Date Airline Flight Type Regn Routing Time Miles Remarks
Back 23 Jul 16 DL 611 767-332ER (W) N199DN LAX-HNL 05:17 2556 mi New city pair
23 Jul 16 HA 451 A330-243 N383HA HNL-SYD 08:03 4247 mi Diverted back to HNL Next

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I flew to Sydney, Australia in July 2016 for a week holiday. Originally I was booked on Delta Air Lines round trip PHX-LAX-SYD. First leg of the trip PHX-LAX was delayed so much the Friday night I was unable to get the nonstop Delta 777-200LR flight 41 out of LAX as originally booked. Delta re-booked me on a flight Saturday morning from LAX to HNL connecting to Hawaiian Air #451 A330-200 service nonstop to Sydney.

Rather than risk having the delayed flight out of PHX outright cancelling I decided to rent a car at PHX and drive to LAX so I'd be there in time for the morning departure. I made the overnight trip with no problem, arriving LAX about 3am. Turned in the car, got the shuttle to the terminal and settled in until the morning for our departure to HNL.

Our 767-300 flight to HNL was comfortable as Delta provided me with Comfort Plus seating (which I had paid for on the LAX-SYD-LAX portions of the flight). The flight went well and before long the flight was landing at a rather soggy HNL. I had only a short time before boarding our flight to SYD so I made my way to the gate and boarded. My seat on this flight was not in the Comfort Plus cabin up front as I would have had on our Delta flight out of LAX. I was in row 28 in the middle section of seats. Not the most comfortable arrangement for me but I accepted it.

Below is my photo of N199DN at the gate in HNL after we deplaned and the Flight Aware screenshot.
Below those are N383HA at our departure gate.

N383HA at the departure gate before we boarded.

We departed from the "reef runway" at HNL and soon we were headed southwest towards the land down under. We had a 10-hour flight ahead of us and I enjoyed watching the flight progress on the AVOD monitor in the seatback ahead of me.

Long story short, about 4 hours into the flight the Captain spoke up and said we were returning to Honolulu due to a possible fuel leak. All was most likely well but the captain made a purely cautionary decision to return to Hawaii. We'd already crossed the equator but had not yet made it to the International Date Line. It would be a rather tense four hours before we landed in Honolulu. Several people clapped as we rolled out on the runway and taxied to the gate.

Below is a screenshot of the AVOD display showing the flight turning around as the captain makes the announcement.

A passenger in the window seat snapped this photo for me with my phone during the return to HNL.

Below is the Flight Aware screenshot of our diverted flight.

Below is my photo of N383HA (Translation of Hawaiian name: "The Foster Child of the Moon") at the gate in HNL after deplaning.

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