FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Birthday...UA J Mileage Run? SFO-TPE-HKG-EWR-HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM-HNL-SFO
Old Jul 19, 16, 4:04 am
  #28  
JVPhoto
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,060
United Club HNL & Island Hopper Y HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM

Left Kailua at about 4:35 to give me enough time to find a gas station by HNL to fill up the car and also make the 75 min bag check that is required for the Island Hopper. Curious as the reasoning, perhaps given all the extra cargo and things like that which the Hopper carries they have to get their ducks in a row.



Still a pretty busy check in counter at 5:15am. Pre-Check was pretty quick, normal security looked like it had about 50 people or so in it.



This is my first time in the HNL UC. It's a bit dated, but "islandy".


No hard boiled eggs out but they did have oatmeal and yogurt and such.


I realized I had no cash on me and was worried in case something went IRROPS at one of the stops I didn't want to be without cash so I left a bit early to find the closest ATM (inside the main part of the terminal by the Carls Jr or whatever it is. That one had no cash so I had to go further down past where security spits you out near the DL lounge to find one.


Enjoying the women in the boarding area for the hopper. Specifically the far one who had a lei made of party sized M&Ms, Crunch bars, Butterfingers, etc.

I got on the plane and saw already seated in my row was an infant. I got closer and saw the old man and thought this couldn't be too bad. At least he wasn't a person of size!


Had about a 10-12 min delay while they were still loading the cargo hold.


Next up.


See ya HNL.






Pretty quick into the flight we were given breakfast.
It also came with a fig bar. I pulled a Michael Scott and just ate the meat and egg and left the crusty hard bun.


Nice clouds out the window. Watched Ant Man again and The Lego's Movie.


Not long into the flight grandpa next me started nodding off now and then would slouch my way.
That was until I would adjust when he would come to far and he would wake up a little and move. Finally as I would adjust he would keep coming over and over and over to the point to where his elbow had to be 3-4 inches over the arm rest and in my side.



Finally after two noticeable pushes back from me I think he got the point. Luckily I could see they only had BPs to MAJ so things looked good.

Finally time for the good stuff!







When we got on the ground the purser made an announcement that we want to leave MAJ as quick as possible because a rain storm is approaching and asked transit passengers to not deplane. Not knowing the run of show I obliged and noticed most people did until I saw one lady leave her teen on the plane. Eventually I noticed a few people who got off got back on. Not a big deal, plenty of other stops and as the doors closed there was no one in my row so I had that going for me.



We were ready to go and Captain said we had to wait 14 min because of traffic which was a Hainan and Air Marshall Islands plane that came in from each direction.



It was here that the mechanic got on board and saw on the aisle across from my row. I don't think I saw him on the plane elsewhere on the first leg and was under the impression that's always his seat which it was for the rest of the flight.

Drink service and some nuts (thankfully raw!) on the quick flight to KWA. We didn't have to close our window shades but we were told to not take any photos on approach, landing or take off. I don't know what the big deal is, you can see all parts of the atoll on Google Earth. Didn't seem like much other than old buildings and a few round/dome buildings. Of course we couldn't get off, but this is where most of the white people who were on the flight got off. A guy that was bouncing around each leg on standby took the aisle seat in my row.

They didn't do drinks on the KWA-KSA flight because of weather. At this point I was very glad I packed my Lenny & Larry cookie and later on in the flight Quest bars. I suggest anyone doing the Hopper for sure back provisions.








Okay this is enough time...I am getting off!



Glad to feel the sun and even the fresh, albeit humid, air.




I was actually surprised at the re-boarding processes. Not gate lice, no one in a hurry, everyone just sitting and taking it easy. My SBY row mate then got a new boarding pass for a seat in F. He was very happy about that even though he was getting off at the next stop PNI.



Amazing colors, formations and just feeling so out of this world. Spots on a map most of the world doesn't even know exist let alone could place or see on most maps.



Nauru Air parked at PNI.


Very exclusive I'm sure.


I had some sneaking suspicions on the previous legs but here at PNI it was confirmed that some people who I thought were missionaries were in fact that. Later on the last leg the purser upgraded a priest (normally clothed).


Leaving PNI is the cool sight of a ship that is beached and abandoned on the reef.


Heading to Chuuk we passed over this random atoll. It hammered home the idea that some of these places we stopped are just small strips of sand in the middle of the ocean, unsheltered with little protection.








I wonder if in IRROPS people are put up at the L5 hotel in the back?

A bit more lively terminal at TKK than the other stops.


It was here that someone who I had seen on the other legs approached me and said...."Are you JVPhoto?"


Sure enough another FT'er was doing the Hopper on a J award. Lucky guy! All the other legs in this TR were upgraded via GPU/RPUs at booking. I could have used $/miles to try and upgrade but I was worried that I wouldn't get a window seat in which case the trip was silly. Also, it's been about 3-4 years since I've sat in Y in something other than an intra-EU/California flight.

Also gave me a delicious green tangerine!


Everyone loaded to go on time, no delays and scheduled to arrive a little early!



The last bit of beauty on the flight leaving TKK.



Even after eating 3 protein bars I was still really hungry so I went ahead and ate the simple white carbs. It was actually much tastier than the Jimmy Dean thing.


Well...everything was good to land early. Until we were over Guam and I could see the airport out the window, we started to get closer and I noticed a KE plane taxing to the runway. I saw that there were dual runways and figured this would be like SF...well about 15 seconds later we pulled up and did a go around. Not as exciting or thrilling as the touch and go one in HKG on BR as we were still a couple hundred feet above ground at this point.



Once in a life time trip, all you need to do it is once!
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