Spent a couple of days on Maui last week. Since airplanes in Hawaii are like buses everywhere else, I flew.
HNL = Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
OGG = Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Hawaiian HA112 HNL-OGG 0725-0802 717-22A N486HA seat 18A
I had originally booked myself on flight HA136 departing at 0748. My brother dropped me off at Hawaiian's recently re-opened drive-through check-in at HNL, and the agent there offered me a seat on flight 112 so I took it. No reason not to. Went through security where the line moved quickly. The guy checking ID's and boarding passes at the checkpoint addressed me by my name, a nice touch I thought. Went to gate 58 and started boarding the aircraft soon after. Prerecorded "welcome aboard" announcement was played in English and Japanese. Pushed back at 0728, and taxied to runway 8L, intersection G and started our takeoff roll from there, leaving us a bit more than half of the 12,357 foot runway. Plenty for a mostly-full Boeing 717. Choice of coffee or juice (plus the unmentioned option, water) was offered, and I asked for water. Flew past Molokai and we were soon beginning our decent into OGG. Flew in somewhat close to the West Maui Mountains, resulting in a spectacular view. Touchdown on runway 2 at 0753, and taxiied to gate 19. Got off the plane and headed over to pick up my rental car.
Friday, July 19, 2002
Had some spotting time around mid-day. Aircraft seen and photographed include Hawaiian 717 & 767, ATA/Pleasant Holidays 757-300, SunTrips DC-10, Aloha 737-200 & -700, American 757, and United 767 & 777. Also saw but unable to photograph Corporate Air Shorts 330 and Pacific Wings Cessna 402.
Saturday, July 20, 2002
Hawaiian HA171 OGG-HNL 1614-1648 717-22A N478HA seat 9F
Time to fly back home. Originally planned on taking flight HA561 departing at 2042, but as things worked out I had no reason to stay much after lunch, so I went back early, returned the rental car, and got myself on flight HA171 departing at 1614. Went through security with no waiting and headed up to gate 19. The 1532 flight HA539 was in the final stages of boarding but I figured I'd just stay and take the flight my boarding pass was issued for rather than trying to change again... plus my brother needed time to get to the Honolulu airport to pick me up. :P Shot off a few more slides from the terminal while I was waiting: ATA 757-200, Hawaiian 717, Aloha 737-200, and Delta 767-400. The 717 I shot, N478HA pulled into our gate, passengers from HNL got off and boarding started in short order. I settled into 9F, figuring the view from that side would be better, which it was (I heard a flight attendant tell a passenger during the flight as much). Pushed at 1624 and headed to runway 2. No prerecorded announcements on this flight. Took off and headed towards Oahu. Had a great view of Molokai as we passed, I could pick out a few sites I recognized from the many trips I've taken there: The Wavecrest Resort, the main town of Kaunakaikai, and the airport. In-flight beverage selection was the usual afternoon choice: Juice, Budweiser, Coors Light, or again, the unmentioned water which I asked for. Started descending and took the channel approach, flying about perpendicular to the 4L/R runways (so an approximate heading of 310 degrees if I'm figuring this right), before making a right turn and touchdown on runway 8L at 1652. Pulled off the runway at intersection G and taxiied to the interisland ramp. We had to wait a couple of minutes for another 717 to vacate our gate, 57. Pulled in, disembarked and headed curbside to meet my brother.
Conclusion: The 717 is the best short haul plane in the skies. Period. End of discussion.
David / HNL