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Old Jun 6, 12, 6:14 pm   #1
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On board the inaugural HA51 JFK-HNL

I was one of the lucky few to be on HA51 on its first day of service, June 5, 2012. This was also my first long-haul trip on Hawaiian. I was VERY impressed.

There was a big party in the terminal, both out at check-in and in the gate area - prior to the flight. Speeches were made and hulas were danced.



That's all well and good, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and the in-flight experience was nearly flawless.

Shortly after take-off there is a meal snack/drink service. Then a meal service. It was something of a brunch-ish wrap, with the option to buy a cheeseburger or caesar salad. A bit interesting that the BoB includes an alcoholic beverage but there is no discount for refusing the drink. Not that I refused.









There is a second snack about 2 hours prior to arrival. We had a turkey sandwich. Not as good as the first meal.




The IFE is the paid stuff that the A330s all have, though they gave us free TV during this trip. It was a pretty good selection but I probably wouldn't pay for it on a normal trip. The 9" screens are sufficient and there are USB plugs at every seat, though not 110v plugs.




I slept a bit (the FA said they are probably going to swap out the cushions for something softer as there have been complaints, though I didn't mind much) and chatted with a bunch of different folks. Before I knew it we were on final into HNL.



Oh, and we all got a little present.



Overall, it was a long flight (10:15 and we got in 45 minutes early) but definitely a tolerable one. And a much better in-flight experience than the United trip I took a few weeks earlier from EWR.

More from the trip can be seen/read here.

There are also a few videos (hula dancers, prayer for the route/partnership, water canon & take-off roll) available on YouTube.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 9:40 pm   #2
 
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Mahalo nui for posting the inaugural flight!

It looks like you had a fun time flying out of New Yawk.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 8:56 am   #3
 
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Thanks for the post. Can't wait for my own trip.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:58 am   #4
 
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great post

Thanks very much for your comprehensive TR. I won't be going till next March and we're really looking forward to it.
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Old Jun 8, 12, 4:26 am   #5
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Wirelessly posted (iPhone-ETOPS: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3)

Very nice bowl and a nice touch by HA.
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Old Jun 12, 12, 6:32 pm   #6
 
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Awesome report. I'm curious as to what was in the bowl?

TS
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Old Jun 12, 12, 6:57 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by slippahs View Post
Very nice bowl and a nice touch by HA.
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Originally Posted by twospirits View Post
I'm curious as to what was in the bowl?
Aside from the engraving, it looks similar to the gift bowls available from Big Island Candies in Hilo (in-store only, it seems - can't find them on their web site) which I think contain chocolate covered mac nuts and chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies (all individually wrapped). I see a "-ndie-" on one of the plastic wrappers, but the other word fragments are too diverse for me to figure out. But I'm guessing something along those lines, whether from BIC or a different supplier.
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Old Jun 12, 12, 7:58 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by DanTravels View Post
Aside from the engraving, it looks similar to the gift bowls available from Big Island Candies in Hilo (in-store only, it seems - can't find them on their web site) which I think contain chocolate covered mac nuts and chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies (all individually wrapped). I see a "-ndie-" on one of the plastic wrappers, but the other word fragments are too diverse for me to figure out. But I'm guessing something along those lines, whether from BIC or a different supplier.


Precisely!

It is a custom-engraved gift bowl from BIC with the chocolate-dipped shortbread in it.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 4:33 pm   #9
 
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I'm going Aug 1st!!!

I also had taken United as well as Continental (non-stop from EWR) on 2 prior trips but moreso looking forward to taking Hawaiian this time! Being a private pilot myself and a plane enthusiast... I have flown on every Boeing except the 777 and 787 (and 707) and was thinking of taking the United 777 from Chicago straight to Maui, but when I saw HA was coming to JFK, I just had to pass up in the 777. (plus will be traveling with 2 children - enough can't be said for the IFE system on the 330 for 10+ hours I'm sure!)

Thanks for the posting - I hope I'll be reporting the same good news in 36 days

Mahalo
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Old Aug 15, 12, 11:57 pm   #10
 
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777 to ogg?

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Originally Posted by JTEL View Post
I also had taken United as well as Continental (non-stop from EWR) on 2 prior trips but moreso looking forward to taking Hawaiian this time! Being a private pilot myself and a plane enthusiast... I have flown on every Boeing except the 777 and 787 (and 707) and was thinking of taking the United 777 from Chicago straight to Maui, but when I saw HA was coming to JFK, I just had to pass up in the 777. (plus will be traveling with 2 children - enough can't be said for the IFE system on the 330 for 10+ hours I'm sure!)

Thanks for the posting - I hope I'll be reporting the same good news in 36 days

Mahalo
I've done both and HA is a better ride than UA (old CO) from EWR, but you need to get to/from JFK which, for many, defeats the advantage. Majors tend to fly their oldest (aka rattiest) aircraft to HI because it's sadly perceived as a vacation route. I live on Maui and don't recall UA using a 777, but they do service it with 767's. HNL is a different situation.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 7:39 am   #11
 
 
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Originally Posted by misdirected baggage View Post
I live on Maui and don't recall UA using a 777, but they do service it with 767's. HNL is a different situation.
Until Smisek/CO took over, UA had daily domestic 772 service between SFO and OGG. It was UA34/35, a great flight. We also had seasonal UA domestic 772 service between ORD-OGG-KOA-ORD (for a brief period, it was ORD-OGG-ORD also.) They were great flights on nice aircraft, and it was a treat as UA only had around 6 domestic 772s. In prior years, the 772 was seasonal, and would switch to a domestic 763 during "off peak" periods.

It wasn't that long ago.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Aug 17, 12 at 5:16 am. Reason: typo
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Old Aug 16, 12, 8:30 am   #12
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Wow...hard to believe that the UA domestic 772s are being called "nice aircraft." Very little about them was great IMO, other than the fact that they can seat a whole lot more people inside meaning bigger crowds.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 8:31 am   #13
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
...We also had sezsonal UA domestic 772 service between ORD-OGG-KOA-ORD
And OGG-KOA was the only intra-Hawai`i UA segment that earned EQMs. Kind of fun to fly a 777 on that short route

I loved those 777s in 1A/B or H/J to and from the mainland. Great flights, great seats, great service.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 5:15 am   #14
 
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Wow...hard to believe that the UA domestic 772s are being called "nice aircraft." Very little about them was great IMO, other than the fact that they can seat a whole lot more people inside meaning bigger crowds.
Not hard to believe it all for those of us that actually flew it regularly when compared to the domestic equipment now being used on the same routes. Given a choice between the domestic 763/752/753/737 and the domestic 772, which would you choose?

Nobody's comparing them to BF equipped planes. And this isn't about how they are curently being used on HNL-GUM-NRT flights.

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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
I loved those 777s in 1A/B or H/J to and from the mainland. Great flights, great seats, great service.
+1 Row 1 was great.


-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Aug 17, 12 at 5:22 am.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 8:21 am   #15
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Given a choice between the domestic 763/752/753/737 and the domestic 772, which would you choose?
I don't see a sufficient difference in them to really rank them. The 763 in F sucks more than the others but otherwise I really don't care all that much. The seats are pretty much the same. As you note, we're not talking about the actual premium configs.
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