Starting in Honolulu, Flight 811 was helmed by Captain David Cronin (age 59). At the time of the accident, Cronin had logged around 28,000 flight hours, including roughly 1,600 hours in Boeing 747 aircraft. Flight 811 was Cronin's penultimate scheduled flight before his mandatory retirement.
The remaining flight crew consisted of First Officer Gregory Slader (48), and Flight Engineer Randal Thomas (46), and 15 flight attendants. The first officer and flight engineer had logged 14,500 flight hours and 20,000 flight hours, respectively.