Hundreds of passengers on United Airlines flight 1670 are happy to have made it to Hawaii safely, after spending long hours waiting to get on a plane.
Moiliili resident, Sara Iwai was on that flight.
She stopped in San Francisco on her way back from Las Vegas just moments before the Asiana Airlines plane crashed.
“Right after our plane landed we think that other jet crashed because they put us in a holding area. And then we could see from the window the white smoke and then after that it got to be real dark gray,” Iwai said.
Her flight was supposed to leave for Hawaii at 1:28 Saturday afternoon, but didn’t leave San Francisco til 10 p.m.
She waited about nine hours in the airport.
‘We thought we were going to be there overnight because they didn’t know whether the planes were going to fly or not,” Iwai said.
Iwai wasn’t alone. Amy Gernstein arrived at San Francisco airport a half hour before the crash happened.
“All the people around me we were all trying to figure out what happened because we saw this giant dark smoke and then lighter smoke saw lots of emergency vehicles going by,” Gernstein said.
She says even though she was miles away from the crash scene, she had a hard time getting information about it.
Then, her flight was cancelled.
“Chaos actually tons of people in line and i waited in line and on the phone for an hour and a half just to try to get through to rebook,” Gernstein said.
She ended up waiting 11 hours to get on another flight.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen then I was put on this flight which I’m relieved that I got here so I’m really happy to be here,” Gernstein said.
Meanwhile, Valentina and Andrea Vacarro waited at Honolulu airport wondering if their co-worker and his wife were ever going to arrive.
Both Valentina and Vacarro work for Ansaldo, the company contracted to build Oahu’s rail transit system.
Their co-worker was coming from Italy to work in Honolulu for the week.
“It was crazy what happened it was supposed to get here at 6:30 p.m. but it got delayed,” Waikiki resident Vacarro said.
They eventually arrived and the weary travelers were greeted with hugs and lei.
In all, because of the time change and delays, it took them nearly two days to get to Hawaii.
“We are really very tired we stayed six hours on the plane,” United Airlines delayed passenger Mimmo Lanciotto said.
Airport officials say two flights between San Francisco and Honolulu were cancelled Sunday and, six more were delayed.