Messy dispute forces Oakland-bound flight to return to Honolulu

"All of a sudden I heard loud voices and ice cubes being thrown all over the place," a witness said.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 8:30 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 4:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A messy mid-air dispute turned around a Southwest plane that departed from Honolulu on Tuesday.

Southwest Airlines said Flight 2050, bound for Oakland, was turned around because of the “behavior of customers.”

A man was escorted off the plane after allegedly getting into a physical altercation with another passenger.

The flight was already two hours behind schedule when it left HNL. It arrived back at the Honolulu airport just before 9 p.m. Tuesday night and was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Witnesses said the dispute got messy.

“Something about a seat being pushed back and spilling a drink... or something like that” said passenger Nohad Videau of Concord.

“All of a sudden I heard loud voices and ice cubes being thrown all over the place.”

“The pilot said if you kids don’t stop fighting I’m gonna turn this plane around and go back to Honolulu,” said another passenger Danny Gardner of Oakland.

“I thought he was joking.”

Also happening on the flight — someone suffered a medical emergency on the way back to Honolulu.

Passengers who finally reached Oakland Wednesday evening said they were put up in hotels, given $300 and will get reimbursed for food and rideshare fees.

This comes on top of mass flight delays and cancellations.

As of Wednesday night, there have been 300 delays and about two dozen cancellations in and out of Hawaii’s airport, with the majority having been Southwest flights.

The airline has been struggling with operational problems for the past week and the company pre-emptively canceled another 24-hundred flights nationwide for Thursday.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary called it a meltdown.