel credits to impacted guests.