A Hawaiian Airlines pilot made the decision Monday afternoon to turn around a Las Vegas-bound flight so that an elderly passenger could get medical attention in Honolulu.
Flight HA18 with nonstop service to Las Vegas departed Honolulu at 2:49 p.m. Monday and was a few hours into the flight when a pilot made the call to return the Airbus A330 aircraft to Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alex Da Silva said.
The flight landed without incident in Honolulu at 8:15 p.m. The cabin was cleaned and sanitized after all 267 passengers and 10 crew members deplaned.
“The passenger was evaluated and cleared by airport medical personnel and given the option to rebook travel,” Da Silva said.
The flight departed back to Las Vegas at 10:40 p.m. Monday, he said.
“We apologize to our guests for the inconvenience,” Da Silva said. “Ultimately we always err on the side of caution. If you have an elderly passenger who is coughing repeatedly, you want to make sure that gets taken care of before you cross the Pacific.”’
Da Silva said returning flights isn’t something that the airline takes lightly given the inconvenience to passengers and the high cost for the airline.
“Sometimes you just have to make the tough call,” he said.