I'm brand new to this forum but have been readling lots and want to thank everyone in advnace for your time.
I will be traveling to Hawaii in May and am looking for flights. Coming in from NY I have found the direct flight on Continental from Newark, and a whole bunch of options from all 3 airports (JFK, LaGuardia, Newark) that have a layover somewhere.
I'm wondering, is the direct flight too much time to be on a plane. I will definately be in coach so unfortuantely won't have any of the extra space available to those in Business/First class.
I like the idea of just 'getting there' so to speak, but am really concerned about spending basically 11 straight hours in my seat.
I little background: both myself and my traveling companion are healthy 30-somethings, and there is no medical reason we could not handle this.
Just wondering what frequent travelers think of this?
What island(s) are you planning to arrive at and depart from?
This may affect any answer we might give, since it might make more sense to route differently. Are you planning to stay in Oahu the whole time?
I like to break up the trip from NY to Hawaii with a layover somewhere for the reason you noted (11 hours in a coach seat), but I like to keep the stop relatively short. I think it's a decision you have to make for yourself. If you can get an aisle or an exit row seat (or, joy of joys, both), that would probably change my answer. You should take a look at SeatGuru and find out what coach seats might provide the most comfort and space and decide whether to fly direct or with one stop along the way.
I will be splitting time between the big island, Oahu, and Kauai. I was planning on spending the beginning of the trip in Kona, then onto Lihue (free place to stay due to a friend exchanging a condo week for me) and then the last few days on Oahu. I feel like I'll be doing a lot of island hopping but since a trip to Hawaii is a dream for me I want to see as much as I can.
Thanks again for all your advice,
nic624, is it safe to presume you don't have elite status in any airline's frequent-flyer program? Just thinking that if you did, you might have a shot at getting upgraded at least as far as the West Coast on a lot of airlines, and even from there to Hawaii on some.
If you are arriving in Hawaii at KOA, you would be better off laying over on the west coast since that would put you on a large # of flight options.
If you take the EWR-HNL direct you are then connecting in HNL to an interisland flight backward to KOA. Be sure to factor in any required interisland fares when you price out your flying costs.
Less backtracking and less interisland flights will be more time (and probably cost) effective....
East coast to West coast, to KOA, stop #1.
KOA to LIH (via connect in HNL)stop #2
LIH to HNL, stop #3
then back to the east coast.
To the OP, it really depends on your own tolerance for being on a plane. I have flown it in BF on EWR-HNL, and was very nice. As you said, no worrying about connecting, and the seat was very comfortable. But since you are saying that you will be in coach, it is a different story. I for one would not want to be on a domestic flight for 11 hours in coach. Thus, if I am flying in coach, I will connect through the West Coast. Since you are coming from NY area, you should have no trouble finding a flight schedule that has a very short connection time, especially if you are not set on flying any specific airline.