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Help With Hawaii Vacation Planning  
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

Some of you guys might remember this thread from a few months ago...
Age 17 And 34,416 MileagePlus Miles - What To Do? (by AlnessW Jun 19 2012 in Aviation Polls)

As of this moment, I am thinking about redeeming said MileagePlus miles for a trip for myself to Hawaii next summer in celebration of my high school graduation.

So, here are my rules so far:

1. Fly from PDX (though I suppose I could take a look at SEA options) to Hawaii on UA using MileagePlus miles.
2. HNL would be the most likely.
3. Travel only on former UA metal (if possible). That means no 738s, 753s, etc.

Now for the big one...
4. Travel from the west coast to HNL MUST be on a widebody. If I can't take a 763 or 772 to and from HNL, then I'm not interested.

The first problem is that obviously I don't have enough miles for an HNL roundtrip. I am currently 5,584 miles short of a Saver award to HNL. Some ideas for earning miles:

1. Shop at the MileagePlus mall.
2. Go on a mileage run - find a cheap ticket to somewhere just to earn miles. However, in my (brief) searches I have found that such things are either not available or out of my price range.
3. UA says I can "buy up" to the reward by purchasing extra miles. It would cost me about $210 to do so. Would anyone recommend (or not recommend) doing this?

Now we get into lodging. My preference would be an affordable but nice hotel. (Waikiki?) I'll be 18 by then and shouldn't have a problem with booking. Something to keep in mind would be proximity to the airport and other attractions, as I wouldn't be able to rent a car without paying some absurd and through-the-roof "underage fees." I don't have a huge budget but I would like to be comfortable and without worries.

Few other questions...

1. What about tour groups?
2. Who to go with? I can't say that I have a ton of close friends...

I think that covers it all for now... I would greatly appreciate any and all tips, suggestions, or advice.
Thank you!   

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7111 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Thread starter):
Now we get into lodging. My preference would be an affordable but nice hotel. (Waikiki?) I'll be 18 by then and shouldn't have a problem with booking. Something to keep in mind would be proximity to the airport and other attractions, as I wouldn't be able to rent a car without paying some absurd and through-the-roof "underage fees." I don't have a huge budget but I would like to be comfortable and without worries.

Be careful of this one as some hotels in the USA only allow guests older than 21 to check-in. May I suggest looking at the discount hotel booking sites? Anyway, it's too early to look at hotels, I think. The cheapest one I see now is 80$/night for a double room, in the Waikiki neighborhood but not at the beach itself.

Honolulu is decently walkable once you're where you should be so don't worry too much about that, and you don't need a car. I hear they have a decent bus system but I haven't used it.

Airport shuttles will take you to your hotel.

Quoting AlnessW (Thread starter):
2. Go on a mileage run - find a cheap ticket to somewhere just to earn miles. However, in my (brief) searches I have found that such things are either not available or out of my price range.

Yes, this is a good idea. Fly somewhere Southwest flies, but on UA, for example. That will give you a better price. And don't fly to an UA hub, as prices are usually higher that way. Look at transcons: the longer the flight, the better the mileage... and prices don't increase linearly. I haven't looked at prices to anywhere, this is just to get you started.

Quoting AlnessW (Thread starter):
3. UA says I can "buy up" to the reward by purchasing extra miles. It would cost me about $210 to do so. Would anyone recommend (or not recommend) doing this?

It's 225$/6000 miles. Yeah, that sounds OK too, but it's not what I would do.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7082 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
Be careful of this one as some hotels in the USA only allow guests older than 21 to check-in.


I was not aware of this. I am assuming that this mostly applies for hotels with minibars in the rooms?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
May I suggest looking at the discount hotel booking sites? Anyway, it's too early to look at hotels, I think. The cheapest one I see now is 80$/night for a double room, in the Waikiki neighborhood but not at the beach itself.
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
Honolulu is decently walkable once you're where you should be so don't worry too much about that, and you don't need a car. I hear they have a decent bus system but I haven't used it.


All good things to know, thanks.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
Airport shuttles will take you to your hotel.


  

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
Yes, this is a good idea. Fly somewhere Southwest flies, but on UA, for example. That will give you a better price. And don't fly to an UA hub, as prices are usually higher that way. Look at transcons: the longer the flight, the better the mileage... and prices don't increase linearly. I haven't looked at prices to anywhere, this is just to get you started.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into it.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 1):
It's 225$/6000 miles. Yeah, that sounds OK too, but it's not what I would do.


Thank you for your help!


User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7043 times:

Some info that might help. The Ala Moana Hotel is just off Waikiki and right accross the Ala Moana Beach Park ( That is way better then Waikiki Beach in my opion ) and is connected to the Ala Moana Mall, and has a good food court, and cheaper shopping. Is kinda good not getting a car, most Hotels charge up to 25.00 a night to park your car.
The Bus is a Good way to get around the Island if you wanna do your own self tour. Its called "The Bus" if you want to look up rates and service. They have a Stop in front of the Ala Moana Mall, and they do go all around the Island and can get you to a lot of places. Just watch out for certain bad areas that you might want to avoid. Like Nanakuli, Waianae, and Waimanalo. Waimanalo is not too bad, but I would not send a Vistior past Ko Oilina towards Waianae.
When I go back home to Oahu to Visit Family, I'll stay at the Ala Moana Hotel, if I don't stay with them. I get to swim at the Beach in the Morining, before heading out. Its not crowded, and usally has Locals, and the area inside the breakwater is nice and sandy and not rocky like Waikiki. Goggle map Ala Moana Beach park, and take a look. As a Local, its hard to send people to Waikiki. Its Expensive, and Crowded, and I don't think the Beach is that nice, but thats my own humble opion, and I hope this info can help you. Sorry, but I can't help on the FF thing.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7035 times:

Quoting n901wa (Reply 3):
Some info that might help. The Ala Moana Hotel is just off Waikiki and right accross the Ala Moana Beach Park ( That is way better then Waikiki Beach in my opion ) and is connected to the Ala Moana Mall, and has a good food court, and cheaper shopping.


Cool, thanks for the info. I am looking up the Ala Moana Hotel and it looks very nice. You didn't mention that it was "Honolulu's Landmark Hotel!"   

Quoting n901wa (Reply 3):
I hope this info can help you. Sorry, but I can't help on the FF thing.


Not a problem, I appreciate your help!  


User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7019 times:

Hey Wilson,
You know I'd keep track of your plans for this dream trip. Good to see you thinking on plans and how to begin pulling it together.
A couple of specific questions and points in your planning.
1. Do you have dates specifically in mind?
2. If so, and UA has award seat availability for a roundtrip PDX-HNL routing, then absolutely buy those miles and get the flights booked. Award seats to Hawaii are very limited due to high demand. PDX-HNL is routed via SFO on to 777 or 763 equipment so your wide-body wish is fulfilled. SEA routings are also via SFO so if PDX is not available, likely SEA not either. Make sure you understand what the cancellation penalties and re-deposit fees are for the ticket once issued if you subsequently cancel your trip. Scratch the mileage run idea. The need for 5000+ miles is a transcon trip+ and they rarely go these days for $210 so you'll spend more than $210 to fly multi-flights to get those miles.
3. Your feet and use of "The Bus" transit system in HNL will be your mode of transport. Easy to walk with beautiful surroundings. You can still look young, hip and rich with the best of them in Waikiki.
4. The recommendations of n901WA are excellent...Ala Moana Hotel with easy access to the Mall area (for inexpensive food) and easy access to very expensive Waikiki is a winner. As you look at various hotels, prices and locations, consider you'll be getting around only by foot and transit service so you don't want to end up in some obscure location just because the hotel rate was cheap.
5. Start your travel funds budget (after buying the miles if you can get seats) and if you don't have a credit card in your own name, solicit gifts in monetary form to buy VISA or AMEX debit type cards to pay your out-of-pocket expenses like the hotel bill. At this point, plan your trip as if you're traveling alone and how you'd get by money-wise for x number of days and if a friend joins you on down the road they'll know how to make their plans with you.
Make it clear to family and friends you're building a stash for your dream Hawaiian graduation celebration so gifts for a birthday, Christmas and the actual graduation would be welcome to further your trip plans.....namely CASH....or a new bathing suit and flip flops.
6. If you find a reasonably priced hotel like the Ala Moana for your dates, book it using a credit card to hold the reservation, usually with a 1 night charge or to guarantee the booking, and in most cases you can cancel without penalty or change the reservation up to a certain period of time in advance of your arrival date.
7. Honolulu or Hawaii in general is not the type of place to just show up and figure out where to stay cheaply....due to the volumes of visitor's the 50th State enjoys, so at least always have your first night and last night booked and confirmed so you have a place the sleep to get your bearings on arrival, and a place to sleep to not miss your flight home. Hawaii is not like Europe with an abundance of youth hostels and places to "flop" in dorm type rooms so a plan on where you are staying for your trip is an important consideration.....it ranks up there with the flight arrangements to get you there. Be thorough and detailed. You are going to a very tourist-driven, high end vacation destination, and you can't just get off your UA 777 and "figure it out."
8. Food can be both inexpensive and way out of your daily budget. It is not necessary to budget for the $29 beach-side breakfast buffet at Waikiki, an expensive luau evening with pretty girls in grass skirts, or having to consider dining via a dumpster dive either. As pointed out, many inexpensive restaurants are available in or near the Ala Moana Shopping Center for quick bites or nice sit down meals. Some of the best Chinese food I've ever eaten was there at a restaurant called the "Coral Reef" with a huge dinner costing less than $10. Lunch plates were $5. The well known "Smorgie" food places are near Waikiki and offer great low-cost meals.
9. Plan your trip this way. How long can I go for? Can I get that free ticket on UA to get there for those days? How much is the hotel I have to pay for each night? You have to eat....eat out at home for 2 days to see how much you spend and what food you'd settle for - to help estimate a daily budget. Think of going to a grocery and buying some food items......pineapples and mangoes are plentiful and can fill those hunger pangs until you can afford another delicious fast food burger and fries. Cheese and bread, sushi, a piece of fruit, a cookie and a bottle drink is a great beach-side meal easily purchased at a grocery. Don't even consider peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
10. Pick your dates, get your flights, buy your miles and confirm getting there, then find a place to sleep. All the rest comes together. A sandwich and drink on a beach in Hawaii ranks high on the list of life's good things like a morning coffee and donut at Cannon Beach, OR.
It can be exciting and a personal challenge to have a dream and make it happen. You've started the research and you're already on your way with a plan. You gotta' keep us posted on your developments, and not just now but right through to a trip report! Good Luck and Best Wishes...for school and making your dream trip a reality next year.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6988 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
You know I'd keep track of your plans for this dream trip. Good to see you thinking on plans and how to begin pulling it together.

Hi Thomas, great to hear from you again. I always appreciate your advice.
Let me try to answer your questions below.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
1. Do you have dates specifically in mind?

Not specifically. As of this moment, I am thinking about a week in late-June. I could certainly look at July dates but those are not available yet.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
2. If so, and UA has award seat availability for a roundtrip PDX-HNL routing, then absolutely buy those miles and get the flights booked. Award seats to Hawaii are very limited due to high demand.

Good to know. Yes, UA does have award seats available for the (more-or-less arbitrary) dates that I looked at.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
PDX-HNL is routed via SFO on to 777 or 763 equipment so your wide-body wish is fulfilled.

   I was pleased to discover this. My preference would be to connect in LAX but there are no 763s or 772s operating LAX-HNL, plus the schedule does not have as many options (limited PDX-LAX flights) as SFO, so that's out.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
SEA routings are also via SFO so if PDX is not available, likely SEA not either. Make sure you understand what the cancellation penalties and re-deposit fees are for the ticket once issued if you subsequently cancel your trip. Scratch the mileage run idea. The need for 5000+ miles is a transcon trip+ and they rarely go these days for $210 so you'll spend more than $210 to fly multi-flights to get those miles.

All good things to know, thanks. Definitely scratch the mileage run idea.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
3. Your feet and use of "The Bus" transit system in HNL will be your mode of transport. Easy to walk with beautiful surroundings. You can still look young, hip and rich with the best of them in Waikiki.

  Great!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
4. The recommendations of n901WA are excellent...Ala Moana Hotel with easy access to the Mall area (for inexpensive food) and easy access to very expensive Waikiki is a winner.

Like I said earlier, the Ala Moana looks very nice, too! Do you think Waikiki would be out of my price range?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
As you look at various hotels, prices and locations, consider you'll be getting around only by foot and transit service so you don't want to end up in some obscure location just because the hotel rate was cheap.

  

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
5. Start your travel funds budget (after buying the miles if you can get seats) and if you don't have a credit card in your own name, solicit gifts in monetary form to buy VISA or AMEX debit type cards to pay your out-of-pocket expenses like the hotel bill.

Yes, I do have a credit card in my own name which I can use for airline booking, the hotel bill, incidentals, etc.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
At this point, plan your trip as if you're traveling alone and how you'd get by money-wise for x number of days and if a friend joins you on down the road they'll know how to make their plans with you.
Make it clear to family and friends you're building a stash for your dream Hawaiian graduation celebration so gifts for a birthday, Christmas and the actual graduation would be welcome to further your trip plans.....namely CASH....or a new bathing suit and flip flops.

Good plan!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
6. If you find a reasonably priced hotel like the Ala Moana for your dates, book it using a credit card to hold the reservation, usually with a 1 night charge or to guarantee the booking, and in most cases you can cancel without penalty or change the reservation up to a certain period of time in advance of your arrival date.

Cool, so there would be no change fees?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
7. Honolulu or Hawaii in general is not the type of place to just show up and figure out where to stay cheaply....due to the volumes of visitor's the 50th State enjoys, so at least always have your first night and last night booked and confirmed so you have a place the sleep to get your bearings on arrival, and a place to sleep to not miss your flight home.

Absolutely. Anyone who knows me well knows that I plan things very carefully.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Hawaii is not like Europe with an abundance of youth hostels and places to "flop" in dorm type rooms so a plan on where you are staying for your trip is an important consideration.....it ranks up there with the flight arrangements to get you there.

That makes good sense.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Be thorough and detailed.

   You bet I'll have day-to-day plans all figured out by the time I head for the airport!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
You are going to a very tourist-driven, high end vacation destination, and you can't just get off your UA 777 and "figure it out."

No worries, that is definitely not happening!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
8. Food can be both inexpensive and way out of your daily budget. It is not necessary to budget for the $29 beach-side breakfast buffet at Waikiki, an expensive luau evening with pretty girls in grass skirts, or having to consider dining via a dumpster dive either. As pointed out, many inexpensive restaurants are available in or near the Ala Moana Shopping Center for quick bites or nice sit down meals. Some of the best Chinese food I've ever eaten was there at a restaurant called the "Coral Reef" with a huge dinner costing less than $10. Lunch plates were $5. The well known "Smorgie" food places are near Waikiki and offer great low-cost meals.

Nice knowing that there are lots good and cheap options, especially at Ala Moana it seems.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
9. Plan your trip this way. How long can I go for? Can I get that free ticket on UA to get there for those days? How much is the hotel I have to pay for each night?

Sounds like a plan!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Think of going to a grocery and buying some food items......pineapples and mangoes are plentiful and can fill those hunger pangs until you can afford another delicious fast food burger and fries. Cheese and bread, sushi, a piece of fruit, a cookie and a bottle drink is a great beach-side meal easily purchased at a grocery.

And certainly cheaper than the $8 snacks found in some hotel rooms!  
Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
10. Pick your dates, get your flights, buy your miles and confirm getting there, then find a place to sleep. All the rest comes together. A sandwich and drink on a beach in Hawaii ranks high on the list of life's good things like a morning coffee and donut at Cannon Beach, OR.

I hope that it does all go together!

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
It can be exciting and a personal challenge to have a dream and make it happen. You've started the research and you're already on your way with a plan.

  

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
You gotta' keep us posted on your developments, and not just now but right through to a trip report!

You bet I will!  
Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Good Luck and Best Wishes...for school and making your dream trip a reality next year.

Thanks again, Thomas.


User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6981 times:

Hi, Glad I could help   I think you could stay in Waki Waki (Waikiki   ) just watch out where you are booking. Some hotels are Awefull. I would not recomend anything between Ala Wai Blvd and Kuhio Ave. even some on Kuhio Ave are not soo hot. I also noticed the time frame you wanted to go, and that should be ok, but anything after and you might run into Kona Weather time ( Late Aug - Early Oct) it gets real muggy. If you have a retired or active Service member in your Family, you could get the Service rate at the Hale Koa Hotel next to Fort Derussy. That is a Great Hotel. If your going to HNL to party then I would try Waikiki, You might like it   But if your going to kick back and just enjoy HNL. Waikiki might turn you off. Another place to look out for is Zippys. It a Chain Restruant in Hawaii, and is a safe bet, and some are open 24 hours. If you need more help, I'll be glad to answer any questions. I keep a eye on this tread.  

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6867 times:

Wilson,
A couple suggestions/ideas for you to consider.
August and September is considered "off season" off-peak for Hawaii and you may find rates cheaper if you can consider moving your trip next year to this time of the summer. Hotel rates and airline schedules/seats are not loaded this far out so too early to look. Airline schedules are generally published/loaded in systems about 320 days in advance and about the same date range for hotel rates and room availability.
Call around and locate a travel agent who sells GoGo Vacations. There are sometimes "bonus" rates through GoGo that won't be offered on a hotel website. GoGo Vacations is a tour operator that only sells to a Travel Agent. For instance, I was able to price (using my agency GoGo booking engine) the following hotels in HNL for June 10-15, for 1 person....they would allow you to stay at age 18....just to give you some idea of prices for a 2 or 3 Star rated hotel in HNL, near Waikiki:
ALA MOANA HOTEL/ROOM IN KONA TOWER $745.
ASTON WAIKIKI BEACHSIDE $590
ASTON WAIKIKI CIRCLE $775+$10 per day "resort" fee
Nothing wrong with Aston Waikiki Beachside. That is a special "bonus" rate in effect now for early bookings.
The GoGo System would not price any of the Aqua Resorts properties and there are many of them in HNL in the Waikiki Beach area. Take a look at these two websites and pick some dates to get some rate quotes. Look for any packages or rooms with meal options like breakfast which may help with the day-to-day budget although most are offered for 2 or more people traveling. Don't pay tons more for a room that includes breakfast however, and in most cases avoid rooms that offer breakfast and dinner.....much higher rates and you don't want to eat every meal in a hotel restaurant!
Check out - "astonhotels.com" and "aquaresorts.com"
Hope this note will help with some of your early planning,
Thomas
P.S. Certainly my agency here in FL can book your hotel using GoGo as well, but considered you may feel more comfortable dealing with a local agent in your hometown. Apple Vacations may also offer some 2* properties but understand prices are significantly higher from 3 Star on up.



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6830 times:

If you connect in SFO you should schedule a long layover if you are not on the first PDX-SFO flight of the day since flow control can get you and you could be rerouted. Also DEN-HNL could be fun


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6788 times:

Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
I think you could stay in Waki Waki (Waikiki ) just watch out where you are booking. Some hotels are Awefull. I would not recomend anything between Ala Wai Blvd and Kuhio Ave. even some on Kuhio Ave are not soo hot.


How exactly do you mean "awful?" Awful in price, location, amenities...?

Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
I also noticed the time frame you wanted to go, and that should be ok, but anything after and you might run into Kona Weather time ( Late Aug - Early Oct) it gets real muggy.


Good to know.

Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
If you have a retired or active Service member in your Family, you could get the Service rate at the Hale Koa Hotel next to Fort Derussy. That is a Great Hotel.


I do not, sorry.

Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
If your going to HNL to party then I would try Waikiki, You might like it But if your going to kick back and just enjoy HNL. Waikiki might turn you off.


Interesting to know. I will keep that in mind.  
Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
Another place to look out for is Zippys. It a Chain Restruant in Hawaii, and is a safe bet, and some are open 24 hours.


What is their cuisine?

Quoting n901wa (Reply 7):
If you need more help, I'll be glad to answer any questions. I keep a eye on this tread.


Thanks, n901wa! 
Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
August and September is considered "off season" off-peak for Hawaii and you may find rates cheaper if you can consider moving your trip next year to this time of the summer.


That may very well be the case, however n901wa said the weather isn't great that time of year.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
Call around and locate a travel agent who sells GoGo Vacations. There are sometimes "bonus" rates through GoGo that won't be offered on a hotel website. GoGo Vacations is a tour operator that only sells to a Travel Agent. For instance, I was able to price (using my agency GoGo booking engine) the following hotels in HNL for June 10-15, for 1 person....they would allow you to stay at age 18....just to give you some idea of prices for a 2 or 3 Star rated hotel in HNL, near Waikiki:


I will look into that, thank you.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
ASTON WAIKIKI CIRCLE $775+$10 per day "resort" fee


What exactly is a "resort fee," anyways?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
Take a look at these two websites and pick some dates to get some rate quotes. Look for any packages or rooms with meal options like breakfast which may help with the day-to-day budget although most are offered for 2 or more people traveling.


Are there many hotels that offer free breakfast? I know Embassy Suites is the obvious one, but are there others?

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
Don't pay tons more for a room that includes breakfast however, and in most cases avoid rooms that offer breakfast and dinner.....much higher rates and you don't want to eat every meal in a hotel restaurant!


   Exactly. Certainly I'll have some meals at the hotel restaurant, but not all of them.

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 8):
Check out - "astonhotels.com" and "aquaresorts.com"


I will, thanks again!  
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 9):
If you connect in SFO you should schedule a long layover


   Absolutely. I've had problems with short (1 hour or so) layovers in SFO before so I will certainly plan on 2-3 hours or more.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 9):
if you are not on the first PDX-SFO flight of the day since flow control can get you and you could be rerouted.


I am not sure what you mean by "flow control." Do you mean things like ATC delays?

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 9):
Also DEN-HNL could be fun


It would be, however I can't seem to find any itineraries that have a connection in DEN.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6783 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 10):

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 9):
if you are not on the first PDX-SFO flight of the day since flow control can get you and you could be rerouted.


I am not sure what you mean by "flow control." Do you mean things like ATC delays?

Yes ATC delays. The only PDX-SFO flight that is relatively immune from them are the ones departing before 6am, because SFO almost never will issue ATC delays prior to 6am.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6773 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 11):
Yes ATC delays. The only PDX-SFO flight that is relatively immune from them are the ones departing before 6am, because SFO almost never will issue ATC delays prior to 6am.


Good to know, thank you. Here is an itinerary that involves (I think) the first flight of the day to SFO:

UA 511 (A319)
Dep PDX 6:15 AM
Arr SFO 8:00 AM

2 hour 50 minute layover

UA 421 (772)
Dep SFO 10:50 AM
Arr HNL 1:20 PM


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6760 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 12):
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 11):
Yes ATC delays. The only PDX-SFO flight that is relatively immune from them are the ones departing before 6am, because SFO almost never will issue ATC delays prior to 6am.


Good to know, thank you. Here is an itinerary that involves (I think) the first flight of the day to SFO:

UA 511 (A319)
Dep PDX 6:15 AM
Arr SFO 8:00 AM

2 hour 50 minute layover

UA 421 (772)
Dep SFO 10:50 AM
Arr HNL 1:20 PM

One problem you might find, is that the schedules published 10 months ahead is still relatively tentative. Airplane swaps and schedule changes happen. It is also almost guaranteed, that the flights will not depart exactly when they are published to now. There are always adjustments up to about 30-60 days prior. I never kept very good track of the Hawaii flights, so I don’t know how much they change, but be warned that the schedule could change. Keep an eye on your tickets to see if any changes happen. If they switch your flights to different ones, you can usually ask to get it switched back, but if they switch the 777 to a different plane, you’ll be paying a change fee + having to find availability to switch flights. I’d hate to have your grand plans switch from a 777 to a 757 or 737 if your objective is to fly a widebody.

Of course if your objective is to get as far as you can go on a UA widebody, LIM is also only 40,000 miles roundtrip and is guaranteed to be a 767 since they only have one flight there and could even sample Air Canada’s 767 as well.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6757 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 13):
One problem you might find, is that the schedules published 10 months ahead is still relatively tentative. Airplane swaps and schedule changes happen. It is also almost guaranteed, that the flights will not depart exactly when they are published to now. There are always adjustments up to about 30-60 days prior.


I have experienced these problems before. Last fall I booked UA PDX-SFO-BOS for a spring break trip. My itinerary involved an evening A319 flight to SFO connecting to a redeye 752 to BOS. I had a 2-hour layover in SFO. But in early January, UA changed the darn schedule/aircraft so that my PDX-SFO flight was "downgraded" to a CRJ-200. Worse, the flight departed later in the evening, so my 2-hour layover turned into a 1-hour layover.   

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 13):
I never kept very good track of the Hawaii flights, so I don’t know how much they change, but be warned that the schedule could change.


Does anyone know what the Hawaii flight schedule will be like next year? As of right now, UA shows two 772s doing SFO-HNL, along with the usual 752s and 738s.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 13):
Keep an eye on your tickets to see if any changes happen. If they switch your flights to different ones, you can usually ask to get it switched back, but if they switch the 777 to a different plane, you’ll be paying a change fee + having to find availability to switch flights.


Good to know, thanks.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 13):
I’d hate to have your grand plans switch from a 777 to a 757 or 737 if your objective is to fly a widebody.


Me too. If only there was some way to guarantee it...


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6736 times:

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 14):

Does anyone know what the Hawaii flight schedule will be like next year? As of right now, UA shows two 772s doing SFO-HNL, along with the usual 752s and 738s.

No one knows for certain. The best guess is what is published. Less than 5% of seats are sold more than 60 days prior to departure for domestic US routes, so schedule changes up to 30 days don’t actually have that large of an impact.

There’s always a chance that your flight could get switched to a 753. UA has 738s, 752s, 753s, 763s, 764s, & 772s to Hawaii, so it is really hard to predict.

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 14):

Me too. If only there was some way to guarantee it...

Airlines don’t guarantee airplane type. They only guarantee to get you to your destination.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6735 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 15):
No one knows for certain. The best guess is what is published. Less than 5% of seats are sold more than 60 days prior to departure for domestic US routes, so schedule changes up to 30 days don’t actually have that large of an impact.


Interesting statistic. Not exactly good news for me, though.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 15):
There’s always a chance that your flight could get switched to a 753. UA has 738s, 752s, 753s, 763s, 764s, & 772s to Hawaii, so it is really hard to predict.


Well that's not very reassuring. If I wanted to take a narrowbody to Hawaii then I could take a 738 from PDX.   

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 15):
Airlines don’t guarantee airplane type. They only guarantee to get you to your destination.


   Great.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6438 times:

Quoting PI4EVER (Reply 5):
Make sure you understand what the cancellation penalties and re-deposit fees are for the ticket once issued if you subsequently cancel your trip.

Update - I checked UA's cancellation policies and evidently, they charge through-the-roof fees for award ticket cancellations and mileage re-deposits.

I am not quite comfortable booking anything until I have more solid plans.


User currently offlinemauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6432 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting AlnessW (Thread starter):
Now we get into lodging. My preference would be an affordable but nice hotel. (Waikiki?) I'll be 18 by then and shouldn't have a problem with booking. Something to keep in mind would be proximity to the airport and other attractions, as I wouldn't be able to rent a car without paying some absurd and through-the-roof "underage fees." I don't have a huge budget but I would like to be comfortable and without worries.

Few other questions...

1. What about tour groups?
2. Who to go with? I can't say that I have a ton of close friends...



With your own credit card - and having celebrated your 18th birthday, you should be o.k. with the hotel check-in. The worst case scenario might be the requirement of an extra security deposit. (some might insist on that under 21) If this trip was happening while you were still 17 y.o. -- it could be more difficult.

Without a car -- stay on Waikiki so you can walk easily or grab a bus. Check out both the Outrigger Waikiki and the Outrigger Reef Waikiki, they often run really reasonable rates for their "city view" rooms and they are both beach front with nice pools. Also, the Aston chain has several hotels on Waikiki that offer more moderate rates.

We had a recent good experience with Discover Hawaii Tours. On an escorted tour you will meet people from all over the US and world.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6424 times:

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 18):
With your own credit card - and having celebrated your 18th birthday, you should be o.k. with the hotel check-in.

That's what I thought, too, but I hear that might not always be the case. What the legal drinking age has anything to do with hotel rooms, I don't know. Minibars in the rooms?

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 18):
The worst case scenario might be the requirement of an extra security deposit. (some might insist on that under 21)

My preference would be to avoid "underage fees" if at all possible.

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 18):
Without a car -- stay on Waikiki so you can walk easily or grab a bus. Check out both the Outrigger Waikiki and the Outrigger Reef Waikiki, they often run really reasonable rates for their "city view" rooms and they are both beach front with nice pools. Also, the Aston chain has several hotels on Waikiki that offer more moderate rates.

Good to know, thanks!  
Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 18):
We had a recent good experience with Discover Hawaii Tours. On an escorted tour you will meet people from all over the US and world.

I will take a look at those.


User currently offlinemauiman31 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6407 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting AlnessW (Reply 19):
Minibars in the rooms?

Probably the more upscale and expensive hotels/resorts are going to have liqour and snacks for purchase in their guest rooms. Mini-refrigerators are common in Waikiki hotel rooms, but not stocked with amenities other than perhaps some complimentary water.

So, if your on a budget - of your prospective hotel choices a "mini-bar" would probably not be an issue for under 21 check in. A friend of ours who has been a general manager with Starwood chain for years says the main concern with under 21 guests is statistically more reckless behavior, damage to the room/hotel property and associated liabilities.


User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6404 times:

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 20):
Probably the more upscale and expensive hotels/resorts are going to have liqour and snacks for purchase in their guest rooms.

  

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 20):
Mini-refrigerators are common in Waikiki hotel rooms, but not stocked with amenities other than perhaps some complimentary water.

I see. Now it should be noted that I am not specifically looking for such amenities, I am simply looking for an explanation as to why a hotel would only allow 21 and over guests.

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 20):
So, if your on a budget - of your prospective hotel choices a "mini-bar" would probably not be an issue for under 21 check in.

Good to know, thanks.

Quoting mauiman31 (Reply 20):
A friend of ours who has been a general manager with Starwood chain for years says the main concern with under 21 guests is statistically more reckless behavior, damage to the room/hotel property and associated liabilities.

Interesting to know. You'd think that because I have a credit card in my own name, and I'm essentially telling the hotel "I have money and I want to give it to you" that they'd have no problem with me...

Though it does sound like a lot of places are fine with 18 and older.


User currently offlineairportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3447 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6375 times:

I'm about to wrap up a 3 week stay from the Ohana Waikiki Malia (finally moving out of a hotel and into my 1bd/1bth apartment one block away...)

The prices here were great, the hotel is not bad at all, there's PLENTY to do around here, and its a $35 cab ride from the hotel (thats with tip, mind you). Hotel staff is really nice, too. And there is a mini-fridge in my room, which I hadn't even considered when I came here but was very happy to find.

I've also stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel, and I find it nicer to this one but not by a heck of a lot. The mall being next to it is a good attraction too, if you're into that sort of thing.

There's a Marriott Courtyard across the street from the OWM if you want the points.

I'm by no real means a true local yet, but according to my coworkers I am making out better than most who move here so hopefully I can be of some help.



hit it and quit it
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1907 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days ago) and read 6351 times:

I would recommend the Aqua Palms hotel. Across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, walkable to the mall/Wal-Mart/Sams Club and highly rated on TripAdvisor.

"Cruiseshipcrew" has some pics of it on some of His trip reports.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/144038

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/154140



It's not going to the Moon.....It's just going to California
User currently offlineAlnessW From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6324 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
The prices here were great, the hotel is not bad at all, there's PLENTY to do around here

Cool!

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
and its a $35 cab ride from the hotel (thats with tip, mind you).

Do they not have a complimentary airport shuttle? I think that's probably something on my "must have" list...

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
And there is a mini-fridge in my room, which I hadn't even considered when I came here but was very happy to find.

Was it full of $10 snacks, or was it for your own use?  
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
I've also stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel, and I find it nicer to this one but not by a heck of a lot. The mall being next to it is a good attraction too, if you're into that sort of thing.

Good to know, thanks.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
There's a Marriott Courtyard across the street from the OWM if you want the points.

Not necessary, thanks though.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 22):
I'm by no real means a true local yet, but according to my coworkers I am making out better than most who move here so hopefully I can be of some help.

I appreciate it, airportugal310!  
Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 23):
I would recommend the Aqua Palms hotel. Across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, walkable to the mall/Wal-Mart/Sams Club and highly rated on TripAdvisor.

Looks pretty cool!

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 23):
"Cruiseshipcrew" has some pics of it on some of His trip reports.

Thanks for sharing those links.


25 Post contains images mauiman31 : If that's on your "must have list" you're in trouble. Sorry. No hotel/resort on Oahu/Waikiki area has a complimentary shuttle (I stand corrected if s
26 Post contains images AlnessW : Seriously? Then what's this? Sounds pretty steep to me!
27 Post contains images mauiman31 : There are several airport shuttle companies that offer service from HNL to Waikiki area hotels. Shuttle, meaning a van or bus, transporting more than
28 Roseflyer : The primary reason is that often times people in the 18-20 years old bracket will rent a hotel room to have an underage drinking party etc. It involv
29 Post contains images AlnessW : Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I had just wrongly assumed that the hotels provide airport transportation! Yes, for example I just found one tha
30 Post contains links DL_Mech : +1 for Zippys. My wife and I knew we were in the right place when we didn't see any tourists...only locals. Always get the dessert. http://zippys.com
31 AlnessW : Cool, menu looks good too!
32 YXD172 : If you end up going alone, have you considered staying in hostels? Definitely a step down in comfort from most hotels, though not always, but many mo
33 AlnessW : That's certainly an idea, however, there is just something about hostels that does not appeal to me at all. I appreciate your advice, though.
34 Post contains links HNLPointShoot : If you're still looking for a hotel to stay at, I'd recommend booking with either Aqua or Outrigger; both chains will have a few options each for chea
35 AlnessW : Yes, I am considering both of these chains. Good to know! My preference would be to not have to drag my own bags onto a public transit bus. I will ha
36 PI4EVER : Do you have specific dates in mind to go? I'll be happy to check prices using my agency booking engine, but I need date of arrival, and # of nights yo
37 Post contains images AlnessW : Good to know, I was hoping to do a full week (something like June 17-24, as an example) but more recently I was thinking it would have to be shorter,
38 HNLPointShoot : From what I hear, SpeediShuttle is pretty good about being on-time; they also include extra time before you need to be at the airport with each booki
39 PI4EVER : Lowest rates in effect for stays beginning on Monday, June 17 were at the Aqua Waikiki Wave Resort, a block from the beach, for a Superior Room with B
40 Post contains images AlnessW : Good to know, I do happen to like padding my schedules! I am able to do a chain-wide search, however a lot of the cheaper hotels do not look as comfo
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