Hawaiian Airlines Flight 33 from Los Angeles to Maui's Kahului Airport was forced to return to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) several times before ultimately being canceled Friday. After taking off and landing twice, the flight attempted to depart a third time but was forced to return to the gate once again, with more than 200 passengers on board.
After returning for the third time, Hawaiian Airlines canceled the flight. According to the airline, all of the returns were due to separate and unrelated issues.
"We understand our guests' disappointment and deeply regret their travel plans were disrupted," a Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson told CBS News. All 207 passengers on board the flight were given refunds and a $100 credit for a future flight, the airline said. The passengers also received hotel rooms and food vouchers. They were promised other flights to get them to their final destinations.
The airline attributed the incident to FAA regulations regarding extended-range operations. "These flights have more rigorous safety requirements because of the greater distance between suitable airports," the spokesperson 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," the spokesperson continued. "Our aircraft have redundant systems, yet our standard is to respond to any indication of abnormalities with an abundance of caution."