Hilo-Bound Hawaiian Flight Turns Back to Honolulu After Flight Attendant Assaulted
September 23, 2021, 10:54 AM HST
* Updated September 23, 11:02 AM
A Hilo-bound Hawaiian Airlines flight was turned around shortly after departing Honolulu after a passenger reportedly assaulted a flight attendant, airline officials confirmed this morning.
HA152 departed Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 7:30 a.m. According to Hawaiian officials, the passenger, later identified as a 32-year-old man, assaulted one of the flight attendants, who was walking the aisle, in an “unprovoked incident.”
The pilot returned the aircraft to Honolulu. The Public Safety Department’s deputy sheriffs assigned to the airport met with Hawaiian Airlines officials this morning to escort the unruly passenger off the plane. The man is being held on suspicion of third-degree assault.
The flight attendant was evaluated and released from work to rest.
The aircraft again departed Honolulu at 9:09 a.m., with a 10:03 a.m. scheduled arrival in Hilo.
Hawaiʻi US Sen. Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, called the attack on the flight attendant “reprehensible.”
“I’ve been in direct contact with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has assured me that this incident will be fully investigated by the FAA,” Schatz stated. “The assailant must be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of despicable attack.”