Thousands of passengers were left in the dark on Wednesday, June 12, following a power outage.
It hit Terminal 1 at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
The Hawaiian Electric Company said:
Hawaiian Electric crews were working on equipment when a momentary outage occurred at 9:15 a.m., affecting Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Power was restored at 9:18 a.m., and all affected areas of the airport returned to normal operations except for Terminal 1. We dispatched a trouble crew and worked closely with airport personnel to resolve the problem, and power was restored to Terminal 1 by 10:13 a.m.
Delays held passengers up to an hour just to check-in, and another 20 minutes at security with long lines that stretched around the corner to the end of Terminal 1.
Extra Sheriff’s officers were brought in to help direct disoriented travelers.
“About an hour and a half and the tempers were starting to flare. There were some people that were getting a little upset,” said Robert Meeks, a man traveling to Kansas City.
“It was just creepy,” said traveler Sarah Riggs. “The lights were completely out and with people not knowing what’s going on, it makes for an unusual situation.”
Travelers were generally thankful for the quick and organized work of the employees in Terminal 1 to help calm the anxious atmosphere.
“Yeah it was a little chaotic,” said Maddy Rausch, a woman traveling to Lihue. “Been flying all day, so I’m a little tired but I feel like the crew did a good job of getting people organized.”
The travelers weren’t the only ones affected by this stressful situation.
In fact, an employee had an ambulance called to the scene.
She was stuck in an elevator for over an hour, according to some of her coworkers—the duration of the power outage.
Department of Transportation officials tells KHON2 the employee was a member of Securitas.
The employee was checked out by AMR EMT’s.
As for Hawaiian Airlines staff, they also bolstered their workforce to help with manual operations.
“Being based in Hawaii, having our headquarters just steps away allowed us to bring between 25 to 50 people over to assist our front line employees, as well as make sure all of our guests felt like they were taken care of,” said the Hawaiian Airlines Vice President of Airport Operations Jeff Helfrick.
Hawaiian Airlines apologized for the delays and said that customer compensation would be done on a case by case basis.