I am a reader of many trip reports today is my first time posting a trip report. I am very sorry it doesnt contain any pictures (I promise my next trip will) hopefully you will enjoy some of the information regarless.
Some background. I was taking a trip to Hawaii from Sydney with my partner, every time I non rev I stress for weeks before hand, I was really keen to try out the grandfatherly B767 that Qantas flies to HNL but everyone I spoke to told me not to. So it was going to be JQ3 to HNL on the A332, then HA from HNL - OGG(maui) - HNL, when looking at flights home both JQ and QF showed ZERO seats available, by this time I had totally forgotten about being able to Non Rev with Hawaiin, my preffered route home would have been via Tokyo, but my partner was not so keen on the idea and he loves (and so do I) the QF A380 so instead we decided on the following routing.
SYD - HNL on JQ, HNL-OGG on HA, OGG-LAX on UA, LAX-SYD on QF.
Flights booked we arrived in Hawaii, had a lovely trip, on our 34 min non rev flight to Maui Hawaiin upgraded us to First on the B717 which was great fun.
when looking at the loads from LAX - SYD, ZERO seats available on the A380 and from an inside source at QF the 747 was load restricted for that night. So we decided to non rev back to HNL and try HA home to Sydney, If we did not get on, we would try for JAL later that afternoon and travel via tokyo as the loads were pretty good.
Firstly I made the booking online via out staff travel website, I also had to list with Hawaiin with a phone call to the call centre, which was a little frustrating as Americans can sometimes have a hard time understanding my Australian accent and everything needed to be confirmed phonetically, anyway tickets booked, listing complete we made out way to Maui Kahului Airport at the ungodly 0530 am to return our hire car and check in for our flight to HNL, All check in is done via kiosks for HA even non rev passengers, the system had a little trouble recognising out details on the outbound trip from HNL so instead of dealing with the Kiosk I went straight to an customer service agent, who despite struggling to find out booking, managed to check us in for flight and also wrote down for us what the check in agent in HNL would have to do to be able to find out ticket number. Seat allocations are given at the gate.
At the gate our names were called before boarding and the agent apologised that first class was fully booked but could offer us exit rows instead. Boarding was a quick and hassle free affair, gate agents inspected every passengers carry on luggage prior to boarding, seats taken, no fuss exit row briefing given and a manual safety demonstration we were off. Quick flying time 34 min, touched down in HNL about 10 min early.
Bags collected we were off to check in for out flight to SYD. Hawaiin airlines completes check in for all flights from one terminal and you then have to walk or catch the WIKI WIKI bus to the international terminal.
Once again we went straight to a customer service agent, who with instructions from the friendly lady in Maui had no trouble finding our booking, Bags were tagged as STANDBY, boarding passes issued and once again seat allocations would be given at the gate. Despite the agent being the most unfriendly person I encountered on our trip he told us not to worry, there are plenty of spare seats and all standby passengers will be travelling today ! PHEW...
We made our way through security which was failry hassle free, and through to the international terminal. I love how the airport is so open, it makes it GREAT for spotting and it was a busy morning with flights to Asia, China Airlines, JAL, Korean, Jetstar, Qantas and all the American airlines as well as HA were on show.
Food choices were very limited in the airport so some bacon and eggs from the food court and off to find the gate lounge, The distances between piers in HNL means a fair walk to our assigned gate 32 this morning, but im no invalid so can always do with the excersise plus like most of us on here I enjoy the goings on at the aiport.
We found our gate lounge and settled in to wait for our names to be called. Parked was a lovely new A332, our trusty stead to Sydney today. Just before boarding a PRIORITY list was posted at the customer service desk, shortly after boarding commenced and pax withough seat allocations were asked to come forward, our names were at the top of the list (which with my seniority NEVER happens at QF) the gate agent once again apologised that first class was full but we will be quite happy with our seat 14 C/D, i noticed another passenger asking for exit row seats and the customer service agent promtly charged him $150 for the two seats.
Boarding was wrapping up by this time so I did not have a chance to look at seat guru and check out our seats. We walked down the Jetbridge and were greatly by two male FAs who directed us to the first row, it was a bulk head row, once we had taken our seats one of the FAs came past and very discreetly told us that it was only the two of us booked in this row so feel free to spread out. The head rests on these rows are placared with "Reserved Seating", which was helpful in detering and would be pre take off seat changers. It seemed like a 75 % load in Economy.
Pre flight procedures were completed, push back spot on time, flight was 10hrs 2 min, so we would be arriving in Sydney well ahead of our scheduled 1950 arrival.
I love take off on an A330, despite being quite everything seems to rattle and shake. Soon enough we were on our way.
After take off, menus, head sets and an amenity kit containing, ear plugs and an eye shade were given out.
I decided to explore the IFE, It was not very user friendly. Being in a bulk head row it was the type that folded down into the arm rest, i noticed the couple in the A/B seats (who paid $150) have the same problem, if you didnt hold the screen while pressing the screen would flop back down the to the floor, a sharp stick would have worked perfectly for pressing the IFE touch screen. Complimentary content was fairly limited to about 5 very average films, all of them being over 5 years old, some good television, and lots of music, with this an my Ipad I was sure I would make it through the flight. At that moment my partner decided to press a button on my IFE screen, the screen stopped and the system froze. I couldnt be bothered asking the crew to reset as I could hear them busy in the galley getting ready for a drinks service. I settled in to watching NEWSROOM.
Shortly after take off the crew came through the cabin with a drinks service. about 2 and a half hours after take off the main meal commenced, todays choice was Teriyaki Chicken and Steamed rice. It was edible but not very good, desert was a banana and pineapple cheesecake. On the reverse trip back up the aisle the crew offered another round of drinks, being a day time flight it was very busy and I could hear the airbus *bing* the whole flight. Also while collecting trays cabin crew offered another round of drinks, the very friendly FA would told us to spread out also asked if we were still hungry and if we would like another meal. I declined. "I understand, *wink* snacks are available anytime in the galley".
After everything calmed down I went to stretch my legs a little, the FA spotted me and pounced. He asked how i enjoyed my vacation, and eventually I told him I was a non revver and we got talking about each others airlines, how he likes the A330, he loves it, and with all the new destinations they are getting better trips. He suggested next time we try and get seats in the little mini cabin of economy the first three rows 11, 12 and 13, just forward of the first economy galley. Anyway, conversation over i asked him to reset my IFE, he also gave me a little bundle of snack and a red wine and told me he would see how i was going shortly. IFE reset, he came back and checked on me and kept topping up my red wine.
I join you again about 6 hours into the flight, smooth flying conditions and the seat belt sign goes on. *bing* *ding dong*
My partner wakes up and looks around and asks what is going on, I tell him it is probably a medical emergency, but if you see the exit lights illuminate you can expect the oxygen masks. Sure enough the crew page for a doctor and an older male passenger is dragged into the FWD economy galley, I hear all sorts of noises, they pull out the Physicans Kit, meanwhile passengers are still asking for drinks, they handled it perfectly. I look at the inflight map and see we are very close to Nadi, and start to mentally prepare myself for the hell that is Fiji. Right then my IFE decides to freeze again and I decide not to bother the crew as they have more urgent things to deal with, and plus i can still see the inflight map. All of a sudden the man in the galley starts making the most unbeleivable sounds with his body, a doctor is assiting the crew and I hear the dreading words from the doctor " I think we might need to land and get this guy to a hospital" I really dont want to end up in Fiji and I try my harded to ESP the main cabin screen to show our posistion on the map, when it shows up we are now closer to Noumea, thats much nicer. They must be able to stabilse the man as we continue on... About 1.5 hours prior to landing a "high tea Hawaiin style" is served. It is a sanwich, with a cookie and chocolate and another 2 drinks runs.
In no time the captain comes on and annouces out imminent descent into Sydney, he also advises us all that due to the sick passenger on board it is an Australian quarantine requirement that we must all remain on board until cleared by Quarantine officers. The cabin is prepared for our landing, landing is lovely on a perfect Sydney evening, we park at our stand and I am very suprised that even though the engines are powered off the crew are not instruced to DISARM the doors. Quarantine officed come on board, they spray the aircraft and the sick man in taken away, and the rest of us are allowed to leave.
Arriving into Sydney at this time is perfect, its not very busy so we clear customs and immigration in about 4 minutes, and since we are standby PAX our bags are loaded last and first off. We are out the front of the terminal and in a Taxi in 15 min.
Wrapping up. I really enjoyed The service on Hawaiin on all of our flights and dealing with call centres and airport staff. Despite having no photos I hope you enjoy the trip report and I welcome your comments and feed back