WA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3325 times:
This is my first trip report. I did a search and a similar report to Lihue, Hawaii was posted about a year ago from CaymanCX. I figure it’s time for another.
My trip to Lihue, on the island of Kauai began on a cool February day at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. Getting to Hawaii is easier these days from PHX due to multiple carriers offering both non stop and connecting service. Prior to HP’s 747-200 service to HNL in the early 1990s, PHX had no nonstop Hawaiian service. After HP dropped HNL and got rid of their 747s, it was back to connecting through LAX or SFO to get to Hawaii. Sometime in the late 1990s, TZ began service to both HNL and OGG from PHX. Flights were usually crowded and filled with package travelers. Enter HA and AQ in the early 2000s. AQ served OGG from PHX via SNA on 737-700s. Around the same time, HA began daily service to HNL on 767-300ERs. Today, fledging TZ still flies to both HNL and OGG twice a week (on 757-200/300s) and HA flies daily 767s to HNL. AQ dropped service to PHX in 2004. Having flown to HNL on HP in the early 1990s, TZ in 2000, and UA via LAX in 2003, I was glad to have wide body nonstop service to HNL. My last flight to HNL was on a half-full UA 777-200 from LAX and I won the mid point time game (and a bottle of champagne) by guessing the time at which we were halfway to HNL from LAX. It was fun scribbling out times and airspeeds by hand without a calculator. I got within 4 minutes, but I’ve heard people are now able to come much closer.
February 9, 2005
HA #35 767-300ER
Pushback 11:45am (scheduled)
Our flight looked rather uncrowded an hour prior to boarding. However, this quickly changed at seems common these days. My girlfriend and I boarded to find another couple in our seats. As I stored our luggage in the overhead bins, I politely notified our FA that something was wrong. We subsequently found out that the two in our seats had somehow looked at other boarding passes, or that HA had mistakenly issued the wrong set of boarding passes (the trip home?) and they sat where they though they should sit. I'm not sure what really happened, but the FA got us two seats together across the two aisles on the right side of the plane. HA’s coach 767s are 2-3-2 seating. I was glad to be able to sit together and find overheard storage for our bags as the flight was filling steadily. Other than the last row of the plane, I believe the flight was full. We took off toward the east after being 12th in line on PHX’s departure runway that morning, 7L. PHX has three parallel runways, but can have has minor delays due to it being a hub for HP and SW. The flight was smooth and uneventful. We flew over downtown Los Angeles and out to sea over LAX. Being on the right side of the aircraft, and looking northwest toward Santa Barbara, I did manage to catch a glimpse of a northbound four engine wide body that had likely just taken off from LAX about 11:30am, local time. A picture I took of this came out poorly, so it's not worth posting. The service on HA was attentive and polite. Lunch was typical coach meal service; turkey sandwich or chicken parmesan. Not great, but something. We celebrated with two mini champagnes each. The movie was Friday Night Lights. We declined as well as the personal digi players for $10. These have a selection of movies and TV shows to watch, but were small and appeared not worth it unless traveling alone. Being a 6 hour flight, we occupied our time with crossword puzzles and conversation. Realizing it was early evening in PHX, we toasted our pending arrival in Honolulu as the pilot announced our gradual decent. My only complaint on this flight was the woman behind us who could not stop talking about her personal life to her seat mate.
We came in from the west and made a right turn to line up with runway 8L. Nice landing and on time. Two days in Honolulu, then off to the Garden Isle, Kauai.
HA #193 717-200 “Akepa”
Seat open, but ended up in 26D
We sat at the very back of a fairly new 717-200. Our row had no window and the engine was blocking part of the view from the window seat in front of us, so it was difficult to observe our departure. Plus, it was raining. I believe we taxied out to the reef runway and departed toward the east. The person in the next row noticed my neck craning to see out the window. Now I know not to sit in the back of a 717. After a very short, bumpy flight we landed at LIH in the rain on runway 35. The rain and not being able to observe our over water approach had me nervous, but the pilot put her down nicely. The flight time was an amazingly short 21 minutes in the air. The FA’s had time to toss out pineapple-guava juice and there was mention of beer or wine for $5, but didn’t think anybody had time.
After 5 glorious days in Kauai, we headed home to Arizona. I managed to get the tail number on the 717 flight
HA #552 717-200 (N477HA)
We had a three hour layover in HNL which was not pleasant. HNL is undergoing some remodeling in the central terminal area. Our gate (30) was in the furthest west overseas concourse, which didn't have much in the way of amenities at that time of night, or at all. After taking the Wiki-wiki shuttle to the central terminal area, we found more shops and restaurants, but even this seemed limited due to the construction. Restrooms were far flung and hard to find. After waiting 15 minutes for the Wiki-wiki, we hoofed it out to our gate. The Wiki-wiki is a good way to travel between the terminals without leaving the secured area, but I think the driver might have cut out early that night as we waited past the 15 minute interval and the system was to close 15 minutes after that. Since it was dark, I didn’t notice much in way of aircraft, other than an AC A340 to SYD and a few CO 767-400s to EWR and IAH or LAX.
HA #36 767-300ER
This flight was completely full and we sat in the last row of the 767. Prior to reserving these seats (H and J) on the right side, we made sure they reclined. I haven’t figured out the lettering of the seats on HA as with 2-3-2 seating, it isn’t ABCDEFG.
The flight was uncomfortable due to it being a “red eye” and full. The service was good though. The FA’s handed out drinks and sandwiches, the movie played, and we tried to sleep. The seats seemed comfortable at first, but 5 hours will change that. Overall, I give HA a good review. The FA’s were always willing to help. I had to decline water or coffee a few times which means they’re doing their job keeping coach flyers happy. Also, all flights were on time or early and we even pushed back prior to scheduled departure a few times.
So there it is. Sorry for the lack of tail numbers and no pictures, but I hope to be more detailed in future reports.
WA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2432 times:
Thank you CaymanCX. HA's flights are pretty crowded these days and those overnight trips back to the mainland can be long in coach. I should post my trip from 4 year ago on TZ. Not a pleasant experience and just read that they're increasing service from PHX to both HNL and OGG.