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Hawaiian Interisland Trip Report, Island Air shutdown

Hi!  Super busy lately, but I’ve got a bit of local stuff to share, so here we go.

I recently went on a work trip to Lihue (LIH) from Honolulu.  I hadn’t been on a Hawaiian Airlines plane in at least 5 years.  We don’t use them to the mainland because: they offer a daily nonstop 11-hr (blergh) flight from Honolulu to the East Coast arriving at JFK (double blergh), which you know is not my cup of tea.  Anyway, this trip was booked on Hawaiian because a) my employer has a corporate account with them, b) the flight times worked out with the business need, and c) I could add my personal HawaiianMiles # to the reservation.  Tiny score on that last point, as the days of 500-mile minimums are gone and I earned 102 miles each way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flights and Mice- Part 2

WE LAUGHED, WE CRIED, IT WAS BETTER THAN ‘CATS’

This is a combo post.  My sister’s words are bolded, and my comments are in RED again.

I think I speak for most of us when I say that it’s hard to be friends with your sibling when you are young, simply because of forced togetherness.  My sister and I shared a room our entire lives until she went away to college.  We went to the same small grammar and high schools, just one school year apart.  We lived in a bad neighborhood and our parents did not let us play outside unattended.  In short, we couldn’t ever get away from each other. Read the rest of this entry »

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Travel Guide Update: Hawaii Interisland Travel

As promised, I have updated the Interisland Travel Guide.  Much has stayed the same, which I verified manually.  I did make some small additions on new nonstop flights: Read the rest of this entry »

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Solar eclipse visible on ANC-HNL flight

They changed the flight time and path to ensure that the passengers would see it…full story here.

Joe Rao, an astronomer from the American Museum of Natural History (my favorite museum ever) and coworker to the amazing Neil Degrasse Tyson, communicated with Alaska Airlines to tweak the flight, and he’ll be on it to give out information about solar eclipses.  Too cool!  My favorite quote from the story:

The shadow of the eclipse will be moving at 8,000 mph, compared to the plane, which will be moving at 500 mph, according to Rao.

“Guess who’s going to win that race?” Rao said with a laugh.

How I wish I could be on that flight today!  DS would love it, too, given his recent obsession with planets and space. <science nerds unite>

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Island Air College Student Standby Program- $35 one-way!

This new pilot program by Island Air is a pretty good deal if:

  • you are a college student at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Hawaiʻi West Oahu, and five community colleges (Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui College and Windward Community College, and
  • are traveling between Oahu, Maui, and Lanai, and
  • have a flexible enough schedule to be able to buy your ticket at the airport (no online purchase since it is a Standby fare), and of course, be able to stand by for several hours if necessary, and
  • are traveling between now and Dec. 31st, 2015 (I think…there is a countdown timer of 61 days, 4 hours, and 30 minutes on the offer page right now…so, by my math, that’s 3:45 am on 12/31/15).

island college1

This seems like a great thing for the holidays!  There is no maximum # of times you can use the fare, you must present your University/student ID AND with your federal or state ID, the $35 includes (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee (other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply).  Subject to seat availability, duh.

Read the full press release here.  Check their flight schedule on IslandAir.com, or consult my Inter-Island Chart. Happy flying!

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Weather Alert for Hawaii- Guillermo

Quick post today- here’s the latest from NOAA. Hopefully it will pass by like most other Hawaii weather events recently: as a non-event.

guillermo

I’ll be back later this week, working on some home organization stuff and planning my Disney FastPass+ selections!

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Crud. AA changes redemption options on Hawaiian Airlines…

Via aa.com:

aa hi 9-1-15

So basically this means that you won’t be able to use your AA miles (AAdvantage) to book flights to/from the mainland on Hawaiian Airlines starting this September.  You can still use AA miles to book interisland flights, and US-Asia/South Pacific flights, just not to the US mainland.

This means that the HNL-JFK nonstop will not be an option unless:

  • you have 40k HawaiianMiles to book the Coach SuperSaver RT directly through Hawaiian (20k for one-way), assuming you find availability.
  • you use 30k Korean SkyPass miles to book the Hawaiian codeshare RT (it must be a round-trip redemption, since Korean only allows one-way awards for travel on Korean metal), for a total of 120k miles for a family of 4.  Boo.

It’s easy enough to get HawaiianMiles nowadays.  You can transfer Chase Ultimate rewards points to Korean SkyPass at a 1:1 ratio, too.

I was planning on booking that exact flight for our trip to the east coast next fall (and braving my 1st Hawaii-East Coast nonstop!).  Now I won’t be able to, since you can only book up to 330 days ahead.  We want to go in November 2016, and the farthest ahead I’d be able to book before this change goes into effect is July 2016.  I realize this is not a huge problem in my life.

Thanks for the reality check, Daria.

Thanks for the reality check, Daria.

You can still get to the East Coast from Hawaii on American or Alaska using AAdvantage miles, but you’d have to connect somewhere.  Sigh.  I’ll be updating the “Strategies…Hawaiian Airlines” post to reflect the upcoming change.

Hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day!

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The Junk Drawer: bits of pieces of a bunch of different stuff

This is appropriate post, since I’m right in the middle of moving house and have a bunch of stuff that needs a new home.  For now…they go in the junk drawer.  Or in my case, “junk box.”  My fellow island dwellers know that bugs get into everything, and a bunch of loose items in a drawer is irresistible to roaches.  So I keep my extra screwdriver, birthday candles, and take-out menus in a clear plastic shoebox.   Anyway, since I’m up to be elbows in moving boxes, no time for a good write-up.  Here’s my “junk drawer post” of varying travel/organization/Disney items.

united hawaii promo

  • Alaska Airlines is offering a checked bag promo, 1000 Alaska MileagePlan miles if you Self-Tag at homeYAY…..maybe?  While our Alaska Airlines flights to Orlando are within the promo period, the rules stipulate that you must credit the flight to Alaska to get the bag bonus.  We always credit our flights on Alaska to American Airlines, as they are more valuable to us.  But now that I think about it, we can probably have my little guy credit his flight to Alaska and get a miles bonus for him!  My kids have their frequent flyer numbers and earn miles for flying, but we don’t redeem their miles for family travel- mom and dad do the heavy lifting there.  Let those miles accumulate and they’ll have a nice stash to use for trips to Grandma’s, study abroad, etc.  What I’m saying is, he has plenty of time to earn more American miles before he’ll have a need to redeem them, so crediting this one flight to Alaska makes sense if it earns him some miles.  YAY, YES!
  • Disney has released its Free Dining Promo for 2015.  Our trip fits neatly outside of the eligible dates, sigh.  Not that we would have been able to take advantage of it anyway- as has been the case the last 2 years, the Free Dining Promo cannot be used with the Standard (Little Mermaid) Rooms at the Art of Animation Resort.  Oh well- at least it eliminates the worrying over how to get the biggest value out of each and every snack/meal credit.

That’s all for now!  Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s back to packing I go!

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Virgin America will begin SFO-HNL and SFO-OGG later this year!

Today, Virgin America announced 2 new routes to Hawaii. On November 2nd, daily service will begin to and from San Francisco (SFO) and Honolulu (HNL). And on December 3rd, they will add daily service to and from San Francisco (SFO) and Kahului, Maui (OGG), with 2 different departure times depending on the day of the week. The schedule will look like this:

Virgin America's upcoming schedule

Virgin America’s upcoming schedule

They celebrated the announcement today by offering free Mai Tais to passengers at SFO.  They’re also celebrating with a fare sale: select flights will be $199 plus taxes each way.  Tickets at that price must be purchased by April 8 (yes, tomorrow), and are good for travel between November 2nd and February 28th, 2016 for the SFO-HNL route, and between December 3rd and February 28th, 2016 for the SFO-OGG route.  There are some blackout dates, pretty much the usual peak holiday travel days.

Virgin’s frequent flyer program is called Elevate.  It’s points-based versus region-based, meaning that the points cost is based on the cash price, so you have silly redemption numbers like 8559 points for the $199 fare.  I’ll update the post on Hawaiian Airlines, since Virgin America is a transfer partner.

My take?  I’ve never flown Virgin America, but it might be fun to try, what with the mood lighting and free food in Main Cabin Select.  Anything that fosters airfare competition to Hawaii is good for us!

This official photo of an official Virgin America plane is officially not set in Hawaii.  Yet.

This official photo of an official Virgin America plane is officially not on a runway in Hawaii. Yet.

For full details, see the full press release.  Note: Virgin America is a separate entity from Virgin Atlantic, though Sir Richard Branson (that silly prankster) does own some of it.

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Island Air flash sale…ends today

Hi, if you feel like a spontaneous Neighbor Island flight purchase, Island Air is having a flash sale, $52 each way.  Here are the details of the Little Birdie offer.

You can check out their destinations on their site, or on my Inter-Island Travel Chart.  The sale ends later today, but is good for travel through May 21st.

island hopper

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