Flying. I always wonder when people complain about their flights. We might sometimes experience late flights, cancelled flights, service not up to par, inedible food, terrible co-passengers . . .but.
If you are travelling up the back of the plane you have to suck it up. Just remember, you are contained in a metal tube, that is flying you, often, across the other side of the planet. It’s amazing. And it’s cheap.
I judge my flight fares to a flight I did from Sydney to Athens in 1980. There were three stops along the way, it took what felt like a week to get there and it cost me $680 (one-way ticket).
So these days flying economy is pretty damn good for the price and the comfort has been amped up since my first flight o/s.
I fly a lot. And I fly lots of different airlines.
My latest excursion into the wide blue yonder was a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles with a stopover in Honolulu for 48 hours, flying with Hawaiian Airlines. My first time with Hawaiian Airlines and first time visit to Hawaii. ’Aloha’.
I had a smooth and courteous check in at Sydney airport and the plane departed on time.
Now, for an extra $165 (and also check seasonal special deals) I am sitting in the premium product Extra Comfort. Now, 165 bucks is not much in the scheme of things in the travelling life, and for the almost 10-hour flight – I choose comfort.
And I’m not talking a ‘Princess’ moment, I’m talking extra comfort.
‘Extra Comfort’ is a section of seats in the smooth Airbus A330s and A321s that offers more legroom and those few extra centimetres makes the difference between cramped and comfy.
I lucked out and scored a window seat and nobody sat in the seat next to me. So I could spread out with my arms and knees not colliding with a fellow passenger. (I had a passenger sitting next to me on the Honolulu to LAX leg and still felt at one with space!)
In Extra Comfort we were given a comfort kit, with toothbrush and paste; lip balm; eyeshade; earplugs and earphones for the inflight entertainment which was pretty good. A decent selection of new, recent and classic films and a few good tv shows.
Within an hour of take-off, we were served dinner – pretty average but because I didn’t have any special dietary requests, my little salad, chicken, rice and vegetables did the job.
It was a long time between meals and towards the end of the trip we were served a sandwich and cookie. I visited the galley a few times to grab a coffee or a tea and the crew brought water around regularly.
The crew was proficient, friendly and great with the kids onboard.
I recharged my devices on the usb port, and despite trying to catch a few movies I caught a few zzzzzs.
My only discomfort was that I found the air-con too cold and had to use two blankets for the entire trip.
And the best news on this flight is the luggage allowance. YAY! It’s 64kg (2 x 32kg).
Travellers love shopping in Honolulu. There is a wonderful variety of goods to gather and the amazing Ala Moana Shopping Center (below) and outlet malls have quality goods, clothes, accessories, sports shoes, kids clothes and so much more.
So, to take only a few things with you and fill up those lonely luggage spaces on holidays without the worry of paying excess at the airport is inspiring for the expert shopper.
Hawaiian Airlines is a total destination carrier that exudes the culture of the islands and a fine way to get to mainland USA. But for me it will be a one stop holiday next time. Honolulu and the other islands, here I come.
All announcements on the flight ended with the word ‘mahalo’ which is an expression of thanks or respect and an acknowledgment that we were flying Hawaiian airlines. (Hawaiians are conservative and polite so they’d never dream of not saying Mahalo when it is appropriate. If you want to be extremely formal and show that are feeling extremely grateful you would say: “Mahalo Nui Loa.”)
So I’ll say “Mahalo Nui Loa”.
LATEST NEWS, 27/12/2018
Hawaiian Airlines is enhancing the check-in experience for guests departing from its hub at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) by assigning dedicated lobbies for international, North America and Neighbor Island flights. Hawaiian’s international check-in operations at HNL are moving from Lobby 3 in Terminal 1 to the nearby Lobby 4 in Terminal 2.
The relocation, which will happen in two phases, began December. 19, when all guests travelling to Japan on Hawaiian’s non-stop flights to Narita and Haneda (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka) and New Chitose (Sapporo) international airports were directed to check-in at Lobby 4.
On Jan. 9, all guests flying to any of Hawaiian’s international destinations, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Tahiti (as well as American Samoa) will check-in at Lobby 4.
Always check the local Hawaiian Airlines home page because there are almost always short term specials and deals posted on it – see now under “Limited-Time Flight Deals” and “What’s New at Hawaiian Airlines” at https://www.hawaiianairlines.com.au/
AND access the .com.au site to get the Aussie content in Aussie dollars… https://www.hawaiianairlines.com.au/
View from on high – no, not from your Hawaiian Airline aircraft silly – from a fab hotel. Read all about it in a future blog.