Note: I was travelling with my high school band to perform in the King Kamehameha parade in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Tuesday, 7 June
Hawaiian Airlines , flight HA11; DC-10-30
We bussed from our high school in Central CA to San Francisco International for what seemed like an endless four hours. I slept fitfully the entire time in anticipation of the coming flight.
We arrived at SFO at about 6:40 in the morning for an early check in at the US Airways counters at the International terminal however, do to the fact that our bus driver had a problem finding the right access road, we ended up going through the airport and back onto 101 to make another entry.
The International Terminal is absolutely amazing, and scores of new access roads had been built since my previous flight out of SFO in August.
We checked in and proceeded to the gate where we waited for our flight. We waited for about an hour before the plane arrived at the gate to be turned around for our departure leg.
The band directors handed out boarding passes, none of which (for the sake of time and efficiency) had the proper name on them. I was assigned seat 40F, near the extreme back of the plane, in the middle.
Before we boarded, it was announced that the audio and visual systems were not functioning, but for the sake of getting the plane in the air on time the system was not fixed. There was no IFE on this flight.
I enjoyed the lavender enteriors and the seat pitch was average. I watched the in-flight safety video as we taxied, and got a kick out of seeing the guy in the life vest pull the cords, causing the vest to inflate around his face spontaneously.
We took off on time, and I was surprised at the length of our take-off roll. We lifted off, the gear were raised and we climbed out over San Francisco and out over the Pacific.
Meal service took place a couple of hours after the flight commenced. I ate a fettucini pasta plate in lieu of a chicken pot pie, which was unavailable by the time the flight attendants reached the back of the cabin. No problem. I didn't want the pot pie anyway.
After the meal service, I managed to negotiate with another member of my group, and ended ended up in 39H, an aisle seat with a decent view of the window.
Decent and approach into HNL was very smooth and very nice. The weather afforded beautiful views of the harbour and the areas outside Honolulu. We glided in and decelerated without the need for reversers.
As we taxied in, I was surprised by the sheer number of heavies at the airport. I saw several JAL 747's, a World Air DC-10, a United 777, and several others. I was able to see the Reso'cha 744 in red lettering.
Sunday, 11 June
Hawaiian Airlines, flight HA12; DC-10-30
We arrived at Honolulu and our bags were inspected for plants and food before check-in. After a yellow sticker was slapped on my bag, we then proceeded to check in at the HA counters in the main terminal.
After check in, we went through two security check points before heading to gate 31 for our departure. As we arrived, I head the announcement that they were boarding all remaining passengers. We then handed in our boarding passes (with the right name) and boarded the aircraft. I managed to switch seats with another member of the band and I got a window seat, 30J right over the wing (to ensure that no monsters are not on the wing).
The bus, containing more band members was even later than ours, so the aircraft was held on the ground to wait for them. The captain came over the intercom and cited the reason for our delay as a late inter-island connecting flight, not a late tour group (nice save).
After about 25 minutes of lagging behind our scheduled departure, we pushed back, taxied and I watched the same video, which I again chuckled at.
We took off on the runway that was constructed out in the harbour. Another long take-off roll and climb to our assigned cruise altitude where drink service commenced. The service, as before included a macadamia nut mix which only had one macadamia nut and many small pretzels.
After that, the flight attendant came on the PA and asked requested that a medical doctor come to the forward cabin. No one knew what the medical emergency was other than those in the forward cabin.
Meal service began and I ordered the pasta again (at the risk of getting the fettucini again). This time, it was a cheese lasagna, which wasn't half bad, considering the alternative was meatloaf (which I had NO desire for). The meal included a salad, a roll, a cookie and crackers. I ate the meal, feeling satisfied after I completed it.
The film that evening was 'Sweet November.' I decided to watch the film, just out of sheer boredom. I found that this movie is one of THE WORST movies I have seen in my entire life and there I was unable to walk out, hehe.
After the film, I drew in my sketch book for a while and then took a nap.
After awaking from my nap, we were 1/2 hour away from San Francisco. The temperature, according to the captain was in the 50's and winds were at 15 miles per hour. Sky conditions were heavily overcast with fog.
We entered the cloud layer as we approached the CA coastline. We made several bank turns and aligned ourselves on an approach. The approach was bumpy, and the pilot had to drop the flaps to full and reduce speed for a United Express Brasalia, who was landing on the parallel runway. We were required to reduce speed to prevent a wake turbulence condition. We set down hard.
As we taxied, the head FA came on and advised us that paramedics would be meeting the aircraft upon arrival at the terminal. We were instructed to remain in the aircraft and not attempt to depart until given the heads up.
After about ten minutes of waiting, we finally exited and we retrieved our luggage at the US Airways baggage claim.
Our band got first place in the competition, by the way.