I graduated last month from UC San Diego, so this time a one way trip from San Diego to Honolulu, on Hawaiian's nonstop 767-300ER flight.
Hawaiian flight 31 SAN-HNL 767-33AER N582HA seat 11A
Arrived at the airport around 6:30am, a bit less than the 3 hours suggested by Hawaiian. I went into Terminal 2 and got in the line to check in which moved rather slowly, as there was only 1 or 2 agents working Hawaiian (last time I flew out, the Northwest agents started handling the HA flight when there was nobody in the NW line, but this time, NW had their own pax to deal with). They had posted a couple of signs that the flight was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers to give up their seats, in exchange for a guaranteed seat on the next day's flight, and a free future roundtrip between the west coast and Hawaii. I didn't take them up on the offer since it would have been more difficult for my parents to pick me up during the week. After giving me my boarding pass, the agent sent me down to the end of the check in counter to a table where selectees had the honor of watching screeners go through their checked bags.
When they were done, they set my bags next to where the agents would enter to go behind the counter, and went onto the next person. While they did briefly speak to me while they were looking through my bags, they didn't say anything when they were done, just going onto the next person. I asked a NW agent between helping other pax if I should bring my bags back to the HA counter or what, she said "no", once my bags had been screened I wasn't supposed to touch them. I was a bit concerned about them being left where they were, as it would be a rather simple matter for someone to either tamper or steal the bags. I was told that they brought bags to them everyday. I tried to communicate that I was concerned about the bags being left unsupervised but she brushed them aside. I had to get going since I needed to return my rental car before going to the gate (the car rental company doesn't open until 7am). I left, figuring if anything went wrong, Hawaiian would likely end up having to deal with it, even though it really was a Federal Government problem (agents that don't see to the security of the bags they're screening...)
Anyway I returned the rental car, then returned to the terminal, ate breakfast, and got in the rather long security line. I didn't time it, but it moved reasonably quickly. The security checkpoint was the usual routine, though nobody seemed to pay any attention to my laptop, which I had pulled out of its case and placed in a tray as I had done before when flying with Hawaiian and United after 9/11.
I went to the gate 22 and waited for boarding to start, which started too late for them to leave on time. Being in row 11, the first row of economy, I was in the last group of passengers to board. All throughout boarding, and before it, they repeated their offer for volunteers to be bumped. As a selectee, after collecting my boarding pass I was sent to the little table where they looked through my carry-on and wanded me. The selectee group before me had three young kids.
Anyway once the formalities were complete I headed to the aircraft, and was probably one of the last people to board thanks to the little detour at the jetway door (wow, that rhymes). The bulkhead divider between first class and economy extended to the floor, so I didn't get the use of the space underneath the (first class) seat in front of me to store any bags. So I grabbed my book out of my laptop case as I found overhead bin space for my carry-ons (laptop case and backpack) and put it in the pocket on the wall, so I wouldn't have to worry about it later.
Ultimately our scheduled 9:15am departure flight pushed back at 9:33am, and headed for runway 27. The safety demonstration was done by the flight attendants, so I'm guessing that the 767 safety video hasn't been done (one way to save money after 9/11 I guess). After takeoff, drinks and snacks were served. The macadamia nuts and pretzels were gone, replaced by the same ranch snack mix with almonds that United was serving in November. The inflight videomagazine, Hawaiian Skies, was hosted by Paula Akana, one of the news anchors at KITV, Honolulu's ABC affiliate. The meal was a choice of barbecue chicken or pasta with a cheese sauce; I selected the latter. It wasn't too bad, and was accompanied by a salad, roll, and vanilla pudding.
Towards the end of our flight, we had a couple minutes of rather severe turbulence, but other than that the flight was pretty smooth. We touched down at HNL on runway 26L (westbound on the reef runway) exactly on time at 1:05pm. While holding short of 26R, the flight attendants reminded pax to remain seated as we were not yet at the gate (the usual landing on 8R means a quick taxi to the gate, so passengers who didn't really know where we were might have been surprised by the long taxi). During the taxi I noticed several spots that would be great for spotting and photography, but they're all within Hickam Air Force Base (which shares the runways with HNL). Eventually we pulled up to gate 32 at the Ewa Concourse, and we were able to disembark. As usual, the baggage claim carousels didn't say which one flight 31 was coming in on, but experience told me it would be B1, and after waiting a few minutes an announcement was made that flight 31 bags were indeed coming in on B1, and they did. It seems that Hawaiian has finally figured out how to unload a 767, as it took much less time for the bags to arrive than it did the last time I flew in December/January. Despite the neglect in SAN, both of my checked bags arrived without problems.
This flight made it so that I have now been on all three aircraft of Hawaiian's original 767 order. The fourth, and the first of the four ex-LTU aircraft, is entering service now on the Maui-Seattle route. Interesting trivia, once the DC-10s are all gone, these four ex-LTU 767s will be by far the oldest planes in Hawaiian's fleet, as all of the 717s and the other 12 767s are/will be brand new aircraft when delivered to HA (assuming that future orders don't bring in additional used aircraft).
- Don't buy one way tickets, as another list member indicated, it's a good way to become a selectee.
- Spring break would be a good time for Hawaiian to fly extra sections to SAN.
- Federalizing the security screeners has not made things any better, at least not in San Diego Terminal 2.
SAN = San Diego, California
HNL = Honolulu, Hawaii
HA = Hawaiian Airlines
NW = Northwest Airlines