Southwest Boeing 737 returns to Honolulu over windshield

** Update 12/27/20 @ 16:25 UTC – A Southwest Airlines spokesperson shared further information about the incident; details below. **

There was a moment of frustration on Christmas Day for passengers and crew on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 en route to Oakland, California from Honolulu, Hawaii. On December 25, the small body returned to its airport after hearing unusual noises from the direction of the windshield.

Southwest Airlines 737-800
A Southwest Airlines flight had an unexpected incident on Christmas Day, but the carrier handled the situation and sent passengers back on their way. Photo: Getty Images

A fast-paced event

According to The Aviation Herald, the 737s involved had registration number N8328A and performed flight WN-1278. 19 passengers and five crew members were on board when the incident happened.

The plane had a departure time of 14:25 local time. After hearing strange noises, the crew stopped the 14,000-foot climb and returned to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. Thereafter, the aircraft landed safely on runway 08L approximately 25 minutes after taking off earlier.

Honolulu Southwest Route
The short flight took passengers on a scenic tour through the south coast of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Photo:

Dealing with the situation

Suidwes arranged for the replacement of 737-800 to serve the delayed passengers. Subsequently, registration N8307K brought travelers to Oakland with a three-hour delay.

Eventually, the captain decided to return on the first flight to Honolulu so that the strange noises coming from the N8328A’s windshield could be investigated. Workers on the ground, however, found no mechanical problems.

According to, the aircraft arrived at the faculties of Suidwes in December 2012. It contains the manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 38818 and came directly from Boeing’s production site in Renton. It forms part of Southwest’s fleet of 732 737s.

Simple Flying reached out to Southwest Airlines for comment on the incident. A spokesman for the carrier shared further details on what happened.

‘In a great deal of warning, the captain chose to return to the flight in about 20 minutes to allow mechanics to see the multiple windshield in the cockpit where they hear an unusual sound. There were no mechanical problems with the aircraft, and yes, an emergency is always declared to allow any change in the landing site from the original flight plan. We did not report any injuries during the inconvenient landing. “ the spokesman told Simple Flying.

‘Our pilots are going to fly the plane with another plane and take the customers to Oakland about three hours behind the plan tonight. I understand that we wonderful people there ordered in the gates of HNL pizza and help to get these customers through the delay we apologize for. We place nothing higher than their safety. ”

Suidwes Getty
About five decades ago, Southwest Airlines retained a few shots with the Boeing 727. Photo: Getty Images

Slow but safe

This Southwest 737 was not the only aircraft diverted due to an incident during Christmas. An Aviastar Tupolev Tu-204 en route to Moscow, Russia from Leipzig, Germany, was diverted due to a failure of the autopilot.

All in all, there were unfortunately no tragic consequences of these incidents. Although there was no serious problem with the Suidwes plane, any possible danger was averted and the passengers finally left for their destination the same afternoon.

There has recently been an increase in focus in Honolulu for Southwest. Last month, after a delay of nearly seven months, the carrier finally launched its service between San Diego and the Hawaiian capital. The flights were to start in April, but were postponed due to the constraints surrounding the global health crisis. The airline apparently connects Hawaii well with the West Coast of the United States.

What are your thoughts on this Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 returning to Honolulu after a windshield issue? Have you experienced anything similar when you flew over the years? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comments section.