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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 2:11 p.m., Sunday, October 15, 2006

United cancels outbound flights

By Wes Nakama and Catherine Toth
Advertiser Staff Writers

United Airlines canceled its outbound flights Sunday at Honolulu International Airport because of the power outage following the morning's earthquake.

A sign posted at the airlines' terminal this afternoon read: "All outbound flights canceled."

All arrivals were canceled except for two flights: United 73 from San Francisco and United 83 from Los Angeles. The flights were scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m.

Justin and Amanda Watkins, 19-year-old newlyweds from Medford, Ore., were expecting to return home on United after a weeklong honeymoon in Hawai'i. Now, they plan to spend the night at the airport.

"We used up all our cash last night," Amanda Watkins said. "All we have is credit cards and debit cards."

The Watkins were playing gin rummy to pass the time. They planned to sleep on the bodyboards they bought during the trip.

Justin's mother, who lives on the Mainland, was trying to get a flight for them on the Internet.

Travel out of Honolulu is very slow, according to local airline officials.

Lines at the Hawaiian Airlines counters and the security checkpoint opened early in the afternoon, but hundreds were lined up, some outside in the sun. Some people in the security and check-in lines stood in the same spot for more than hour.

The lights in the Hawaiian terminal remained out.

Airport workers passed out fans and Hawaiian employees passed out fruit drinks normally served on flights.

Hawaiian Airlines is reporting delays to many of its outbound flights as passengers are stuck at security checkpoints, said airlines spokesperson Keoni Wagner.

No flights on Hawaiian Airlines have been cancelled thus far.

"We've had a lot of delays already, starting with the second wave of interisland flights this morning," he said.

Aloha Airlines had to cancel one flight this morning, but reports that its other flights are still operating, said airlines spokesperson Stu Glauberman.

"There has been some difficulty getting through (airport) security checkpoints because of no power," Glauberman said, "but that should be resolved soon."

Flights heading into Honolulu International Airport shouldn't be affected, Wagner said. But check travelers should check with their airlines for current flight status.

Wagner said the interisland terminal in Honolulu is packed and hot because of no air conditioning.

Some were trying to make the best of the situation. A big cheer went through the Hawaiian terminal when Richard Hoopii and Michael Mina of Maui began to play the ukulele and sing falsetto. They were on O'ahu for the Aloha Festivals falsetto contest.

"This (the music) has made it all worthwhile," said Kandi Everett of Honolulu, who was trying to get a flight to Portland, Ore. "This is like the old days."

To check on your flights, visit your airlines' Web sites or call them directly.

Arrive at least two hours before your flight departure time to avoid any delays at security checkpoints.