Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mokulele Airlines: Honolulu International, Honolulu HI (HNL) to Los Angeles International, Los Angeles CA (LAX)

CO12 22NOV08 Honolulu International, Honolulu HI (HNL) to Los Angeles International, Los Angeles CA (LAX) 9:40p 5:00a +1 Day 752 N57111

Flight Time: 4:43
Seat Map

I made my way down the jetway, but had to wait as it was backed up mostly because people were putting their stuff in the overheads. As I neared the door, the agent started tagging bags as there was no more room.

Eventually, I got to my seat and settled in. This aircraft has a 3-3 configuration in Economy class and 2-2 in BusinessFirst class. Every seat has an individual monitor and is equiped with audio/video on demand. In addition, there are two plugs in each set of three seats in Economy and every seat in BusinessFirst. Too bad I am too tired tonight to make use of it all.

The door soon closed, the safety video started and we pushed back. I actually fell asleep way before we even started to move under our own power. When I awoke, a flight attendant was by my row offering me a meal of crackers, cheese, Nachos Doritos and M&Ms.

I awoke, ate and went back to sleep. I was awoken with about 30 minutes of flying time to go as the cabin had to be prepared for arrival. I pulled my seat forward and went back to sleep.

Before I know it, we had touched down.

Mokulele Airlines: Arriving in Honolulu International, Honolulu HI (HNL) from Kona International (KOA)

22NOV08 Honolulu International, Honolulu HI (HNL)

We touched down and made our way to the gate. It was kind of weird as the pilot made a hard stop as he was turning right and then made a sharp turn to the left. Who knows what happened.

On our way to the gate, I could see two planes from Aloha Cargo in the hangar. One of them had a new color scheme.

I deplaned, said my goodbyes to the crew and headed for my gate. As I left the plane, I saw the other Embraer 170 at the gate. This was the one that I missed earlier.

Here is a picture of the one I arrived in.

I passed through agricultural screening, then had to wait for the Wiki Wiki, but by 8:40a, I was in the Presidents Club once more.

I had a snack and waited for the flight. I made my way to the gate at about 9:05p. On my way there, I saw my plane waiting. It was in the same position as it was when I arrived. But it may have moved in between then and now.

As I walked to the gate, I heard my name being called. I quickened my steps. Once there, I was handed a boarding pass for an aisle seat.

Mokulele Airlines: Kona International, Kona Big island HI (KOA) to Honolulu International, Honolulu Oahu HI (HNL)

MW158 22NOV08 Kona International, Kona Big island HI (KOA) to Honolulu International, Honolulu Oahu HI (HNL) 7:35p 8:15p E70 N868RW operated by Shuttle America, a Republic Airways Company

Flying Time: 0:15 [we took longer]
Seat map

The agent took our boarding passes, then we walked on the tarmac to the plane as there are no jetways at Kona. The ground staff was cool saying goodbye as we left. It was neat as they all knew our names. There was a total of seven passengers all in the Economy class cabin.

I stopped to take some pictures as did another passenger:

We walked up the stairs and were greeted by the flight attendant at the door who actually used to fly for another airline in the U.S. that operated these aircraft. The first class cabin has two rows in a 1-2 configuration and the Economy class has a 2-2 configuration. Both cabin has leather seats. This is typically how United Express and Air Canada have theirs configured.

Two of the guys who walked in stayed in First class, but when the flight attendant checked the manifest they were not on it, so she told them to move to their Economy class seats.

Here are some pictures as I looked around:

Soon, the door closed and we started our push back as well as the beginning of the safety demo. The demo is an automated voice with the two flight attendants doing the demonstration.

I looked out the window and saw a United Boeing 757-200 at another gate. I could not see it before due to the location of where I was sitting. The US Airways 757-200 was on my left as well.

When the cabin lights were turned off for takeoff, you could see the emergency floor lighting as below.

We headed out for the runway and in no time, increased power to the two engines and were airborne. You could see the lights of the city and the airport below us as we gained altitude.

A complimentary offer of water or juice (pass-o-guava punch) followed soon after takeoff.

At 7:50p, we started our descent, boy that really was quick.

At 52 miles southwest of Honolulu, the Captain made an announcement that it was 70F with cloudy skies and calm winds. He announced that we should see Oahu on the right as we come into the airport and then on our left after that. He concluded by saying that it was a pleasure having us onboard and hope to see us in the future.

At 7:57p, the Captain instructed the flight attendants to prepare for landing, so they did. Adding Mahalo and welcome to Honolulu.

Mokulele Airlines: Arriving in Kona International, Kona Big Island HI (KOA) from Honolulu International, Honolulu Oahu HI (HNL)

22NOV08 Kona International, Kona Big Island HI (KOA)

We touched down smoothly and as I looked out, I could see an Embraer 170 in Mokulele livery...Crap, I missed it.

If you look closely in this picture (under the nose), you will see their other aircraft type, the Cessna Caravan. It was parked up at Kona as well.

We taxied up to the gate, where I disembarked. I could see a Delta Air Lines (DL) Boeing 757-200 sitting across the way and a US Airways Bowing 757-200 to my left.

I looked for a sign for Mokulele, but nothing showed up. I then followed the signs to Baggage Claim, hoping to see a sign for their ticket counter, I did not.

I walked the length of the airport looking for the sign, but nothing. I saw signs for all the other airlines though. I then came back to the Information counter and the guy there said to follow the sidewalk. I did and it was next to the American Airlines ticket counter.

The staff helping me out.

The signs speak for themselves.

I told the agents my delayed flight story and asked them of they could tell who I was. They looked it up and voila they got the name correct. They were still in training mode, so they all came over and looked at the transaction so they could learn how to deal with it in the future. They were all so nice and took care of it without a charge for the change ($25).

Once I had my boarding pass, I walked around some more, checking the fare by taxi to the city 7 miles away which is $30. That made the decision for me whether or not to go into the city. Back at the Information counter, I asked if there was a local bus and was was told no.

I then went through security. As I was selected for extra screening, it took a little while longer to get through. Luckily I was the only person coming through security at the time. So, let me tell you, the TSA folks in Kona are the friendliest TSA agents I've ever encountered. A class act.

I then found a seat next to an outlet where I charged the G1 as it was complaining that it only had 15 minutes of power left.

As I waited, a United Airlines (UA) Boeing 777-200 was boarding for Chicago O'Hare (ORD); wow a 777 into Kona, good deal.

The Delta Air Lines (DL) Boeing 757-200 with winglets as well as a US Airways Boeing 757-200 also with winglets were still there. In a few moments a Hawaiian Airlines (HA) Boeing 717-200 landed and taxied in to the gate.

Here in Kona, gates 1-5 are separated from 6-10.

The United 777 pushed back and left under the cover of darkness.

At about 7:05p, the aircraft showed up. I took the opportunity to get some pictures as it taxied in.

Soon, 18 passengers deplaned; almost immediately, it was time to board. An announcement was made for First Class passengers first and then one for the rest of us. There were no first class passengers.

Mokulele Airlines: Honolulu International, Honolulu Oahu HI (HNL) to Kona International, Kona Big island HI (KOA)

YV1016 22NOV08 Honolulu International, Honolulu Hawaii (HNL) to Kona International, Kona Big Island HI (KOA) 3:35p 4:15p CRJ N27318

Flight Time: 0:35
Seat Map

We all walked out to the waiting plane. As we did so, I was able to photograph an Island Air flight.

There were two go! CRJ-200s waiting in the distance for us.

I did also notices a Mokulele ERJ-170 heading out to the runway; I think that is the flight that does the Kona turn :-(.

There was also a third go! CRJ off in the distance and three Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717s and a Boeing 767-300.

There was a sign on the stairs leading to the plane to help us along, it said "Kona Big Island."

We all boarded and took any open seat. The first empty window was in row three, so I settled in.

The Captain came on and apologized for the delay, saying that there was bad weather all around the Hawaiian Islands today as the culprit. He also said that it was 75F on Kona and that the weather there was a little better than Honolulu. The flight time will be 0:35 he concluded.

We waited to depart. Announcements were made for a party of four and eventually all that was rectified. In the meantime, another passenger boarded. The Captain then came on the PA once more and apologized saying that they were initially waiting for more passengers, but were now ready to go and was just waiting for paperwork. Good grief, I thought, are we ever going to get out of here?

The flight attendant did go through the plane and take drink orders after stating the prices. The prices ranges from $1.50 (water, soda, juice), $2.50 (beer, Starbucks coffee drink) to $3.50 (mixed drinks). No drinks were complimentary. She referred us to page 58 of the iflygo inflight magazine for more details.

Eventually, at 3:50p, the door closed and we pushed back as the lone flight attendant gave the manual safety demo. Soon, the engines started and we headed for the runway. On the way out, I did see a Aloha Airlines Cargo Boeing 737-200. Earlier this year Aloha Airlines had gone out of business, only the cargo airline survived.

We stopped short of the runway as we had to wait for a Hawaiian Air Boeing 717 to land followed by a Twin Otter from one of the many airlines based here in Hawaii. I missed getting a picture of the Twin Otter.

We then took to the runway and was airborne in no time. Based on my calculations, we should be at the gate at about 4:45p or so hence missing the Mokulele flight at 4:35p unless that too is delayed, which is my hope.

After takeoff, the beverages that were ordered were served. The lone flight attendant did ask folks to ensure they had exact change. I think, only the guy next to me ordered anything, a Heineken beer which he had with a bagel with cream cheese.

We started our descent at 4:17p after climbing for about 17 minutes. The Captain then came on the PA and announced that we've started our descent and advised the flight attendant to prepare the cabin for landing.

She then came on the PA and advised us to power stuff off and stow stuff followed by her collecting thrash.

Mokulele Airlines: Arriving in Honolulu International, Honolulu Oahu HI (HNL) from Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

22NOV08 Honolulu International, Honolulu HI (HNL)

It was raining lightly as we touched down at 1:50p. We taxied into the gate arriving a few minutes later at 1:57p.

I deplaned and headed for the Presidents Club which was actually right across from my arrival gate. I got online right away checked the Kona flights on Mokulele Airlines and realized that the fare for the one I wanted was sold out. So I decided to re-do my travel plans and take go! operated by Mesa Airlines to Kona and then Mokulele back. I checked both their web sites and there was availability for the Internet fares ($45 on Mokulele and $64 on go!). I booked them right away and then headed upstairs for the Wiki Wiki; the inter-terminal train.

When I got there, I had just missed one so I started to look around. I was the only one waiting. I took a picture of our arriving airplane as well as the Continental 757-200 that had arrived from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and which would more than likely be my ride home later. There was also an American Airlines Boeing 767-300 there as well as another American Airlines airplane.

I then looked at the Flight Information Display and every flight was showign delayed. But these were the morning flights. Once the Wiki Wiki arrived, the driver told me how to get to go! and we also chatted a bit.

One in the inter-island terminal, I followed signs to gate 62 for go!. This is really a ratty area of the airport with holes in the tarp covered walkway they've prepared. The floor was also wet.

Once at gate 62, there was no agent there, just a security guard. I asked him what do I do now and he said to wait and an agent will arrive soon. I also watched other passengers who had a similar experience as I did and looking equally frustrated.

In a few minutes though, an agent appeared and advised that we should follow him. He took us out the door marked 64 along the tarmac past the baggage carousel and then back into the terminal at gate 72. He pointed to the go! check-in counter. Odd, I thought...

At the counter, we waited a bit for an agent to show. It was not long before someone did and she checked us in expeditiously. A lady showed up, cut in line and said she was there before and started talking me to death. I hope we are not on the same flight.

Finally, I got my boarding pass which was devoid of a seat number and had the letters "OPN" on it. I have a 20 minutes connection in Kona, so I hope I can just get off and get on the next flight. With the weather the way it is and the fact that I don't see a plane outside, except for one CRJ-200 and that it is 3:16p as I type this, I am pretty sure that the 3:35p to Kona is delayed...I hope the Mokulele flight is delayed as well.

I saw some passengers arrive at 3:19p so I am going to assume that they just came on a plane but they were standing around so I doubt it; I think they are waiting for a flight just as we are.

The board showed that we were boarding, but no announcement were made...

At 3:25p, boarding commenced with those who need extra time first.