Which side of airplane to sit LAX / HNL?

 
Old Jun 10, 02, 9:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Programs: AA PLT, SPG GLD, PC PLT SPIRE
Posts: 4,531
Which side of airplane to sit LAX / HNL?

I am planning a vacation to HNL. I have never been to Honolulu before and am trying to decide on which side on the plane to request seats. Which is the better side of the airplane to catch any views of the scenery upon arriving at the Hawaiian Islands and for the flight pattern and approach to the airport etc. What about for departure?

Thanks,
onedog is offline  
Old Jun 10, 02, 9:47 pm
  #2  
JSD
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: SYD
Programs: QF P1/LTG; AA 1MM; UA 1MM
Posts: 899
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by onedog:
I am planning a vacation to HNL. I have never been to Honolulu before and am trying to decide on which side on the plane to request seats. Which is the better side of the airplane to catch any views of the scenery upon arriving at the Hawaiian Islands and for the flight pattern and approach to the airport etc. What about for departure?
Thanks,
</font>
IIRC, the approach to HNL takes you right past Waikiki. If you are on the right side of the plane, you should get a good view of Honolulu with the mountains in the background.


JSD is offline  
Old Jun 10, 02, 9:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: MCO (Transplant from HNL, DEN and SEA)
Programs: Looking for new affiliations
Posts: 176
My experience (20+ years residence in HNL, 40+ flts into HNL) recommends the LEFT side of the aircraft. (Seats A/B) The aircraft traditionally approach over the leeward side of the island (over Waianae/Ewa Beach/Pearl Harbor), but will occasionally fly in from the opposite side (past Waikiki) if the winds so dictate. (i.e. Kona winds)

As you approach the isles, the first signs of land are also usually to the LEFT of the aircraft, so even if you come in over Waikiki, you still have a nice view the last 1/2 hour of flight.

Have fun!

[This message has been edited by FloridaFlyers (edited 06-11-2002).]
FloridaFlyers is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 12:38 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: WILD ANIMAL PARK (SAN), CA> GOLD-CO, MARRIOTT, HH, STARWOOD, HYATT,
Posts: 1,373
Another consideration would be getting a suntan, while flying to HNL.

I always try to pick the side with the least turbulence! Very important on those flights.
ROADRUNNER is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 3:54 am
  #5  
cnk
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: LAX (Temporarily in ORD)
Posts: 584
Ack. Messed up and lost all the text I'd typed in.

Basically, I agree that the left (A) side is better. On approach to the islands, the left side will see Hawaii, Maui, and probably Molokai. The right side will see mostly water.

Approaching Oahu, the right side has a better view initially. Diamond Head, Waikiki and Honolulu are visible from this side. I guess it's possible that the plane will head straight to HNL, but in a couple of dozen landings there, I've always done a U-turn over Ewa. Here the left side will get an impressive view of Pearl Harbor with the Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri clearly visible.

You can type "HNL" into maps.yahoo.com if you want to visualize this.

If you're not used to landing on reef runways, that might be interesting too. Seems like you're about to land in the water until the runway appears at the last second.

On the other hand, I generally choose my seats based on where the sun is. Thus for Eastbound flights, I like to sit on the left and for Westbound flights I prefer the right.

cnk
cnk is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 6:45 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: T82
Programs: AA Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 2,842
onedog, I'm jealous. I want to go too. Have a great trip.
Nanook is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 1:07 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: (TUL,OKC,DFW) Home Airports
Programs: AA Thousand Mile Club
Posts: 55
I just flew to HNL 2 weeks ago. We were on the right side. The left side gets to see the first signs of land the Big Island then Maui. The plane then flies between Maui and Oahu and the right side gets the of Wakiki and Diamond Head. Then we turned around towards the Ewa side of the island for approach.
OKSTATE99 is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 9:13 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: san diego, ca
Programs: AA 2MM
Posts: 913
I like the right side on approach for the great views of Waikiki and mountains; departing, the left side gives a wonderful view of Hanauma Bay, the crater whole and jewel-like, which, of course, you never see when you're in the water there.
MDSD is offline  
Old Jun 11, 02, 11:36 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Programs: AA PLT, SPG GLD, PC PLT SPIRE
Posts: 4,531
Drats, sounds like both the right and left sides have great views when approaching HNL. The views of Waikiki and Diamond Head from the right side are appealing, but then again, so are the views of Pearl Harbor and the Mo' from the left side. If only I could see both sides (Uhm, excuse me, Pilot, can I change seats with you?). I guess I'll just let the Mrs. decide.
onedog is offline  
Old Jun 12, 02, 4:43 am
  #10  
cnk
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: LAX (Temporarily in ORD)
Posts: 584
If you sit on the left side for both outbound and return segments, you can get the best of both worlds. On the way in, you'll get neighbor islands and then Pearl Harbor. On the way out, you'll get Waikiki and Diamond Head.

Sitting on the right side for both segments wouldn't be as good. You'd get Waikiki and Diamond Head on the way in, and neighbor islands on the way out. (Reverse of above) But you won't get Pearl Harbor nearly as well from the right side unless you take off to the West, which is uncommon.

So I'd do left side for both flights. As an added bonus, the city view will be more interesting as you leave and are more familiar with spotting landmarks or your hotel from the air.

cnk
cnk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: