A flight passes over the pillars of the Qutb Minar temple complex in New Delhi, Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock
Everyone has a crazy New Year’s Eve story to tell, often with some drinks involved. But the passengers of Hawaiian Airlines flight 446 got an even crazier one to tell this New Year 2018, and it didn’t even involve any booze. How crazy is it? Well, it involves time travel caused, strangely enough, by a flight delay. ALSO READ: Festivals and Events in India in January 2018 to Kick off a Year of Travel
Here is the whole story: flight number 446 was set to take off at 11:55pm on December 31, 2017, just five minutes before New Year’s Eve, from Auckland airport in New Zealand. It would then land at 9:45am local time in Honolulu, Hawaii. But a delay in the flight caused the aircraft to actually take off five minutes AFTER midnight in the new year. HA446 eventually landed at 10:16am on December 31, 2017 in Honolulu, effectively traveling back in time to the previous year!
New York City’s ABC7 reporter Sam Sweeney first realized this time travel paradox, putting the flight schedule up on Twitter. His Tweet quickly became viral on the final year of 2017. And while all the passengers certainly have a fun New Year’s Eve story to tell, they weren’t the first and won’t be the last to leap back in time like this. This sort of thing is common. In fact, there was another flight that took off at around 10am, again from Auckland, on the first day of 2018 and reached Papeete, French Polynesia in the evening of December 31, 2017. And another six flights flew out of Taipei, Taiwan in 2018 landed in their destination airports on the wrong side of New Year’s Eve. NOW READ: Public Holidays and Long Weekends in January 2018 to Plan Your Getaways This Month
These ‘time jumps’ are common in long-haul flights. Jet lag is, in fact, a problem caused by crossing too many time zones, causing your body’s biological clock to go a little haywire for some time. If you want to indulge in some time travel yourself, you can plan your next New Year’s Eve trip somewhere in the Pacific islands, where the new year arrives last.