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Advice Please on ATL-HNL!

Advice Please on ATL-HNL!

Old Aug 29, 16, 2:00 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 8
Advice Please on ATL-HNL!

We recently found that my husband has 9 siblings and a ton of nieces and nephews in Hawaii that he’s never met, an exciting discovery (as they had known about him and have awaited the reunion that they hoped would come!). Now, it’s time to get to Hawaii to meet them all and I need some advice please (as needless to say this truly is a "trip of a lifetime")

Our current plan is for May 2017 – my husband served in the USMC for 29 years, so we are fortunate to have the option to stay at Hale Koa in Waikiki. We thought it might be best to leave Atlanta for Honolulu on a morning flight and arrive early afternoon; comfortable seating is critical for any longer portion (First Class), but a sleeper a little less critical on this leg I think. Our preference is no more than 1 relatively short stop.

We originally thought of returning on a Saturday, but given the time lost coming back, I have thought perhaps we should instead fly on the Friday night (checking out of the hotel on time, but hanging out around the area and hotel and then getting on a later flight and arrive early or by around lunch on Saturday. It seems many people must do this as there appear to be mostly late afternoon and evening flights scheduled from HNL – ATL! At this point, the idea is to get a sleeper type of First Class seating for this leg (at least for any overnight portion).

I’ve tried to look at Seatguru.com in order to check different planes/seating, but their slideshows are on the blink (rotten luck!). But I’m trying to find the best airline, plane, and schedules for both coming and going and any help would be greatly appreciated! I don’t want to end up with an old, uncomfortable plane for these prices.

Also… our original thinking on this was to buy 120 or so days out, but I don’t want to risk getting blocked from decent flights and seats (since there are many fewer First Class seats). Anyone have thoughts on that, early booking vs. pricing?

Thanks for any help you can offer!
The McBees

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McBees is offline  
Old Aug 29, 16, 5:23 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Hale Koa is a great deal for Waikiki, book early.
Also, check out the Cottages at Kaneohe Bay, located on a deserted beach within Marine Base Kaneohe. It's like going back in a time machine. Plus, you can host a gang for a cookout right on the beach. And, you have to drive across a runway to get there!

http://mccshawaii.com/cottages/
BOSOGG is offline  
Old Aug 29, 16, 6:37 pm
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Delta ATL-HNL nonstop would be a comfortable way to go on the A330.
Taoyuan is offline  
Old Aug 29, 16, 6:40 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Agree on the Hale Koa. They have it all, including a fine beach, nice park like grounds, good, reasonably priced luau, Mongolian cook out, etc. A Delta non stop is a good choice ATL/HNL. You might even spring for their lounge before a flight.
KenfromDE is offline  
Old Aug 30, 16, 4:56 am
  #5  
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Thanks and a follow up

Thanks so much for the information and help!

BOSOGG and KenfromDE
- I think those may be the ones that I ran across first, on the big island? They looked great! His family is up the coast west of Waikiki, so we settled the Hale Koa (despite knowing it will be 45 m to them). Maybe one day we will get to return... :-)

KenfromDE and Taoyuan
- I ran across that delta non stop last night (Airbus) and it looked fantastic, until the price was $10,000. Yikes. That's 2k over the top of what we had has as upper limit (given that we are staying 2 weeks, it is already a rather steep journey). Is is the plane and/or non-stop causing it to be twice of United flights? Being from Atlanta, we usually fly Delta, but....

It feels like the good flight is out of reach and the others are subpar enough to make it feel like a waste of money (flight wise). Am I missing something on either side of that?
McBees is offline  
Old Aug 30, 16, 5:34 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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You should check out Delta Vacations. You can often get a cheaper airfare when you add a car or hotel. We have booked the ATL/HNL flights in first using Delta Vacations many times.
JA610 is offline  
Old Aug 30, 16, 7:25 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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You might want to consider comfort plus on the DL nonstop. You can get 2 seats together, a little more leg room and avoid the dreaded 3 seats. And they are returning to serving food and adult beverages in coach. We have used FF miles for both classes and comfort plus was tolerable. (First also went through the roof on FF miles.) It's always nice to have a direct flight, especially if you have carry on. Aloha!
KenfromDE is offline  
Old Aug 30, 16, 1:56 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Delta has the only nonstop between ATL and HNL, so that can command a price premium.

From Hawaii to the East Coast, the distance pretty much dictates that it's going to be overnight one way or another. The nonstop leaves mid afternoon, arriving in ATL first thing in the morning. If you take a connecting flight, either you leave HNL in the morning, arriving on the west coast in the afternoon before an overnight flight to ATL, or you take a late night flight from HNL to the west coast, then a morning flight from the west coast to ATL. The only way you avoid an overnight flight is to take a flight from HNL to the west coast, spend the night in a west coast hotel, then fly from the west coast to ATL the following day.
Hawaiian717 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 16, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by McBees View Post
- I ran across that delta non stop last night (Airbus) and it looked fantastic, until the price was $10,000. Yikes. That's 2k over the top of what we had has as upper limit (given that we are staying 2 weeks, it is already a rather steep journey). Is is the plane and/or non-stop causing it to be twice of United flights? Being from Atlanta, we usually fly Delta, but....

It feels like the good flight is out of reach and the others are subpar enough to make it feel like a waste of money (flight wise). Am I missing something on either side of that?
Try using the Delta "Flexible Dates" search. It's a bit tricky to trade off the duration of your trip, the days of the week you fly, and the actual date of departure. But I do see 14 day roundtrip flights on the nonstop for $2600 per person in April - Tuesday departure, though.

If you do decide to go with United, if you go through DEN, ORD or IAH, you will either have a barcalounger in F or a lie flat if UA completes their 777 domestic seat reconfiguration before your flight.
lensman is offline  
Old Sep 8, 16, 3:39 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 182
Try going through somewhere like Toronto first. We are going to Hawaii in March for less than $1,100 each FC out of YYZ. We are flying to YYZ from ATL the night before to position ourselves for the flight which is costing us another 38,000 Skymiles and like $100. So all in, A330 lay flats to HNL from ATL is $2,300 for two!
YYZ to ATL to HNL (May 2nd)
HNL to ATL to YYZ (May 16th)
$2,277 each
Another $662 or 29,500 Skymiles each so a total of roughly $2,900 each.
Robbyb03 is offline  

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