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Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:40 pm


I'm considering a trip to the Big Island this July, leaving on July 3rd (my birthday) and going through the 11th.

I am enrolled in both the Alaska and United mileage plans, but have considerably more miles with UA.

I'm leaning towards UA, which would route me SEA-SFO-KOA, with a 763 going (SFO-KOA) and a 752 coming back. The only downside is the stop in SFO, and UA is about $300 more than Alaska ($670) and even more than Hawaiian. But, I would get to fly on a widebody for one of those flights, and would upgrade to Eco+.

A nonstop of course would be better, and cheaper in this case.

1. What is AS' service like to/from the islands? What would I have to pay for in terms of cabin service?
2. Are the seats comfortable for that 6 hour flight on a 737? How much legroom?
3. What is Hawaiian's service like?

[Edited 2009-01-04 11:51:06]
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:41 pm

I'd definitely go with AS if I were you. I couldn't conceive spending $300 (plus whatever the upgrade to E+ costs) more to take a connection and a longer routing.

AS provides an average experience on their 738 - the legroom is a little better than average but is better than UA's E-. Even if you're planning to upgrade to E+, I'm not sure it's worth it to fly hours out of your way for a few extra inches of legroom.

As far as the miles, I've learned that they're tough to use unless you're an elite member. If this flight alone would make or break your elite status with UA this year, then maybe UA is worth it. But if you have a smaller balance and don't fly much anyways, this trip wouldn't do a lot for you either way.
Topic Author
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RE: Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:27 am

Thanks, RwSea!

The thought of spending 6 hours in a 737 over water doesn't appeal to me (I know the 738 or 739 can easily make it, but I'm an old-school widebody over the water guy), but then 2 hours out of my way in SF makes the day that much longer.

I have just under 25,000 miles with UA, and may be taking a trip to New Mexico with them later this year. I have about 5,000 miles with Alaska/Horizon.

I haven't checked out hotel rooms yet in Kona or Hilo, but I can't imagine they're cheap. UA or AS may have some deals there.

Ever traveled on Hawaiian? I checked their prices, and they were lower yet, though with a connection in HNL first.

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RE: Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:54 am

I haven't flown Hawaiian in about 10 years (on PDX-HNL-PDX on the D10). Standards have changed a lot in 10 years, but HA did have good service and decent food options. I believe that they still provide complimentary meals, whereas AS and UA are both BOB. You won't get any miles though.

If your main objective is a widebody, HA is a good choice although you won't get miles. Since 1/2 your journey on UA would be on a 752, I think HA definitely has the leg up. AS has nicer interiors on their 738 than UA does on their 738, albeit without E+.
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RE: Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:33 am

Here in Anchorage, Hawaiian holds a good reputation. When Alaska bought out their vacation portions, and replaced their thrice weekly 767 service with daily 738 service, we were all very disappointed.

Were it me, I'd probably fly Hawaiian, unless those UA miles are that important to you. But the interisland 717 should be a great ride- I love those planes. And the 763 across the water sure beats a 737 or UA's 752 any day.
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RE: Recommendations For SEA-KOA

Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:59 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 4):
But the interisland 717 should be a great ride-

Sure is a great ride. Hawaiian is excellent but sure wish Aloha was still in the works as well.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.

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