This July my family and 48 of our closest friends (i.e. my soccer team) were taking a 2-week trip to Hawaii to play in two tournaments on Oahu and the Big Island. I was quite looking forward to this trip:
30 July 2003
United Airlines 55
Economy Class 36J
Photo © Tim Samples
We left for LAX at about 9:15 for the 11:50 flight to Honolulu. We arrived to a crowded Monday morning Terminal 7 and a huge line outside the door. We thought we were supposed to go in this line because the TSA had screeners outside the doors into the terminal. After waiting almost a half an hour, our bags our checked and screened by the TSA, who directs my family and I to wait in another check-in queue inside the terminal with people who hadn't checked their bags yet! Ridiculous-from what I can tell the TSA are an unorganized lot, at least over here at LAX. We were finally checked-in at 10:45am. Typical though-our seats were 17H, 17B, 31B, 36J, and 37J. My parents had managed to secure Econ Plus seats and leave the three not-so-little children back in cattle class.
We get in the line for security and get to the front reasonably quickly. My dad sets off the alarm as usual and gets searched, my nail clippers are stolen by the TSA, my mom is pissed off, my genius sister has to remove a pocket knife from her bag. You know-the typical security experience for us. By the time we actually get to the gate, it's 11:10 and boarding is set to begin at 11:15. Of course we're at the farthest gate down-can't see anything, not even the reg. I wanted to look around to spot and take pictures, but no time, unfortunately. Today, we're boarding by groups and our group is called. My dad, as usual, has wandered off somewhere without telling anyone and shows up when almost everyone's in the queue. HOWEVER, we all make it to the airplane eventually and that's what counts, right?
The airplane is the domestic version of the UA 763 of course, and it looks really clean and well kept once on board. The seats are comfortable; the seat pitch is another story, but at least I FINALLY got to fly on an airplane once more. Channel 9, to my disappointment is turned off for this sector. After everyone is seated (everyone being my soccer teammates) the door is buttoned up and the safety video is screened as we push toward 25R for an on-time departure. A short queue, and we rocket into the sky with that sensation of uttermost satisfaction and aviation enthusiast experiences. I took lots of pictures for the trip, but I have no clue how to get them in here and it's too hard to get them accepted into the database, so oh well.
I recline my seat as the FA's (who were pleasant and helpful throughout the flight) start to come around with a snack mix and a beverage. About an hour later (jeez!) we get lunch ( http://www.airlinemeals.net/images/meals/unitedairlines304.jpg ). We first get a plate with salad and some disgusting looking cookie and I think that this is it. But to my satisfaction, we get a choice of chicken or beef. I choose beef and it's delicious as you can gather from my comments, surprisingly. After lunch, the video programming (boring) and the movie Me and Dad begins. I've never even heard of the movie, it hasn't been in theaters recently, I mean-come on, UA! Needless to say the parts I actually cared to watch were terrible. I asked a FA if the captain could possibly turn on channel 9, and he returned to say that it is on. Oh. Well, I tune in and hear jazz. How nice.
The flight was pretty uneventful-I read, slept, played on the laptop, etc. We approached Oahu and I had a fantastic view of Waikiki (where I would be staying) through the clouds and of HNL. Then we made a 180 degree turn and glided down the runway that's not the reef runway . We made a hard landing, and that was it. I was the last pax off the a/c as I took some pics, then I headed for a week of soccer and other fun.
T.R. continued, as replies, below: