Best seat on the Island Hopper

 
Old Dec 22, 2011, 9:41 am
  #1  
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Best seat on the Island Hopper

Flying this in March, and ideally of course I'd love to be CPU'd (look how nicely I used the new terminology). But if I get stuck in coach, it's not the end of the world. I can get the exit rows right now, but I figure I should suck it up and try to get a seat that isn't over the wing so I can see the atolls and snap off some photos for the folks at home. Any seats in particular that are better than others? I'm normally not a huge fan of bulkheads since I'm 6'4" and my legs don't have anywhere to go, but if there's cutouts or something similar, that might not be bad.

Thanks in advance for replies,
Chris
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 10:22 am
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They fly a 737-800 on the island hopper route so I'd suggest anyone of the exit rows as a good seat if you don't get CPU'd.

BTW - good use of the new terminology - it's gonna take me some time to get used to it.
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 2:02 pm
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I've flown the hopper on the left side window in F and wasn't disappointed at all with the views. I don't recall wishing I had a view out the right side at any point.

As you point out, the trouble with an exit row is that your view looking down is blocked by the wing. And the views are spectacular.

I'd recommend bulkhead window left side. I'm as tall as you and normally hesitant to sit in the bulkhead without cutouts but in this case the bulkhead wins, given the unobstructed view, boarding, and carry-on baggage issues.

The carry-on baggage in economy can be very colorful, as can be the passengers. That's the only time I've ever seen a 4' tall styrofoam horseshoe, similar to those with sprays of flowers used at funerals, carried onboard. They wound up parking it under two seats in F.

You should know that at each stop 1/2 (one side) of economy is required to deplane, including all carry-ons, for a security sweep of the aircraft. They alternate left side/right side at each stop. Luggage carts are parked at the base of the stairs for the bags while you walk to the terminal.

Since there are no jetways on the islands, if it's raining, prepare to get wet. Sometimes there are umbrellas at the bottom of the stairs.

F cabin is exempt from the required deboarding.

All in all, a memorable experience - hope you enjoy it!

Last edited by mw362; Dec 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 2:14 pm
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I'm planning on doing the Hopper on March 23rd. For viewing, I've been told to sit in A or F and forward or way behind the wings.
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by mw362
I've flown the hopper on the left side window in F and wasn't disappointed at all with the views. I don't recall wishing I had a view out the right side at any point.
was this eastbound or westbound?
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 3:13 pm
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westbound. HNL-GUM. The eastbound was flying at night.
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Michael El
I'm planning on doing the Hopper on March 23rd. For viewing, I've been told to sit in A or F and forward or way behind the wings.


Yes, avoid rows that are obstructed by the wings or engines.

Another note of interest: the runway on at least one island is so short that the onboard mechanic had to bring out an industrial blower from a shed adjacent to the terminal to cool off the brakes on the landing gear before taking off again. The pictures really are amazing. You are "up close and personal" with a 737 in ways that few other than pilots and maint. techs ever get to see.

Some good pictures are in the various trip reports lilke this: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...d.main/159576/

Last edited by mw362; Dec 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:38 am
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Nice link there. I'm flying it eastbound in March.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 3:19 pm
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sorry to hijack the thread, but as this is island-hopper related, I hope it's ok to ask here.
According to matrix, CO 172 skips KSA on Wednesdays (at least for the few dates in May 2012 I've checked) and flies directly PNI-KWA. Is this some kind of regular "express" connection as opposed to the Monday/Friday hopper, or is this a temporary/seasonal thing?
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 3:32 pm
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What are the chances of CPU anyway?

I'll be 1k. Is it segment by segment or basically for the whole hnl-gum route?
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Old Dec 25, 2011, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by whiskey_sk
sorry to hijack the thread, but as this is island-hopper related, I hope it's ok to ask here.
According to matrix, CO 172 skips KSA on Wednesdays (at least for the few dates in May 2012 I've checked) and flies directly PNI-KWA. Is this some kind of regular "express" connection as opposed to the Monday/Friday hopper, or is this a temporary/seasonal thing?
It's been that way for a little while now. They've also periodically changed what islands the hopper stops at too (i.e., it used to visit Johnston Atoll)

Originally Posted by fanger
I'll be 1k. Is it segment by segment or basically for the whole hnl-gum route?
From everything I've read, it's the whole route. As far as what the chances are, I sure hope that they're really good for a 1K since I'll only be Gold (or 1P depending on if the programs have finally combined by March 4th).

Chris
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 12:38 pm
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New CPU chart says HNL-GUM is not eligible

http://mileageplusmergerupdates.com/...Overview#chart

but does this count as such, really? Anybody have experience with EUA/UDU/CPU on this route?
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by fanger
http://mileageplusmergerupdates.com/...Overview#chart

but does this count as such, really? Anybody have experience with EUA/UDU/CPU on this route?
The island hopper is Inter-Asia/Oceania, not "HNL-GUM"
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by dbaker
The island hopper is Inter-Asia/Oceania, not "HNL-GUM"
Correct. Most of the promotion material I see takes care to say "Non-stops" between HNL and GUM. The island-hopper clearly has stops.

Unfortunately, I've always had the Y fare (and thus got the Y-Up), so I can't tell you your upgrade chances. First has always been full when I've gone, but a good portion of them are probably UGs.

Going West to East I prefer the Right side of the plane, at least in TRK and PNI.
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mw362
I've flown the hopper on the left side window in F and wasn't disappointed at all with the views. I don't recall wishing I had a view out the right side at any point.
Just to clarify which way was the left side best? HNL-GUM or GUM-HNL?

I just booked the Hopper GUM-HNL for March 23rd.
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