Blackout halts all air traffic to Maui
By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Will Hoover
Runway lights at Kahului Airport were not working last night, preventing planes from taking off or landing on Maui and stranding many passengers on Christmas Eve, a passenger told The Advertiser.
KITV reported that airport security on Maui said lights were out on runways serving domestic and international flights. Airport officials reached by The Advertiser would not answer questions and said comment would come from a spokesperson, who did not immediately return the newspaper's calls.
Delta Air Lines passenger Larry Hemley of Boston said he, his wife and two children, along with hundreds of other passengers at the airport, were stranded for hours with little word of what was going on. Hemley said his family was on its way to Los Angeles for Christmas.
He said airport officials provided little information about what was going on.
"They were completely blacked out of information," said Hemley. "All it was was that the lights were out on the runway, and they have no clue what's wrong with them. So, they're sitting there telling everybody, 'Well, we'll get back to you.' "
Hemley said there were no flights out after sundown. Airport officials were telling nothing to passengers, he said.
Finally, after he and other passengers complained to Delta and to security officials, he said airport personnel began helping passengers get hotel accommodations and make flight plans for Christmas Day.
Reach Will Hoover at firstname.lastname@example.org.