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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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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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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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Bits & Pieces: JetBlue to Ecuador, Island Air Explorers program, Disney update

  • There is a new nonstop flight option from the mainland to Quito, Ecuador!  This is big news for our small country.  Does it help me at all?  Absolutely not.  But let’s delve deeper into the details to be sure. On 5/14/15, a press release announced that JetBlue will begin operating a once-daily nonstop from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Quito (UIO) during the 1st quarter of 2016, pending gov’t approval, of course.  For all you mileage junkies, remember that JetBlue’s frequent flyer program, TrueBlue,  has sort of a convoluted points/miles redemption system based on price to determine how many points are necessary for a given flight.  I do hear about many 2x and 3x points promos from them fairly frequently though, and they have a co-branded credit card that awards 20K JetBlue points after the minimum spend is reached.  JetBlue does some codesharing w/American Airlines…so if there were ever a HNL-FLL flight, I might be able to use AA miles to book the route, then use the FLL-UIO flight?  Who am I kidding, why would I ever fly into Quito and miss the huge group of family members that can and do come to wait for me at the Guayaquil airport?  Initial assessment confirmed: this is useless to me.  But yay for Floridians who won’t have to go to Miami for their flights to my beautiful homeland.

ecuador176

  • As I was digging around on the Island Air website (digging around on travel/hotel/airline websites is what I do during downtime at work, when I’m not playing Frozen Free Fall or planning my Disney trips, of course), I saw this information about the Island Air Explorers Program.  It’s basically an internship program for kids age 14-20 who are interested in careers in aviation.  From the website:

    This unique, “hands-on” program highlights many of the interesting aspects of a career in aviation. Topics include:
    •What makes an airplane fly
    •How to use a computer reservations system
    •The safety features of the ATR-72 aircraft
    •How flight and weather data is received and used by flight crews
    •What pilots look for during a “walk-around” aircraft inspection
    •What happens to the aircraft at night in the hangar
    •How flight attendants prepare for a flight

    The program also provides an opportunity to learn about various airline-related occupations including the job demands of Pilots, Flight Attendants, Customer Service personnel (including Reservations/Ticketing and Airport Operations), Ramp Operations personnel (including fueling and commissary), Mechanics and aircraft maintenance staff, and Dispatch and Crew Scheduling workers. Additionally, program participants learn about career skills, customer relationship management, and corporate responsibility.

    Participants will also enjoy facility tours, which may include the Transportation Security Administration and Airport Operations Areas, the ATC tower, and the Airport Rescue Fire Fighter station.

    I think it sounds super-cool.  It surprises no one that my daughter loved traveling from a very early age, and has over the years declared her intent to become an airport worker, flight attendant, pilot, and designer of airplanes.  This would be something I might encourage her to do….if it weren’t associated with Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  I just won’t give them any money, even the very reasonable $50 program cost, because of their policies on who is enough of a boy to be a Scout.  Some things have changed for the better, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth about it.  This is a personal choice, so if you don’t have any objections to BSA the program sounds awesome.  Living on an island guarantees that the airport will be a reliable place to find/keep a job.  So getting local kids involved in something like this is great.

     

  • Disney update: so everybody knows that Disney now owns Lucasfilm, the studio that brought us the Star Wars films, among many, many other great movies.  This was a good fit, I think.  Disney has had Star Tours, a Star-Wars-themed ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, since 1987.  I remember riding it in 1989, having recently watched the 3 original Star Wars movies.  The motion-simulator aspect was fabulous at the time, but by my next ride on it in 2001, it was feeling and looking a bit rough. Now, with the new partnership with Lucasfilm, Disney has significantly updated the ride technology and implemented a random storyline element.  Plus, there have been 3 prequels released in theaters since my last trip to the forest moon of Endor.  All this is to say that I decided I must catch up on my Star Wars movie-watching so I could understand the storylines on the updated ride!  [Side note: the franchise uses Roman numerals in the movie titles, but I mostly stuck with regular numbers here for ease of understanding] I took a methodical approach to decide whether to watch the Star Wars move in order of theatrical release (Episodes 4, 5, and 6, followed by Episodes 1,2, and 3), or in chronological storyline order (Episodes 1-2-3-4-5-6): I asked my Facebook and real-life friends.  I got wildly different responses, ranging from “don’t even bother with Episodes 1-2-3 [the recently-released prequels], pretend they don’t exist,” to “it was helpful to me to see them in order because I had no references to draw from, having never seen the early ones.”  I talked about this for days and still couldn’t decide.  So I decided to play library roulette:  I requested both the Episode 1 and Episode 4 DVDs.  Whichever request came through first would determine my viewing order.  As it happened, the Episode 1 DVD came in first, so I have been watching them in chronological storyline order.  My viewing enjoyment has also increased as the movies progress.  I pretty much forced myself to finish watching Episode 1, liked Episode 2 better, and have thoroughly enjoyed Episodes 3 and 4 (Episode IV: A New Hope is the 1st Star Wars movie released in theaters back in the late 70s).  Episode 5 is waiting for me at home, Episode 6 is on its way from the library.  By the time I’m done, I will have invested many hours into understanding and enjoying just 1 Disney ride!  Dedication, folks.  If the Star Wars-Disney connection leaves one lasting contribution to history, please let it be this incredible pun:

darth tater

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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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Travel Guide- Hawaii Interisland Travel

So, you know I focus on traveling AWAY from Hawaii.  But I also want to help all of us Kama’aina get around the Islands as easily as possible.  When your next mainland trip is many months away, a short jaunt to see the sights and natural beauty of our Neighbor Islands can be a nice distraction.

As a bonus, sometimes when searching for award availability, it is easier to find seats on lesser known routes such as the aforementioned Lihue-Denver on United Airlines 🙂  It would be easy-peasy to hop over to Kauai for a low price or just a few thousand miles, and be able to connect to another award flight from there.

I sometimes get confused with all the interisland options, since there are so many per day.  I figured I’d get this all into 1 centralized location.  Here is a spreadsheet with information on travel time, travel distance, and which airlines service each Island airport, even the tiny ones.  There is also information on how many award miles you need to use for a one-way ticket.  A few details:

  • For simplicity, I only included nonstops between the given airports.  You can get to any island from any other with connections, of course.
  • Makani Kai Air operates from a small airfield outside of the airport due to their charter service, so there is no shuttle/parking at or to the HNL interisland terminal.  They don’t have a frequent flyer program, all commercial flights are a flat $50 each way.
  • Some of these flights have limited service, so check the schedules carefully using a range of dates.
  • I calculated the distances using the Great Circle Mapper.

The table was too big to post on here, so I made a handy Interisland Travel Google Sheet.  Anyone should be able to see it, and I can keep it updated, as surely things will change in the future.  Specifically, I know that Delta Airlines will have some system-wide award travel changes beginning January 1, 2015, so there might be changes in the way we can use Delta SkyMiles for Hawaiian Airlines flights.

Here are the web links for the various airlines offering interisland travel:


Happy island hopping!  Hope your plane isn’t made out of Legos!  Or has a pterodactyl leading the way!

Can this BE more Jurassic Park-y?

Can this BE more Jurassic Park-y?

 

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