PA101 From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 491 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 7594 times:
After getting to RDM (read trip report here: TXL-AMS-SEA On KL/NW In C (with Pics) (by PA101 Aug 12 2007 in Trip Reports)), my friends and I went onto a long planned trip to Hawaii. First we drove up to Portland to meet with some other friends and spend the night, then we got picked up by the airport shuttle at 10:00am to get to PDX.
Even though we had checked-in online, we still needed our luggage-tags - since we had a connection on to HA to OGG, we couldn´t use the machine, but had an agent print out our tags. Security was - as usual nowadays in the US - pretty lengthy and tight. Once we got to Gate D8, our ac had already arrived (good news). NW 217 is actually routed DTW-MSP-PDX-HNL.
A Delte 752 - still in Song colors - gets ready to fly to ATL
Our Aircraft - N594NW - sitting at gate D8
Boarding started around 12:15pm - as always, some people just LOVE to block off the single aisle for slowly stowing their carry-on and themselves, so it took some to get the ac filled.
Still the old cabin interiors
We finally pushed back around 12:35pm - the Captain informed us that due to strong headwinds, our flight time would be slightly longer and we´d get into HNL at around 3:45pm local time.
LH´s A343 D-AIGF got in late - so LH 469 wouldn´t leave for FRA till 1:50pm
Taxiing to runway 28L, there were a bunch of Horizon Q200s coming in - obviously the midday services to Redmond, Eugene, Pendleton etc. pp. are all scheduled to land around the same times.
Southwest´s 737-700 N443WN takes off as WN 328 to Oakland
We were finally airborne around 12:50pm for our 5h 52m flight to Hawaii.
PDX sits on the south shore of the Columbia River
The Oregon Coast
The flight itself was uneventful - due to American carriers not serving meals on domestic flights anymore (even on the long coast to coast or Hawaii runs) there was just a drink service and the possibility to purchase a sandwich for $5 or nuts for $2 (so called "Smartsnacks" ). At least the inflight movie "Next" was pretty nice to watch (I hadn´t seen it so far) - since I have enough headsets from previous flights, I had no need to purchase new ones. Unfortunately, the aircraft didn´t seem to be equipped with the airshow...
We startet our approach around 3:20pm Hawaii Time, hit the island of Oahu at Kailua on the east side, crossed Honolulu close by the airport (good that I was seated in F ) and circled around for an approach to runway 08L
(the most common used runway for landings).
Hitting the coast of Oahu
Downtown Honolulu with HNL in the background
The beautiful mountains
Zooming in to the terminal, it shows that the afternoons are rather quiet - the morning rushhour to Japan has already left
On downwind to runway 08L - nice view of HNL and the reef-runway 08R/26L
We finally touched down around 3:45pm and taxied to gate 12 - right in between Diamond Head and Central Concourse.
A NW 744 departing runway 08R after we touched down
After deplaning we made our way to the inter-island terminal for our onward flight with HA to OGG.
Flight HA 536
HNL to OGG
Aircraft: B717-200 - N484HA "Oma´o"
Departure Gate/Runway: 56 / 08L
Departure Time (scheduled/actual): 5:22pm/5:25pm
Arrival Time (scheduled/actual): 6:05pm/6:00pm
Arrival Gate/Runway: 17 / 02
Load Factor: approx. 80%
Unfortunately, I´m now running out of space for photo uploads - therefore, I can just give you a little info about this short hop over to Maui.
Boarding went smooth and we left gate 56 at the HNL interisland terminal at around 5:20pm. Taxiing to runway 08L, I was excited to pass the arriving Aloha 732 in the retro funbird livery. If it was up to me, Aloha should change its rather boring livery entirely to the old 70s scheme (and maybe retire the vintage 732s instead ). Most of the time, the interislands flights get to use runway 08L for departures (unless that one is heavily used for landings), since taxing is quite short. The widebodies to the mainland get sent to runway 08R - which takes about an additional 10 minutes taxiing - instead.
After taking off, there is an immediate right turn, to stay off the nearby downtown and Waikiki area. Passing the islands of Molokai and Lanai, the approach will start, turning the aircraft around the West Maui Mountain across the Valley between the Maui mountains.
Our approach was quite bumpy due to strong winds, however, obviously used to that, we touched down really smooth onto OGGs runway 02 and finally taxiied to gate 17.
My overall experience:
NWs service to Hawaii is pretty much average to its competitors (however, I prefer widebodies for longer rides, not the ultra-long 753). That average, though, is quite lousy. Most European charter carriers to the Mediterrean provide more inflight service and serve at least free snacks. Anyhow, flying to Hawaii is just fun for itself and the destination well worth it!
The interisland flights are sure fun. HAs 717s are still pretty new and therefore still goodlooking (I just LOVE those purple seats!) The inflight service consists of a small cup of guava-passion-juice. Not too bad for a 30 minute hop...
I love HA and flew them a few times from PDX to HNL and to PPT, however, this time, their flight times just made it hard: leaving PDX early in the morning and getting back late in the evening would have been challenging for two people of our group that came all the way from BOS (and for us getting to and back from RDM).
But, definitely: if I were to choose freely which carrier to use for flights to Hawaii, I´d definetly go with Hawaiian!!! With you guys, Hawaii starts with boarding!
Do you, by chance, know the flight attendant in the photo below? She was really nice and friendly!
There is just one thing I don´t like about you guys: I can use my German Mastercard in any ABC-store around the islands, but not with HA for making reservations... Pretty weird for an airline!