UAL 777 OOG to SFO 1/24 returned to HNL for more fuel

I read a story in the Honolulu paper about a UAL 777 from PHOG to KSFO last Sunday 1/24 that was 1 1/2 hours into flight when ATC asked them to decend to 10000 to avoid turbulance, the captain then had to return to PHNL for more fuel since he could not make it to SFO at this attitude with the fuel he had. The strange thing is that aircraft that left both HNL and OOG at about the same time all flew at altitudes of 35-37000 , something smells(?) What do you guys think?

Turbulance [sic] forces flight back to Oahu

Maybe 10,000 feet lower? I don’t think ATC can “make” a jet fly at 10000 feet for 2000 miles.

Fishy…veddy, veddy fishy…

Cabin pressure issues perhaps???

Looking at the log, it was turned around at 35,000 feet heading back to Hawaii about 2 hours before decending… Something happened.

Somebody accidently bumped the fuel dump switch when pulling out their laptop?

Just think what the iPad will do for the airline industry!

Atc wouldn’t ask a plane to descend because of turbulence. They can let the pilot know of previous reports of turbulence and offer alternative altitudes. The controller however is just as comfortable in his chair on the ground when a plane has a smooth ride as when it’s bumpy. The decision is completely up to the pilot though, and most of the time initiated by him.