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United Island Hopper December 2013 in J

United Island Hopper December 2013 in J

Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:46 pm
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United Island Hopper December 2013 in J

Island Hopper Trip Report 2013

Dear all,

Here is my final trip report for travel in 2013! I have finally gotten a chance to visit Guam for a wedding of a dear friend of mine. Of course, going to Guam means that I have to fly the Island Hopper, despite it is on United, which is one of my least favorite airlines these days. But you dont have many choices of carriers when it comes to flying to Guam from the Mainland. I believe that a few Asian airlines are fined by offering fares from Guam to the US via their home countries. Regardless of the limited choices, I settled on flying United on my way to Guam, and the Island Hopper is operated by those former 737s owned by Continental Micronesia. The crews are all formerly Continental Micronesia/Air Mikes crews and the only difference today is the plane livery itself. United retains the Air Mikes configuration for its Guam fleet, since there is no economy plus section at all on all these Guam-based 737s. I believe the seats are all updated with the newer United Airlines seats not the slim ones but another version. Anyway, there have been two trip reports on this Island Hopper flight for the past six months including two video trip reports. So I am not going to say much about it and I will let the pictures speak!

N26232/3232 Boeing 737-800 Winglet this plane actually just flew back from Houston and LAX after a month of maintenance check, and the agent that checked me remarked that the plane usually departed from 20s gate, but today it used gate 13. However it allowed me a good chance of taking a few photos.

Loading: It is a pretty full flight, as there are a good number of non-revenue passengers flying all the way from HNL to GUM. Not sure if it is a money losing flight, the loading looks healthy enough for it to be profitable. As expected, the stop with the least passengers deplaning and boarding is Kwajalein Bucholz Army Airfield. Only five passengers boarded at Kwajalein.

Busy day at HNL

My seat 1F

Map of the Island Hopper

Here is the link to the full album:

December 27, 2013
UA 154 HNL-MAJ Lv0725 (0800 from R/W8L) Arr1035+1 (1050 at R/W7)
Boarding began at 6:58am, and like typical international flights, champagne, orange juice or water is offered as pre-takeoff beverages. Headsets were already on the magazine pocket. The only station without pre-takeoff beverages is at Kosrae International Airport, when the ground staffs tried to push things forward.

Goodbye HNL

Breakfast served on this flight choices are typical Cheese Omelet or Pancake with sausage patty
I have the pancake entre.

Same fruit salad to be used on all the three flights with meal services

After breakfast, two movies were shown Despicable Me II & Austenland, and the typical short subject United Presents were played on the shorter legs. Our selection today was Big Bang Theory, the Middle, Chopped and Shark Tank.
Carfield is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:47 pm
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Chocolate chip cookie served prior to landing

Landing at Majuro

UA 154 MAJ-KWA Lv1120 Arr1220 (Actual Lv1235 from R/W7 Arr1322 at R/W6)

Our flight was delayed at Majuro because of some mechanical reasons.

Leaving Majuro

Carfield is offline  
Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:48 pm
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UA 154 KWA-KSA Lv1259 Arr1312 (Actual Lv1414 from R/W6 Arr1416 at R/W5)
This is the shortest leg out of all the flights, but there is a full beverage service in the whole cabin.

Arriving Kwajalein

No transit passengers are allowed to deplane here, and no photos are allowed at this air force base!
The cabin staffs still conducted major cabin check well there is a cabin check at every stop for transit passengers you will have to retrieve your cabin baggage from the overhead bin at each flight. It is pretty annoying but required by TSA. There is no major cleanup rather than a quick tiny up by the ground staffs. At KWA, the local staffs refilled the beverage carts here and moving some carts around. The only beverages got refilled are Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and bottled waters. Of course ice are refilled.

Leaving Kwajalein

UA 154 KWA-KSA Lv1259 Arr1312 (Actual Lv1414 from R/W6 Arr1416 at R/W5)
This is the second flight with a light snack service.

Typical hot snack warmed turkey, ham and cheese croissant sandwich with marinated white button mushroom salad and fruit bowl, and truffles too

Still the same fruit bowl

Landing on R/W5 at Kosrae International Airport
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Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:48 pm
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Kosrae Intenrational Airport

UA 154 KSA-PNI Lv1347 Arr1450 (Actual: 1457 from R/W5 Arrival: 1551 at R/W9)
All transit passengers are requested to stay onboard at this stop because of the delays and they are trying to catch up time.

Leaving Kosrae

Another beverage service with warmed mixed nuts

Landing at Pohnpei

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Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:49 pm
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UA 154 PNI-TKK Lv1531 Arr1543 (Actual: 1635 from R/W9; Arrival: 1643 at R/W4)

Pohnpei here is the gate with air conditioning not available at most stops

Beverage and choice of warmed mixed nuts or freshly baked White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie
Green Tea and cookie

Landing at Truk/Chuuk

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Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:50 pm
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UA 154 TKK-GUM Lv1620 Arr1755 (Actual: 1728 from R/W4; Arrival: 1851 at R/W6R)
Truk/Chuuk International Airport

A few shot N26232 at Truk

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Old Jan 1, 2014, 10:50 pm
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Leaving TKK at R/W4

UA 154 TKK-GUM Lv1620 Arr1755 (Actual: Lv1728 from R/W4 & Arrival: 1851 at R/W6R
Another hot snack is served on this flight just like all meals, hot towels are served prior to meal, and linen is provided for the meal table. However, United just does not want to spend $1-2 to cater another sandwich or salad or starter for this meal. The same croissant sandwich is offered again. This leg is about an hour and twenty-three minutes long, so I cant expect a full dinner. But is it too much to offer a Cheeseburger with a green salad and a piece of cake for this meal? Even some different fruits can be used for the fruit salad. Maybe offered a packaged brownie instead of truffle for this meal! Instead of croissants, maybe we can have a ham and cheese baguette.

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

We finally landed on R/W6R at 6:51pm and parked at gate 9 at 6:55pm. The plane will continue to fly to Manila next.

In conclusion, I am glad that I have the opportunity to do the Island Hopper. The Guam-based F/As were all friendly and it was an amazing professional act to remain so friendly and poised on all six legs. Beverages were frequently refilled at each flight and even economy passengers got a full beverage service at some of the shorter legs. Of course the food situation can be better, but knowing the current situation at United, we will be lucky to see all these meals services remained next year. I hope you enjoy this photo journal! Hope everyone a happy new year and more safe and fun travels in 2014!

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Old Jan 2, 2014, 12:02 am
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Good report! When I did this in Feb, there were still bagged nuts in first rather than hot nuts.

Same breakfast in coach and business on HNL-MAJ, just a difference in plating.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 4:28 am
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Great Trip Report Carfield, have to try that Island Hopper some day for sure
Did you use miles or paid for this one?
Almost never seen mileage seat available on that flight.

I'm surprised you didn't posted the "Welcome to Guam" photos with those super tall grey dividers, Guam seems to love them
Short hair Francis is offline  
Old Jan 2, 2014, 6:18 am
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Hafa Adai Carfield! Never thought a popular trip reporter like yourself would pass through my home town! Congratulations on completing the Island Hopper Experience! It really is a show to see the inflight team work in unison with the ground team to get the flights in and out in a timely manner. I've had times when the crew exceeded their flying hours and we had to stop in PNI for the evening; continuing early the next morning. So many stories to tell and memories to replay. Now you have your own memories.

Happy New Year and Si Yu'os Ma'ase for sharing.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 6:47 am
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love these TRs from less traveled routes. I had no idea that this was even a route on United. Fascinating!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by Carfield
Looks like the first row has a different set of seats.....wonder what that is all about? Looks like the seat is what DL uses on their new installs...replacement, trial?

Clealy not the days of CO...you would never see that kind of inconsistency
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 12:25 pm
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It's good to see you back in the air again, Carfield, and posting in the Trips Reports Forum no less. I've long wanted to fly this particular island hopper, though my preference would have been to have done so forty years ago aboard one of Air Mike's 727-100s.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 1:03 pm
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That's an interesting routing to Guam!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 9:46 pm
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Thanks for sharing. I'm flying UA J NGO-GUM and then GUM-KIX this month so imagine it will be rather similar (though without the stops).
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