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UA - LAX-SFO-HIKA-Guam and return via UA Pacific Islands $442 <2.8cps

UA - LAX-SFO-HIKA-Guam and return via UA Pacific Islands $442 <2.8cps

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Old Feb 17, 18, 11:22 pm   -   Wikipost
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The fare allows you to travel on the island hopper (UA132/133) westbound and/or eastbound. HKG or MNL are both possible turnarounds and the fare is combinable with NH either way.

Who are going for this run?

UA132
  • Jan 19: westleyl, jayhawk17
  • Mar 18: Mateuszz
  • Mar 31: johnnywho,jetsflier

UA133
  • Jan 21: westleyl, jayhawk17
  • Feb 4: Spectre17, daisyatl
  • Apr 1: johnnywho, jetsflier
  • May 13: sexykitten7
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Old Jan 15, 18, 7:06 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,301
But can I use an RPU to upgrade it? And will I need one for each segment?

i see R availability now on the hopper, would like to understand if I can use it.
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Old Jan 15, 18, 4:04 pm
  #122  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: KPAO
Programs: UA Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, HHonors Silver, IHG Gold, Marriott Rewards Gold
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by br2k View Post
But can I use an RPU to upgrade it? And will I need one for each segment?

i see R availability now on the hopper, would like to understand if I can use it.
You can use RPUs. But, for some reason they couldn't get the last segment of UA 133 to HNL to work with the RPU out of GUM that covered the rest of the segments, so I had to use an extra RPU. You can also RPU from HKG to GUM.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 6:15 pm
  #123  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by jetsflier View Post
Just thought I'd update everyone regarding a change in my itinerary. I logged onto my reservation to double check that my island hopper hadn't been switched with the nonstop flight; it hadn't. However, my LAX-SFO flight had been moved up by nearly two hours.

Once I accepted the changes, it flipped my flights around, making my SFO-HKG flight come before the LAX-SFO one. I called and the agent said it was a strange occurrence. He offered to put me on the flight from LAX to HNL with continuing service to GUM. I accepted it primarily because it gave me the ability to spend a night in Guam before heading back.

Since this was something many people asked about, I figured I'd let you all know here. If UA changes your outbound, try calling them and they may be able to switch it and give you a brief 14 hour layover in Guam - better than 2 hours for sure! For MRers, this probably isn't the best change, but for those of you that aren't doing this for the miles like I am, I'd consider it!
I just asked about this today, but was told that since HKG was my "destination", they were having issues changing me to LAX-HNL-GUM. I spent about 20 mins on hold while they tried to sort it out. Interesting to note, the alternatives offered were LAX-SFO landing at 12:13pm (which I think is too tight a connection given the delays that are inherent to SFO operations), the newly rescheduled flight, or connections through ORD or EWR??

It took another 10 mins for them to adjust my flights into the right order. I'm going to call back later tonight (my last day with MPG status) and see if that was the snag in trying to bypass HKG altogether. Curiously, it shows my trip on the United homepage as LAX-HNL

Sounds like it was quite easy for you, though?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 8:03 am
  #124  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DEN
Programs: UA Platinum
Posts: 732
Not sure why I never thought to ask this before...but what does "HIKA" mean? I tried Google, and the FT glossary, but not having any luck. Just curious!
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Old Feb 1, 18, 10:37 am
  #125  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by mpiotrow View Post
Not sure why I never thought to ask this before...but what does "HIKA" mean? I tried Google, and the FT glossary, but not having any luck. Just curious!
I believe OP meant HKIA, meaning Hong Kong International Airport.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 5:22 am
  #126  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: MUC
Programs: A3 *Gold, AA Plat, AB Plat, Hilton Dia
Posts: 258
OMG, I just checked my flights and instead of the island hopper, they now put me on a direct flight from GUM to HNL... I guess I will be spending some time on the phone with United. No idea when this schedule change occured, I can't remember receiving an email.

I am supposed to fly out on March 30 returning April 1st.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 11:07 am
  #127  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: AUG
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by johnnywho View Post
OMG, I just checked my flights and instead of the island hopper, they now put me on a direct flight from GUM to HNL... I guess I will be spending some time on the phone with United. No idea when this schedule change occured, I can't remember receiving an email.

I am supposed to fly out on March 30 returning April 1st.
I think it should be pretty easy to get put back.

I just accepted 2 minor sked chgs to regular flights that were waitlisted for R. But now the WL is still stuck on the old segments, not new. I'm guessing I have to call to fix, right?

Also MAJ-HNL now says Aircraft: NOTE: This is Bus Service :O
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Old Feb 4, 18, 9:41 pm
  #128  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: United Gold, BA Exec Club, Via Rail
Posts: 1,131
Just thought I'd share this fare since it's in the same spirit as the above fare (albeit not a good milage run):

NRT - MAJ for $1117 USD:
https://www.google.com/flights/#sear...NRT1UA828;eo=e

What's so special about this fare is that you pretty much get the full island hopper experience on both directions (except for the last segment MAJ -> HNL which I wasn't able to find a reasonable price for).

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Feb 5, 18, 10:43 am
  #129  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: LAS based - Home is worldwide
Programs: OneWorld Emeralds, Star Gold, SkyTeam Silver, Southwest A-List, VIP Car Renter, Hotel Elite
Posts: 7,138
I got the true #AirMike experience last week. PVG-GUM-HNL via the Island Hopper on 737s, but thankfully in F. The experience itself was beautiful. Thankfully, I SDC to a 777 HNL-SFO as my back was dead after 20 hours on pmCO 737 aircraft.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 6:45 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: KPAO
Programs: UA Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, HHonors Silver, IHG Gold, Marriott Rewards Gold
Posts: 133
I got back yesterday from the eastbound Island Hopper (UA 133). A few random notes from my slightly jetlagged head:

1) If you have the status to get into a lounge in Hong Kong, consider your options. We departed HKG from gate 20, but the United Lounge is way down by gate 60. So, the Singapore lounge might be a better option, as it's located much closer to gate 20. If you do head to where the United lounge is, you might consider the Thai Airways lounge instead - better food options, in my opinion. Note that it closes earlier than you might like for the GUM flight, so you may still end up going to the UA lounge.

2) You can get off the Island Hopper at every stop (actually, I don't know about Kwajalein because UA 133 didn't stop there) and you probably should. You'll have to take all your belongings with you because they apparently do a security search at every stop. And they lock the lavatories while on the ground.

3) At Chuuk, there's a small snack stand where you could buy a DoCoMo Pacific SIM card if you really were desperate to get online, I guess (although it's not obvious to me if FSM or MH are part of DoCoMo Pacific's service area). At Pohnpei, there was a small snack operation there as well. I bought banana turnovers from the vendor at Kosrae. $3 for 4 baked and 4 fried turnovers. You can also by chips and cold drinks. At Majuro, you can buy food sold sort of as bento boxes. I got fried chicken ($7), just to try it - not bad, although I skipped the salad because it wasn't refrigerated and I had no idea if the dressing might have gone bad in the warm terminal. All of your stops take US dollars (which is the currency of FSM and MH). Everyone you'll need to interact with speaks English.

4) For UA 133, the right side of the plane was definitely the one to be for the best views (I'm assuming that the prevailing winds and therefore the runways selected for landing are generally the same). Except, that is, at Majuro where you can't see much until just before you land. If you're on the left side at that point, you could probably get a better view into the lagoon (Majuro is a large oval atoll). You can probably choose seats on a hop-by-hop basis. Mine switched for some reason on the MAJ-HNL leg.

5) RPUs work to upgrade all the way from HKG to HNL. Of course, you don't get a bed on these flights, just a domestic-type business-first seat. It took me multiple RPUs to get from HKG to HNL and things were a bit screwy in doing the upgrades online. A had to call in to get all of the segments correctly upgraded because the MAJ-HNL segment upgrade disappeared on me for reasons I don't understand.

6) Food up front was dinner (HKG-GUM), breakfast (GUM-TKK), and dinner (MAJ-HNL). The beef over noodles on HKG-GUM was underwhelmingly flavorless. Take the other option, if given a choice.

7) It looked like MAJ-HNL was going to be nearly empty and that there would be lots of rows open in the back for someone who wanted to stretch out flat. You could see it on the United app while on the trip. Get to MAJ, however, and you'll discover that there will be dozens of buddy pass or other non-rev standbys who will fill up most of those empty seats. I overheard an FA mentioning that this has happened on each of the new Sunday Island Hoppers, so don't count on getting to lie down, no matter what it looks like.

8) Amazingly, the airport at PNI has free Wi-Fi. It even worked out on the tarmac, which was good because we had to wait there for an extended period for an in-bound Naura Air aircraft. (There's no ATC or radar there, so operations are done by schedule and given flight time variability, flights don't take the runway unless there's no chance they'll affect an in-bound flight.) I didn't find usable Wi-Fi at TKK, KSA, or MAJ. HKG has free airport-wide Wi-Fi. GUM has it at least in the UA lounge, although I couldn't use my AT&T data plan there because Guam isn't an area where I can use my service for no additional charge (unlike say, the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico).

9) You arrive in HNL at 2:45 a.m. (and we were even earlier than that). The terminal is closed at that point, so there's nowhere air-conditioned to sit or lie down. Not far from the airport (and easy walking distance) are a 24-hour IHOP and McDonald's if you need somewhere to hangout. The terminal opens at 5 a.m., although a couple of the workers there thought you could probably get inside at 4 a.m. The UA club opens at 5:30 a.m., I believe. I opted to walk around as I'm an inveterate Pokemon Go player and there was plenty to do in the game on and near the airport. I waited for Christine's Diner to open a 5 a.m. and had a filling, cheap breakfast there - I love their pork adobo omelets.

10) I flew from SFO, not LAX. A little more expensive, but I didn't want the hassle of getting down to the LAX for the cheaper fare. On the UA app, my trip showed SFO-SFO. At SFO, I was able to get all of my boarding passes except for HNL-SFO. Daisyatl didn't get quite as many and picked up the missing passes at the UA lounge in GUM. I picked up my HNL-SFO pass there as well. HKG was no help in getting those last boarding passes and recommended doing it in GUM. I could not check in via the app - that option did not come up, unlike some other international trips I've made. The agent at SFO was surprised at my trip - he said he had only seen something similar 2-3 times in 20 years. I would have thought there would be more FT crazies doing something like this out of SFO!

11) There is seat-back entertainment on UA 133. It's the DirectTV system with the pre-loaded movies (and obviously, no actual DirectTV). Good luck watching the movies. They reset to the beginning at every stop, so you'll never get to finish any of them as far as I can tell. I didn't use the system except to watch the map view (which was oddly glitchy at times).

12) All of the Island Hopper stops will land at airports with no taxiways, so the plane does a 180 at the end of the runway and taxis back. You deplane via a covered, zig-zag ramp that is wheeled up to the plane. At KSA it was raining (cloudy everywhere else), so they had a person at end of the ramp with a bin of umbrellas they were handing out. You hand the umbrella back to a person standing at the arrivals or transit/departure door to the terminal. Reverse that procedure when walking back out to the plane.

13) Overall, I enjoyed the trip. Didn't get enough sleep (flew economy SFO-HKG, so I started with something of a sleep deficit), but made up for it last night in my own bed at home. If I were to do it again, I'd like to be able to stop in HKG, GUM, and TKK for more than the transit period. PNI, KSA, and MAJ don't seem to be exactly tourist destinations, but I could be wrong. Even with the cloudy skies, I could see beautiful beaches and turquoise waters as we approached each stop or took off.

I hope those of you taking the trip or planning to take it find these notes useful!
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Old Feb 5, 18, 9:27 pm
  #131  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Francisco
Programs: United Premier Platinum, Alaska MVP Gold 75K , Expedia +Gold
Posts: 37
9) You arrive in HNL at 2:45 a.m. (and we were even earlier than that). The terminal is closed at that point, so there's nowhere air-conditioned to sit or lie down. Not far from the airport (and easy walking distance) are a 24-hour IHOP and McDonald's if you need somewhere to hang out. The terminal opens at 5 a.m., although a couple of the workers there thought you could probably get inside at 4 a.m. The UA club opens at 5:30 a.m., I believe. I opted to walk around as I'm an inveterate Pokemon Go player and there was plenty to do in the game on and near the airport. I waited for Christine's Diner to open a 5 a.m. and had a filling, cheap breakfast there - I love their pork adobo omelets.
I flew this route a few weeks ago. Our plane arrived around 2AM in HNL. I was able to get back inside the airport through an open security checkpoint area that was near the 6-11 gates. The TSA must have been bored, they were really chatty and friendly.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 11:59 pm
  #132  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: Mileage Plus
Posts: 33
Great notes! Westley and I did the trip last month and it went well. Something interesting for me was that when we got to the final HNL-LAX leg, it opened up a lot of SDC options... including one through EWR! So many more PQMs, but I had to work

Also, the left side of the plane departing from HNL gives you a great view of downtown and Diamond Head monument!
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:57 pm
  #133  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: KPAO
Programs: UA Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, HHonors Silver, IHG Gold, Marriott Rewards Gold
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by westleyl View Post
I flew this route a few weeks ago. Our plane arrived around 2AM in HNL. I was able to get back inside the airport through an open security checkpoint area that was near the 6-11 gates. The TSA must have been bored, they were really chatty and friendly.
Yeah, the baggage claim down at the United end of the terminal was actually open on the side, but the ominous warning on the door upstairs about the public being in the terminal from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. made me decide that I didn't want to get caught inside the terminal.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 6:03 pm
  #134  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: KPAO
Programs: UA Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, HHonors Silver, IHG Gold, Marriott Rewards Gold
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by jayhawk17 View Post
Great notes! Westley and I did the trip last month and it went well. Something interesting for me was that when we got to the final HNL-LAX leg, it opened up a lot of SDC options... including one through EWR! So many more PQMs, but I had to work

Also, the left side of the plane departing from HNL gives you a great view of downtown and Diamond Head monument!
I don't think I could have stomached flying to EWR and then back to SFO, although the lifetime flight miles might have tempted me. The PQMs never do because I don't spend enough to get 1K. This was, after all, a bit over 49 hours without leaving an airport.

You're right, the left side is so much better when departing HNL with typical winds. A whole lot of ocean on the other side and you get plenty of that on the Island Hopper. ;-)
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Old Feb 14, 18, 8:54 pm
  #135  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 64
Darn. Spent 2 hours on the phone because of the schedule change on March 3rd Island Hopper. Got rebooked on UA200. Oh well. Guess I will have to keep an eye out of the true island hopper.

So disappointed.

And they wouldn't refund my fare either
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