You know that feeling when you start your vacation and you just really, really want to get to your destination? Try to imagine, then, how passengers on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 33 felt Friday, when their plane from Los Angeles International Airport, bound for Maui, took off a total of three separate times—and each time turned around and went back to LAX. CNN notes that "aloha" means both "goodbye" and "hello," which seems appropriate to describe the experience of 207 passengers on the flight bound for Kahului Airport, with all three returns to Los Angeles due to three separate mechanical issues, an airline rep says.
After the third turnaround, the flight was finally canceled. The airline explains that, because of the over-ocean distance between the two airports, the flight is considered an "extended-range operation" (ETOPS), meaning more rigid safety requirements are in place. "When there is an abnormality on an over-land flight, it can, and often does, continue to its destination," the airline notes. "However, ETOPS flights operate to a more stringent safety standard … [which] is to respond to any indication of abnormalities with an abundance of caution." KITV reports all passengers were set to be rebooked on other flights and given refunds, a $100 credit for future bookings, and hotel and dining vouchers. (The airline recently suffered a sad loss.)