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Lihue-Honolulu-Sydney On HA  
User currently offlineShipwreck From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 3 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8577 times:

Hello to all,

This is my first post as Ive just become a member just to present my latest trip. I am not affiliated by job to an airport or airline so please forgive my travel lingo as it is amateur at best. But, I do love to travel and my recent trip to Australia was a great experience. Ive been to Sydney 4 times, 3 with Hawaiian and once with Quantas. Im not too sure how to post pictures and therefore I have none. Sorry in advance if its too long.

A week and a half before my trip to Sydney, I took advantage of the "plane wars" airfare battle. I had purchased my HA sydney tickets in late August and just needed a roundtrip between Lihue and Honolulu. Both Hawaiian and Go! were offering $9 one way fares. Since Go! came into the market, its very common seeing air fare drop to $29 and $19. It seems the standard booking is $39 which is still great as pre Go! existence saw fares starting at $79.


HAWAIIAN flight #124 LIH-HNL:
As usual, Hawaiian check in is a breeze for me using their lobby kiosk machine. I checked in at 8:05 am for a 8:30 am flight. 2 Tour bus had just dropped off their customers at the Hawaiian check in and I wanted to beat that rush before the lines grew at TSA. Lihue is a very simple, small, easy, and cute little airport. Its too bad that the TSA has some of the rudest and unfriendly employees stationed here. I always tell visitors jokingly that the Lihue TSA is not a reflection of the people of Kauai. I couldve taken a later flight but anything after 9:00 am were pricing at $ 59 or more as it is peak time for travelers catching their mainland connections in Honolulu. The flight itself was 25 minutes long. There were about 10 seats open. I had a window seat in the 3 row section. The FA on HA interisland flights tend to be younger looking and better groomed than the transpacific flights. Too me, it is always breathtaking for me to see flowers in the FA hair. It just brings a sense of "Islander" feel and representing Hawaii as a tropical destination. You cant really comment on service for a 20 minute flight. I had my complimentary juice and the flight was smooth. Before you know it, you see Pearl Harbor on the right side of our 717 aircraft and a perfect landing.

I had walked from the Interisland terminal to the overseas terminal just to kill some time as I had 1 1/2 hours before checking in. I wondered around to see the Japan flights with United, JAL, and NW had just landed and Jetstar sitting all alone in upper 30 gates. I was tempted to feel If I only had booked with Jetstar, would it be a better experince to Australia?

HAWAIIAN flight # 451 HNL-SYD:
After my previous trips with HA to Sydney, I timed it so I would be in line to check in by 10:30 am for a 12:00pm flight. The lobby is a madhouse as Other HA destinations and interisland are all processing at the same time. There is a lot of confused people and no one to direct the obvious HA passengers to their correct check in line, check bags through agriculture line, and check bags through TSA security. For as much as I travel through HNL, I still prefer to wait in line and people watch for the 'experience". The Sydney check in is in the far corner. This particular line zig zagged out to the curb. and because of my local islander appearance, I did not blend well in complexion with my fellow travelers. The line moved very slowly as I could see only 4 agents on the counter. HA should address a better check in system for its International service as it looked unorganized and unprofesional. The counter agents were not friendly, no smiles, not helpful, and looked tired and unhappy. 2 of the agents had worked a previous Sydney flight of mine and should be yanked from the ticket counter for lack of desire. Austrlians are used to seeing hospitable ticket agents that work in more stressful environments as HAL should be ashamed to staff grumps to showcase an international clientele. As I overheard an agent gossip to another agent that they were sick and tired of AC passengers who had missed the early morning flight or were bumped.

HA does a agreat job with their boarding procedures. An it does differ from location to location. Their goal is to provide on time departure and arrival. On a recent SAN-HNL segent, Y class boarded in no particular order no matter what part of the plane the seat is located. To some it may seem ludicrous and hurried, but I have not encountered any hassle. The boarding process for 451 was again fast and efficient. There were 2 male FA at the door greeting the passengers. They were both helpful. I had seat 40J which was a window seat and near the crew rest area. As you walk in, you immediately see the purple rug and purple seats. and you look up in the video monitors and you can watch HA scenery of Hawaii and the cities it flies to along with soft Hawaiian music in the background. You do feel a sense of Hawaii in the aircraft. The FA wore a checkered style desighn top with slacks. The female FA also wore a purple style simple dress that looked of cheaper material. The crew on this flight was a Senior group. At the customs area in Sydney, when you stack the HA FA along with the SQ, Air Malaysia, and EQ FA together, HA uniforms does hold their own.

There was a problem with one of the rear toilets and thus we were told we would need to deplane as it needs to be addresed. As we all stood, the Captain said it was not a major problem and that we could stay in the plane. We later left the gate at 12:45pm. The plane started to shake vigorously and started to get real loud as we were streaming down the runway to take off. The shaking was so immense and the noise sounded like someone was vacuuming the carpet right next to you. I honestly felt the plane was going to crack in half with the amount of shaking we were experiencing. The entire passengers including crying babies on the plane plane went silent! Everyone was looking at each other as if something was going to happen. I wonder if the toilet problem had something to do with the decompression?

Once airborne, the plane settled down and it was smooth sailing for the next 10 1/2 hours. The 777 interior looked really nice. HA needs to do a better job with maintaining their aircraft. This plane was dirty. There were smudge marks on the walls, on the above cabin bin, and the seat trays had scratches and drawing marks. My tray had crumbs from a previous customer and the forward magazine holders still had plastic wrappers and crumbs.

The drink and snack service went well. Nothing special. When the hot meal was served, All that was left was Beef teriyaki. I usually enjoy all my HA meals, but this has got to be the worst. The bread was hard and cold as stone. What is award winning about this ( Oops, I think they meant FC ). Ooreo cookies for dessert? Come on! During the mid flight snack I was looking forward to the Fudge Brownie. I was disapointed to see the Ben and Jerry ice cream that looked like a malt shake after I got mine. It was still alright though. The snack before landing was a crossiant sandwhich that melted in your mouth ,potatio chips, and a chocolate chip cookie. I wanted to save this for a midnight snack in the hotel but I realized food from the aircraft cannot be taken into the customs area. The frequent water rounds was well appreciated throughout the flight.

MY FINAL COMMENTS ON 451:
I love HA. It is my home carrier and 1st choice to the West Coast if it was not for frequent flier miles. The Service on this flight was average for an Internationa flight. There was no WOW! factor that you would see on ANA, Emirates, or Singapore. The FA had no energy, no spark, no enthusiasm, and no concern to please the All Australian passengers. From what was leaked to me from a HA insider is that the crews goal is to get to bed at the Four Seasons in Sydney ( if their still staying there. I heard this on my second trip with HA ). If that is their motivation and the best that HA expects from their FA, then, Air Canada, Quantas,and Jet Star are better options.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBok269 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 2105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8473 times:

Great report. I recently flew 4 interisland legs on HA and found it a very nice way to fly. Love the 717.


"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
User currently offlineSQ_EK_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8439 times:

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
The FA had no energy, no spark, no enthusiasm, and no concern to please

I have to agree with you there based on my HA experiences. I personally rate AQ cabin crew much higher.



Keep Discovering
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8416 times:

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
Quantas,

Shame on you.....it's Qantas, not Quantas.


User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8316 times:

Wow. Oreo cookies for desert. What a treat. AA also serve these ghastly things from London in their snack box. However I believe they are the top selling cookies in the States. Most US airlines seem to now be serving cookies for desert in Y. AA served cookies back to London.

User currently offlineAlexPorter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8094 times:

Also your flight to Sydney was on a 767-300, not a 777. But good report and descriptive, makes up for not having pictures.

User currently offlineNZA320 From New Zealand, joined May 2007, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7986 times:

Great report, always nice to read about HA flights to Sydney. If you want to know how to post pictures theres a link that you can click called "Posting Help" above and to the right of where you type your post, hope that helps.

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 5):
Also your flight to Sydney was on a 767-300, not a 777

I think that Shipwreck means that the 767 had the 777 overhead bins.



Hovering is for pilots who love to fly but have no place to go.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17051 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6718 times:

Great and interesting TR.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineForeverUnited From United States of America, joined May 2006, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6621 times:

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
As I overheard an agent gossip to another agent that they were sick and tired of AC passengers who had missed the early morning flight or were bumped.

Unfortunately typical of customer service agents at hubs. I generally find I get much better service from contracted agents, or agents in smaller stations. There is understandably more to stress in Honolulu as opposed to Kaua'i, but also a lot more competition. Sounds like HA needs to get a handle on this.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
There was no WOW! factor that you would see on ANA, Emirates, or Singapore.

Unfortunately true for most US carriers. Hawaiian seems to think little difference is required in service between domestic and foreign destinations. Given Hawaiian offers a standard much higher than most other US domestics between Hawai'i and the West Coast, it doesn't hold up to the likes of other international standards. I'd rate it about on par with Air Canada, and a step above Jetstar.

The one little touch that always soothes me on HA is flowers in First Class. If Hawaiian would follow the example of Air Tahiti Nui and hand out blossoms to all passengers, it might make for more of an "experience". Hopefully something is in the works. HA seems to be just as pedestrian as their US brethren on international services.


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2558 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5595 times:

I just found this post, and forgive me if it's been a while since it originated. I am a pilot with Hawaiian, and often fly these SYD flights. Yes, I'm probably biased toward HA being a good airline, but I'll try and keep my comments even-handed.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
I had walked from the Interisland terminal to the overseas terminal just to kill some time as I had 1 1/2 hours before checking in.

You didn't check in for SYD while in LIH? Or can't you check in for international flights there?

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
HA should address a better check in system for its International service as it looked unorganized and unprofesional.

I agree that we must do more there. I have flown with my family before between the mainland and Hawaii, and the check in process is always the roughest, especially in HNL. Unfortunately we are at the mercy of the state (who owns the airport) in terms of space and facilities. We are a growing airline, but the terminal isn't growing with us.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
The counter agents were not friendly, no smiles, not helpful, and looked tired and unhappy. 2 of the agents had worked a previous Sydney flight of mine and should be yanked from the ticket counter for lack of desire. Austrlians are used to seeing hospitable ticket agents that work in more stressful environments as HAL should be ashamed to staff grumps to showcase an international clientele.

We have won many awards for our customer service, and I find it hard to believe that all our CSA's are grumps. I travel on us a LOT (I commute from the mainland to work in HNL), and have found them to be uniformly courteous and pleasant, even when faced with difficult passengers. Yes, the staffing levels have been cut over the years and the CSA's have to work harder and faster, but I haven't seen that affect their overall service levels.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
As I overheard an agent gossip to another agent that they were sick and tired of AC passengers who had missed the early morning flight or were bumped.

You can't stop people from talking about their jobs, but if the CSA's were doing this within earshot of our customers, they should be reprimanded at the least.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
On a recent SAN-HNL segent, Y class boarded in no particular order no matter what part of the plane the seat is located.

I find this a little hard to believe, because in nearly a decade with HA, I have never seen one of our planes boarded in the 'cattle call' method. We always use the 'rear first' method. You just can't do otherwise with 250+ passengers, even if you do have two aisles.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
At the customs area in Sydney, when you stack the HA FA along with the SQ, Air Malaysia, and EQ FA together, HA uniforms does hold their own.

I've always liked our FA's uniforms too.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
The plane started to shake vigorously and started to get real loud as we were streaming down the runway to take off. The shaking was so immense and the noise sounded like someone was vacuuming the carpet right next to you. I honestly felt the plane was going to crack in half with the amount of shaking we were experiencing. The entire passengers including crying babies on the plane plane went silent! Everyone was looking at each other as if something was going to happen. I wonder if the toilet problem had something to do with the decompression?

Decompression??? I'm not sure what you are talking about, but if the flight continued toward SYD there couldn't have been a problem like that. Part of the difference stems from where you sit in the plane. The rear-most seats are considerably louder than the forward ones, mainly from engine noise. The shaking comes from a heavily loaded 767 taking off from runway 8R, which can be a bit bumpy in spots. Going to SYD we are often close to max gross weight, so the takeoff roll will be long and noisy.

Quoting Bok269 (Reply 1):
The 777 interior looked really nice. HA needs to do a better job with maintaining their aircraft. This plane was dirty.

Which was it - really nice, or dirty? Again, the interiors of our newest 767's (with the 777-style interior) always seem clean to me, and much, much cleaner than I've found on UA, CO, or NW (or even my couple flights on QF).

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
There were smudge marks on the walls, on the above cabin bin, and the seat trays had scratches and drawing marks. My tray had crumbs from a previous customer and the forward magazine holders still had plastic wrappers and crumbs.

It is impossible to clean smudge marks off between every flight; that kind of cleaning gets done about once a week during maintenance checks. The trays should have been wiped down, as well as the seat-back pockets cleaned out. Again, I almost never find that kind of problem with the planes I fly or commute on - and I do tell maintenance about it if I find it.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
When the hot meal was served, All that was left was Beef teriyaki. I usually enjoy all my HA meals, but this has got to be the worst.



Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
I was disapointed to see the Ben and Jerry ice cream that looked like a malt shake after I got mine.

Just a piece of advice; if you get a chance to pick your seat, try further forward in the cabin. The noise will be much less, and you'll have a much better choice (and correct temperature) in your food. Unfortunately with such a big cabin, we can't stock enough food to provide everyone with every choice by the end of the service. We often come close, but if for some reason there's a run on a particular meal, it may be gone by the last few rows. We have a couple of HA FA's who post here (Pualani & HALFA), and maybe at some point they'll chime in on how the service works for us.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
The FA had no energy, no spark, no enthusiasm, and no concern to please the All Australian passengers.



Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
From what was leaked to me from a HA insider is that the crews goal is to get to bed at the Four Seasons in Sydney ( if their still staying there. I heard this on my second trip with HA ). If that is their motivation and the best that HA expects from their FA, then, Air Canada, Quantas,and Jet Star are better options.

No, that is not their motivation; HA has some of the best FA's in the business. Once in a while everyone has a bad day, and FA's are no exception. Maybe that is what happened to you, but I've found it much more common that if a passenger is having a bad day to begin with, that attitude is reflected back in everything they see, and colors their perceptions. I can't speak for how you were feeling on that day, but I can say that I know of no FA group that is more highly trained, efficient, and friendly than that of HA. At the end of about 12 hours of duty, yes, we all want to head to the hotel (not the Four Seasons) and get some sleep. But that does not affect how we do our job during the flight.

Quoting ForeverUnited (Reply 8):
Hawaiian seems to think little difference is required in service between domestic and foreign destinations.

No, we do have a good service for domestic, and a better one for international. However given the immensely competitive nature of our business (and our mostly leisure-market route structure) we simply don't have the ability to offer really high-end 1st class service such as SQ or EK. Our first class (business class, really) fares however aren't nearly as astronomical as those others either. It is possible our international service in coach could be improved, but not without a commensurate increase in fares, which then puts us at a disadvantage. To compare apples to apples, compare our service in coach to others on the exact same route; us vs. Qantas or Jetstar. In either case, we come out ahead.


Overall, a nice trip report. It's good to hear about our shortcomings too, because it does give us something higher to aim for. We really do want to put out an excellent, safe product. I hope you find your next trip on us a better experience.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8493 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4248 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Interesting report, we don't get that many longhaul HA TR's.

Quoting Shipwreck (Thread starter):
Its too bad that the TSA has some of the rudest and unfriendly employees stationed here.

- No, it's a job requirement!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
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