Hi everyone. This is going to be a trip report about my recent trip to HNL. Normally I take truckloads of photos on my trips but this one was an exception (and so is my upcoming TR on ORD-MUC-SKG-ATH-YUL-ORD) as a personal problem had left me with very little mood for taking pictures. Nonetheless I will try to convey my experience as well as I can.
This trip was the result of a rather boring summer weekend day at the office, when I thought to myself that I need to do something a bit crazy or out of the ordinary to spice things up a bit. Next thing I knew I had booked a 4-day trip to Hawaii for December. I was meant to fly out of ORD to SEA with AA and from there on to HNL with NWA. The return leg involved SEA on NWA and from there on to ORD on Alaska Airlines.
We flew out of ORD on a MD-82 and, as far as I can remember, it was the longest trip I've ever had on such a plane. The journey to SEA took something short of 4 hours if I recall correctly which can be really boring given the lack of IFE in such an aircraft. I was sitting next to a Chinese businessman who would engage in intense leg exercises every half an hour. He must have been seriously concerned about DVT. The approach over the city of Seattle was indeed spectacular and I bitterly regret not taking pictures of the aerial view of the downtown area. I was impressed with SEA. It is a clean and spacious airport and it offers great views of Mount Rainier, which to someone living in the flat Midwest can be rather breathtaking.
Flying over what may have been Montana
On our approach to SEA
Alaska Airlines Hangar
A lovely NWA 757 on its way to MSP
My flight to HNL was delayed by 2 hours due to the late expected arrival of our 757 from Minneapolis. I had therefore plenty of time to explore the airport. Normally I don't eat junk food but for some reason whenever I fly it seems that the only thing I wanna eat is greasy BigMacs with fries and soda. Go figure. I had some of that and I then just sat back and enjoyed my book.
The capacity of the flight did not exceed 80% and I was fortunate enough to have 3 seats to myself. On board, there was a group of US soldiers returning to their base after being back in the mainland to meet their families. One of them decided to join me next to my seat and we started discussing politics and religion. He was a devout Christian, while I am a hardcore atheist, so we had a very heated debate over how the hell we came about this world. It certainly helped my mood and I did not even realize how the last 2-3 hours of the flight went by. We arrived in HNL approximately 2 hours late. I took the bus shuttle that serves all the major hotels in Waikiki and 30 mins later I was in front of my hotel. Just before we left the terminal the bus driver used the mic to greet us with the typical "Aloha" to which we all responded with a loud and prolonged "Aloha" too. Well, almost all of us, as a British guy sitting in front of me got confused and shouted "Hola" instead. That's what happens if you have spent too much time in Benidorm.
Here are some snapshots from my stay in Honolulu
Even trash cans deserve a photo in Honolulu...
Hawaii Conference Center
I did enjoy my 4 days in Honolulu but my bad mood did not allow me to do as many things as I had initially planned.
On the day of departure the bus shuttle picked me up from my hotel and I arrived in HNL with several hours to spare. The airport has a strange melancholic (almost to the point of being depressing) aura and it kind of made me feel I was back in the early 80's. I was expecting something more lively or modern from such an airport.
A very familiar sight of HNL
An Airbus waiting to depart for MSP (if I recall correctly).
Looking across the terminal where some inter-island aircraft were enjoying the sun.
Sunset over HNL
I have very little recollection of the trip back to SEA. I probably spent the majority of it sleeping (it was an overnight flight). I grabbed a bagel in SEA and moved to the Alaska Airways terminal where people were starting to gather already for the first early morning flights. Unfortunately it was almost impossible to hear what the announcer was saying when it was time to board our flight so the passengers started asking each other whether they knew what was being said. It was kind of funny and we eventually all broke up in laughter.
I really loved the Alaska-themed interior of our 737 aircraft. It was a nice change from the usual interiors even though some may say it is kitsch. We were offered a free cookie which I did not expect. We arrived in a bitterly cold Chicago in the afternoon hours and I made my way to the CTA to get to downtown.
Questions or comments will be much appreciated
Thanks for reading