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CO Mike HNL-GUM Island Hopper [Pics]  
User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2371 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 29723 times:

07SEP2007
Continental Micronesia CMI957
Boeing 737-800W - N26232
Depart HNL: 655am
Arrive GUM: 520pm +1
via MAJ, KWA, KSA, PNI, & TKK

HNL-MAJ – 4 hours 35 minutes

The taxi ride to the airport was fairly quick yet amazingly expensive ($32). I arrived at the airport early so I could have a look around and relax in the Presidents Club for a few minutes. I was told not to check my bag because there is potential for it to be lost due to all the stops.

I checked in at the kiosk at around 445am. Security does not open until 500am, so I stood outside security for awhile. Once it opened I walked down to the gate to see the airplane we would be using for the flight

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1452_small.jpg

I checked out the President's Club. It was okay, nothing spectacular. The woman at the front desk tried to put me on the First Class standby list but as unsuccessful since I was on a reward ticket. I knew CO does not upgrade reward tickets but the flight was oversold on one of the legs so I thought I might have a shot. So I turned on my laptop, surfed the net and waited for the flight.

We pushed out of Gate 14 on time and taxied to the runway. I was seated in 7C (aisle) so I did not get much of a look out the window. As we climbed out the crew briefed us on the flight to Majuro and the inflight movie, Talladega Nights, which was played on my PHX-EWR flight.

Breakfast service was provided. Their was a choice of eggs, hash browns and chorizo or pancakes. I had eggs. The food was okay. Not as salty as the breakfast on my PHX-EWR flight a few days before.

After breakfast, I slept through the flight and awoke as we began to approach Majuro. I deplaned in Majuro 4 and a half hours, and 1 day later. Everyone in seats ABC, rows 5-28 must deplane here for security sweeps. We were on ground for about 45 minutes.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1458_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1459_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1460_small.jpg

MAJ-KWA – 58 minutes

We took off from Majuro bound for Kwajalein. Lots of scattered CB clouds on the way. Oreo cookies and drinks were passed out.

Kwajalein is military base where much of the activity includes ICBM testing. Transit passengers are not allowed to deplane or take photographs while on ground. My seatmate just accepted a job on the island and deplaned so I took over 7A.

I grabbed some shots while we were taxiing out.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1466_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1467_small.jpg

KWA-KSA - 51 minutes

Departure out of KWA was brisk as the B738 was now fairly empty. Lunch was served, turkey breast sandwich, chocolate chip cookies, and fruit were on the tray. 51 minutes with a meal service makes the flight fly by (no pun intended).

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1472_small.jpg

Right after cleanup we began descending.
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1474_small.jpg

The airport here is very small. Seats DEF, rows 5-28 required to deplane in Kosare. I deplaned too and went for a walk around the “terminal.” There was no electricity in the bathroom, however they have a very nice EliteAccess sign and carpet.
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1482_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1486_small.jpg


We were on the ground for only 30 minutes or so which was good because it was very humid. Unfortunately we had an “ATC” delay of about 25 minutes. Apparently the airspace over Kosare is busy, I'm presuming with military activity. As we taxied to the end of the runway, I noticed the fire engines follow us out to the runway. I guess because there really is not chance to abort with such short runways. The main gear lifted off just before the 1000 foot markers.

KSA-PNI – 51 minutes

Nothing major to report about the flight to Phonpei (pronounced Pawn-A-Pay) since it was so short. I deplaned here since again, seats ABC, rows 5-28 had to deplane for another security sweep.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1499_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1505_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1510_small.jpg

We picked up quite a few people here. Mostly Japanese tourists but a few Australians as well. Some of whom would be on my flight to CNS.

PNI-TKK – 58 minutes

After reboard we flew onto Chukk all the while deviating around clouds.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1518_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1520_small.jpg

While airborne a flight attendant came and grabbed the maintenance guy saying the captain had a writeup for Chukk. The view flying in to TKK was goregous.
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1521_small.jpg

We landed and I chose not to deplane here as I was getting tired. Though I could see into the terminal that there were a ton of people getting ready to board. We were completely full out of Chukk.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1529_small.jpg

Once we were done boarding the captain came over the PA and let us know that we had a cabin pressurization issue and Guam dispatch gave us a 30 minute advise on what were were going to do. I was a little nervous because I didn't know what would happen if the canceled the flight. Especially after seeing the airport hotel:

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1526_small.jpg

After sitting on the 100% full aircraft for over an hour in 90 degree heat the captain advised we could only climb to 15,000 feet. Which I knew was not going to cool us off very fast. Luckily I had to move back to my original seat, 7C, since the flight was so full. So at least I had the aisle.

TKK-GUM – 1 hours 35 minutes

A snack service was passed out. We arrived a little over an hour late. Customs was a quick process but they would not stamp my passport. I called the hotel shuttle, (which turned out to be a new Lincoln Town Car  Smile ) for a pickup and headed off to get some grub. I ended up at McDonalds since it was late and I did not want to have a sit down meal.

Hotel:
Westin Resort Guam

I wanted to check out Guam since the idea of flying for an airline on an island excites me, I wanted to see what it might be like to live there.

I initially had trouble with the Internet connection in the first room and had to be switched over to another room. Overall the hotel was really nice and on a beautiful stretch of beach. It was located on a busy street with lots of shopping and hoards of Japanese tourists. The room had the signature Westin Heavenly bed, which was, well, heavenly. Especially after spending 19 hours in a Continental 737 coach seat.

http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1530_small.jpg
http://mattdocampo.com/pics/09-07_australia/HPIM1546_small.jpg

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFutureSDPDcop From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1293 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 29619 times:

Thanks for posting that report. Great report and pics. Be sure to do a report on the rest of your trip.

User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2492 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 29454 times:

Beautiful report - suffice to say, you visited some places that most a/c and pax will never see! Does CO-Mike still use the 764 on those routes? If so, which airports are they able/not able to squeeze into?


777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlineSalvation From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 29433 times:

welcome to Guam and hope you enjoyed your journey on the famous island hopper. the west bound flight (957) will normally start filling up in PNI and TKK as you observed. i've tried both legs all the way through (956/957) and find 957 much easier on the body as you fly with the day, arriving GUM in the early evening. i haven't stayed at Westin in a while and it looks like they've done some nice renovating to the hotel. Pls share your onward flights ex-GUM if available.

User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 29316 times:

Wow, that must be kind of an eerie feeling landing on an island in the middle of the world's biggest ocean! What a great trip report.


The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineBok269 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 2105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 29218 times:

Awesome report and pics. Thats an awesome way to go HNL-GUM.


"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 29000 times:

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
Beautiful report - suffice to say, you visited some places that most a/c and pax will never see! Does CO-Mike still use the 764 on those routes? If so, which airports are they able/not able to squeeze into?

They use the 738 on these routes - definitely not the 764. The runways are just long enough to be able to handle the 738, let alone the 764. Although admittedly, I'm not entirely sure why there were container cargo units next to the a/c in the pic from one of the airports given that the 738 is a narrowbody.


User currently offlineLAXspotter From India, joined Jan 2007, 3650 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 28948 times:

Wow what an interesting report, cool routing.


"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
User currently offlineLX64A332 From Switzerland, joined Aug 2007, 273 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 28918 times:

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
Beautiful report - suffice to say, you visited some places that most a/c and pax will never see! Does CO-Mike still use the 764 on those routes? If so, which airports are they able/not able to squeeze into?

The 738 is already having problems at some airports, like if the runway is wet. The CO micronesia 764 is used on GUM-HNL and GUM-NRT flights.

regards,

LX64A332



SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 28905 times:

I hear that Palau is the nicest island in Micronesia. thanks for the interesting pictures.

User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1435 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 28608 times:

Hey, nice report. I took the Islandhopper from HNL to PNI and back in 2003 and I was giddy with excitement before, during and after. Heck, I think I still am giddy  Smile.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 8):
The 738 is already having problems at some airports, like if the runway is wet.

Yup, especially Kosrae. On my outward bound trip, there were announcements in the terminal at KSA requesting volunteers to take the next flight 2-3 days later. The flight left with about 20 empty seats, but I later learned that they left some paxs behind. On the return, there were no problems, but I heard that the next flight overflew KSA because of rain.


User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2371 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 28596 times:

Quoting FutureSDPDcop (Reply 1):
Thanks for posting that report. Great report and pics. Be sure to do a report on the rest of your trip.

Thanks! The first part of the trip is now up CO/NW PHX-EWR-MSP-HNL.

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 6):
Although admittedly, I'm not entirely sure why there were container cargo units next to the a/c in the pic from one of the airports given that the 738 is a narrowbody.

They used the bins for storing passenger bags and cargo for the departing flight. I thought it was strange as well seeing as that bin is bigger than the cabin.


User currently offlineAloha73G From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2356 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 28557 times:

The woman with the cones in your TKK pic is my best friend's mom. She works for Air Mike on Chuuk. HAHA. I died laughing when I saw her.

Great report! I hope to take that flight someday.

-Aloha!



Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 27796 times:

Excellent pictures, can't wait to hop onto the island hopper next year.

Thanks for posting.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 27789 times:

Great trip report - really enjoyed it. I've always wanted to take this route ever since reading about it in a magazine many years ago.

Does anyone know if it is usually possible to burn onepass miles on this route? When I check on continental.com it usually only offers the non-stop flight from HNL-GUM or a 1 stop flight somewhere in Micronesia but never as far as I can see the island hopper. I have loads of miles to use and see this as an interesting way to get to Australia next year (continuing on the CO flight to CNS).

[Edited 2007-09-21 15:45:53]


Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 27708 times:

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 14):
When I check on continental.com it usually only offers the non-stop flight from HNL-GUM or a 1 stop flight somewhere in Micronesia but never as far as I can see the island hopper

good question.....I'd call and ask for it, or pick the multi destination tab on the reservation page and put in each island to see if it will allow you do hop!



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2371 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 27471 times:

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 14):
Great trip report - really enjoyed it. I've always wanted to take this route ever since reading about it in a magazine many years ago.

Does anyone know if it is usually possible to burn onepass miles on this route? When I check on continental.com it usually only offers the non-stop flight from HNL-GUM or a 1 stop flight somewhere in Micronesia but never as far as I can see the island hopper. I have loads of miles to use and see this as an interesting way to get to Australia next year (continuing on the CO flight to CNS).

Try going to CO.com and departing HNL-CNS on Friday. Should give you the option for the hopper including a 25hr layover in GUM.


User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 27405 times:

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 16):
Try going to CO.com and departing HNL-CNS on Friday. Should give you the option for the hopper including a 25hr layover in GUM.

Hey it works! Even more surprising there are dates with standard availability!! Thanks.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 27379 times:

This is my dream to take this flight one day.......

User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 26686 times:

Nice report I plan on taking the hopper one of these days. One question, were all the passengers disallowed from deplaning while in Kwajalein? The reason I ask is because I have DoD ID card and hopped I'd be able to get off to stretch my legs.

User currently offlineTheGrandVizier From New Zealand, joined Jul 2007, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26667 times:

THe company I work for used to operate a 733 for Palau Micronesia Airlines (ZK-PLU) based out of PTPN. Nice to see some photo's of our old stomping ground.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 45
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 26483 times:

Very nice report and photos! I wonder if Mobil Oil has a monopoly on much of the Pacific island petroleum market... Strange to see both MAJ and KSR with standardized signs sponsored by Mobil.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 2):
Does CO-Mike still use the 764 on those routes?

See below.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 8):
The CO micronesia 764 is used on GUM-HNL and GUM-NRT flights.

Also, before the 737-800 was added to the CO fleet, they used a 727-200 for the Island Hopper. There was a great article on this in one of the airplane hobby publications some six to eight years back. Also one of (probably) Continental's first female pilots wrote about the 722 Island Hopper trip in her autobiography. If I can backtrack the references on these, I will post them.

Historically, the flight also stopped at Johnston Atoll, which like KWA is a U.S. military base. However there's so few people stationed there anymore that it is either no longer served by CO, or it is a demand-only stop (not sure which.)

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 18):
This is my dream to take this flight one day.......

Ditto here, ever since I first read about it.



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 45
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 26479 times:

Quoting Redngold (Reply 21):
Also one of (probably) Continental's first female pilots wrote about the 722 Island Hopper trip in her autobiography.

Novelized based on her own life, Author: Randy Blume, Title: Crazy in the Cockpit



Up, up and away!
User currently offlinePawsleykat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1978 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 26458 times:

Wow... what an interesting trip report... and very well done too...  thumbsup 

That would certainly be a very nice trip to take.. I may look into it one day...

JG  Smile



First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.
User currently offlineSq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 26306 times:

Great report on an awesome trip! I was wondering - is there a crew change at any point between HNL and GUM? I'd imagine that is a LONG day with many sets of take offs and landings for any one set of crew!


Keep Discovering
25 Ex_SQer : I took the IslandHopper between HNL and PNI 4 years ago, and I got to chat with the flight crew while buying tangerines while on transit at Kosrae. N
26 B747forever : Great TR. Really interesting read The pics are really good. Thank you for sharing. B747forever.
27 Davescj : Great TR and awesome pics! Thanks for posting! Dave
28 COERJ : Great Trip Report With all the empty seats it seems like CO wouldn't do too well on this route, yet I know that they charge a fortune for this flight,
29 A340Crew : Customs was a quick process but they would not stamp my passport. Why were you required to clear customs, when traveling HNL-GUM, isnt micronisia US
30 AirAmericaC46 : Great TR! I also took the CO Island hopper last year on the reverse-----eastward----one of my most memorable flights. In Pohnpei, I saw Caroline Islan
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