Anyone Island hoppped on CO Micronesia?

 
Old Aug 2, 01, 5:52 pm
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Anyone Island hoppped on CO Micronesia?

A couple of years back, one of the airline mags (Airliners or Airways, I forget which) did a great article featuring CO's thrice weekly service between Honolulu and Guam, the flight that stops at all these small islands along the way.

Has anyway flown CO on these routings? What's it like?
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Old Aug 2, 01, 6:40 pm
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I've got a trip from GUM to KWA to HNL in October. They are flying 737-800s as I understand. I'll post a trip report.
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Old Aug 2, 01, 6:46 pm
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I don't have any personal experience on that route, but I seem to remember some discussion regarding that route here in the past.

Here are the links I was able to come up with just doing a simple search - there may actually be more.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum20/HTML/001014.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum20/HTML/001060.html

Hope that helps
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Old Aug 2, 01, 8:35 pm
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I think it was Airways who did that great article. I would love to fly that route someday with my sons.
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Old Aug 2, 01, 9:14 pm
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Sounds really cool-- how does one book it?
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Old Aug 2, 01, 11:08 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JonNYC:
Sounds really cool-- how does one book it?</font>
From HNL-GUM, it's flight 957, which operates twice a week, departing HNL on Wednesdays and Fridays.

From GUM-HNL, it's flight 956, leaving on Wednesdays and Fridays. (Both flights are the same plane, but since the flight crosses the International Date Line, it looks like the flights are operating simultaneously when they are not)

There are 5 stops on this flight, at small little islands and atolls like Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, Truk, etc.

One of the atolls it stops at is a secure military base, where an armed guard boards the plane to make sure only authorized people deplane. Very interesting flight. Do a search on the trip reports board and you should find at least two very interesting reports of other Flyertalkers who did this trip.
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Old Aug 3, 01, 4:10 am
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I've flown it a couple of times...it's one of the world's great flight routes. Very interesting group of frequent travelers, many dressed traditionally. Be sure to get a window seat. My first flight on it was the whole HNL-GUM route (I was stuck in GUM overnight either on the direct or on the island hopper, so I took the island hopper). You can leave the plane in places like Majuro and Pohnpei.

Later on I did some trips using awards to check out more of the islands (have been to Pohnpei, Kosrae and Majuro now). Extremely laid-back and interesting places with very little tourism because of the limited access. Continental's 20,000/25,000 intra-Asia award is a really great mileage bargain, especially if you milk the stopover and open jaw rules. I've used it twice now out of Manila, once seeing Pohnpei and Kosrae and once seeing Majuro and Yap (talk about a long itinerary!)
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Old Aug 4, 01, 9:31 pm
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Correction...the CO reservations agent I spoke to seems to have been in error. I just found that flights 956 and 957 also flies on Monday in addition to Wednesdays and Fridays. That makes these island hopping flights a three time a week affair.

It's surprising that CO agents do not have access to a time schedule, and must find the dates of the flight by entering each day of the week into the computer...
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Old Aug 5, 01, 10:43 am
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Sounds like an exciting trip. I wasn't able to find any reasonable fares. Anyone have any good dates and fares? I'd love to do a trip early next year.
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Old Aug 5, 01, 2:15 pm
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There's a nice article on Kosrae in the Dec. 2000 Conde Nast Traveler.
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Old Aug 5, 01, 3:14 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by RustyC:
Continental's 20,000/25,000 intra-Asia award is a really great mileage bargain, especially if you milk the stopover and open jaw rules. I've used it twice now out of Manila, once seeing Pohnpei and Kosrae and once seeing Majuro and Yap (talk about a long itinerary!)</font>
Very interesting.

Could others please elaborate on their experiences with this award ticket.

Could one do it out of HKG, DPS, or NRT rather than MNL?

I assume one legal stopover/open jaw is allowed, but are there any free "scheduling stopovers" based on a loose interpretation of the 24-hour rule? in Guam perhaps?

How tough is it to get a Y or F class "Standard" award tix on either to US to Micronesia island hopper or the inner Asia hopper?

Finally, if you could only choose one of these destinations in the CO Mike network, which one would it be?

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Old Aug 5, 01, 8:28 pm
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Its true that most CO flights to DPS/HKG/CNS etc operate only 3 times a week. So by scheduling your arrival into GUM on a day that the flight you want does not operate, you will get a "free" stopover. I did this and found Guam fascinating. Its the only place I have found that has more Denny's Restaurants than McDonalds!
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Old Aug 6, 01, 3:30 am
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I did the "hopper" in 1997 in a 727. It was a very fun flight. Lots of space and lots to see when you came into land. The pilot would often circle around the islands before landing so that everyone could get a bird's eye view of the island. Got off the plane and sent a post card from as many of the islands as possible too. It makes a stop on Johnston Island on some days too, I forget which day, I was trveling on that day and they don't let you off and you don't want to get off. I think it is one of the US's largest storage facilities for nerve gas.

I stayed on Pohnape and eventually went to Palau, both were wonderful for different reasons.

One way to make the trip is to book a ticket/reward to MNL, NRT or Palau and take the hopper on the way to/from GUM-HNL.

BSL
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Old Aug 7, 01, 11:23 am
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This is such a great run, perhaps the most fun on the entire CO sysem. Highly, highly recommended. No matter what they tell you on board, get off at each place (military stops obviously excluded) and poke around. We managed to get passports stamped, buy pepper in Pohn., have some local drinks, take photos, etc.

As far as loads, my experience when I have booked is that this run if often *easier* to get than the HNLGUM nonstops.
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Old Aug 7, 01, 11:29 am
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Does anyone know if you are credited ONE segement for each island "hop," or do you simply get the single segment from HNL to Guam (with corresponding miles)? Would be a cool way to re-qualify for elite. Anyone know if this is possible?
 

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