For some of us, 2017 cannot jog on fast enough, but for others it was a year of absolute bliss – which they would return to in a heartbeat if possible.
While actual time travel may still be the stuff of sci-fi movies, passengers on Hawaiian Airlines flight HA446 found themselves in an absolutely mind bending scenario today (or do I mean yesterday…).
The plane was originally due to take off from Auckland at 11.55pm, New Year’s Eve, landing at 9.45am (also New Years Eve) in Honolulu, Hawaii. All thanks to the enormous 23-hour time difference between the locations.
However, delays meant the flight didn’t soar into the skies until five minutes after the bells rang in the new year, meaning it landed in Honolulu at 10.16am, 31 December 2017 – the past!
its Dec 31st 201710:23pm in hawaii rn so if i could catch a plane over there rn i could time travel to the past !
— Xavier Adams (@Xavier57Adams) January 1, 2018
The passengers had started their journey in 2018 and ended it in 2017; with plenty of time to prepare for a second New Year’s Eve celebration.
This unusual journey was brought to public attention by transportation reporter Sam Sweeney, who tweeted an image of the flight times with the following comment:
Because of an unexpected delay, Hawaiian Airlines flight 446 took off in 2018 and will land in 2017. #timetravel
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) December 31, 2017
People responded to the strange situation with plenty of Back to the Future gifs, Cher lyrics and some concerns about how closely this event mirrored the plot of Lost.
Luckily the passengers haven’t found themselves trapped in a long, aimless TV series but have instead landed safely in paradise, hopefully now calming their confused brains with a couple of Mai Tais.
@GregBussmann Are Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly on board?
— David Craig (@davidcraigstl) December 31, 2017
That does sound like Lost. Glad I’m not on that flight.
— Greg Bussmann (@GregBussmann) December 31, 2017
As spooky as this occurrence may seem, it isn’t as unusual as you might think.
As one unimpressed Twitter user put it:
That happens every time a plane crosses the current midnight line – think of it as the border between the kingdoms of 2017 and 2018 – in the wrong direction on New Year’s.
In other words, it happens a lot. Still seems to surprise a lot of people every year.
That happens every time a plane crosses the current midnight line – think of it as the border between the kingdoms of 2017 and 2018 – in the wrong direction on New Year’s. In other words, it happens a lot. Still seems to surprise a lot of people every year.
— Anna Wallenstam (@WALLSTAM) December 31, 2017
In fact, it appears people were time travelling all across the globe last night, without the help of a Tardis or a plucky assistant.
Six planes took off from Taipei in 2018, before landing in US and Canadian destinations.
This included three Eva Air flights to Vancouver, Seattle and Los Angeles as well as a China Airlines flight to San Francisco.
And you thought your New Year’s Eve had left you dizzy…
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 31, 2017
The 6 flights from the future (Year 2018) are about to arrive to their destination (Year 2017). pic.twitter.com/h01QPmCDEB
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) January 1, 2018
This sort of time manoeuvring has so many weird implications.
Should these passengers have made two different sets of New Year’s resolutions? Did they need to find another person to awkwardly snog at midnight?
Will they have double helpings of disappointment when they remember New Year’s Eve is actually always kind of a let down and it’s best just to stay in and eat lots of cheese?
Stranger still, having endured two New Year’s Eves, could these passengers now be said to be now in the year 2019? What sort of supernatural insights and powers would this give them?
Schrodingers plane ✈️
— Ariel?Happy New Year (@TXShades123) December 31, 2017
I'd I could turn back time ?
— Meri McClellan (@AllisonMcClell8) December 31, 2017
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.