Guam – James Hughes had every reason to want to get to Guam in a hurry when United Flight 201 finally took off from Honolulu a few hours late Friday Guam time. Already late for his rehearsal dinner, the groom was scheduled to get married on Saturday.
Even with his bride waiting at his destination, Hughes doesn’t believe the plane carrying him and more than 330 other passengers from Hawaii should have ever left the runway.
“I think they should have give us a new plane from the start,” Hughes told PNC.
After being asleep for a couple of hours in flight, Hughes says he began to feel some turbulence.
“When I woke up there was an announcement from the captain that there was something wrong with the plane,” Hughes recalled explaining that the plane was going to turn around for Honolulu. “(Then the captain said) ‘We don’t have enough time, we have to land now.’”
From seat 37G, Hughes didn’t notice the electrical smell but he says the passengers in the rows ahead of him did. He did feel the plane drop.
“It felt like a rollercoaster ride,” he said. “Only our lives were at stake.”
After a harrowing landing on Midway Atoll, Hughes and the other passengers waited several hours for a new plane to arrive, which took them back to Honolulu.
“We believe that the island saved our lives because it was basically on a matter of countdown electrical failure was potentially a fire hazard,” Hughes shared saying his faith got him through the stressful moment.
The passengers eventually made it to Guam on Saturday night and Hughes was married on Sunday but he says the luggage remains on board their first aircraft on Midway Island.