Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Yet another Island Hopper TR (JQ Y, UA Y)

Yet another Island Hopper TR (JQ Y, UA Y)

Old Jan 31, 2015, 8:51 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CBR
Programs: QF, Velocity, AA
Posts: 284
Yet another Island Hopper TR (JQ Y, UA Y)

My trip starts off in less salubrious surrounds, at the Jolimont Centre, the coach terminal in Canberra with this trip, like many of mine, starting off with a bus trip from Canberra to Sydney. It’s very common for Canberrans to catch the bus for international flights (there aren’t any from Canberra) and it’s a quick three hour bus ride direct from Canberra city to the International Departures at Sydney Airport costing typically somewhere between $24 and $40. Not too bad considering you can’t get a flight CBR-SYD for less than $99, and the whole airport rigmarole takes around two hours anyway.


Bus from Canberra to Sydney…

The buses are modern, but no WiFi or any other amenities. Thankfully there is 3G/4G reception along the entire highway length from Canberra to Sydney so I spend most of the trip either sleeping, reading or browsing online.


Departures board at Sydney

Arrive at Sydney Airport slightly early for checkin, so wander the terminal for a while, and then eventually checkin opens. Flights to DPS and HNL are being checked in at the same time at the same check in area, so a lot of holiday wear and surfboards around!

After checking in, and only short lines at emigration and security, I head to the Qantas Business Lounge to enjoy a champagne or two before take-off.


Jetstar check-in


Qantas Business Lounge

Jetstar Airways JQ3
Origin: Sydney
Destination: Honolulu
Aircraft: Airbus A330-202
Registration: VH-EJB
Seat: 44A


My first Jetstar long-haul experience, and while nothing at all went wrong, I also wasn’t overly impressed. The plane was almost empty, allowing a lot of people to stretch out - nice for an overnight flight. Shortly after take off from Sydney, the meal was served, which was a decent chicken cacciatore and a dessert. Decent enough.


On climb out from Sydney


An empty cabin…

The FAs went through the cabin rapidly with drinks, rapidly enough that you got the feeling they didn’t want anyone to ask for one. Pretty unimpressive. I finished dinner and even though it was still early Australian time, I decided to attempt to stretch out along a row of two (the middle sections were already taken!) and get some sleep - it had been a long day, and with an early arrival and a busy first day planned in Honolulu, it was wise to try and rest up.

About an hour and a half out of Honolulu we were woken for breakfast and another express trip through the aisles by the flight attendants, who disappeared for the entire flight. Too bad if anyone wanted a drink overnight (I did :-|). Got a little rough as we approached HNL, although typically, the second the seatbelt signs were switched on, the turbulence stopped. An uneventful landing into a mild Honolulu morning, and I had arrived!

United UA154
Origin: Honolulu, United States of America
Destination: Majuro, Marshall Islands
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A

With a very early start from Honolulu, I left my hotel in Waikiki at around 4am, and drove the short distance to Honolulu Airport, dropping my car off at the off-site Alamo. After a quick shuttle trip to the airport, it was finally time to check in for the United Island Hopper! I was shuttled off to another part of the check in area for international flights, along with a puzzled look from a United employee who was wondering why I was so early for the afternoon (direct) departure to Guam. I checked without too much fuss, and headed straight out to the gate area - landside departures at HNL is completely devoid of shops, and devoid of life at that time of the morning.


Departures board at HNL, only showing MAJ for the Island Hopper….


Check-in area at HNL


Boarding passes for each sector….

The gate area wasn’t much better. I was leaving from Gate 12, which was conveniently right in front of the security screening area. I took the opportunity to grab a coffee and sat down and people watched for the hour or so before boarding. I also took the opportunity to wander out to the open air section of the terminal to take a photo of our aircraft, N25201.


Our bird to GUM…


A busy boarding area….

The boarding area for UA154 is filled with people, mostly Americans, and from what I can tell, mostly bound for Kwajalein. United are thorough with the checking of bags due to a full flight, and once on board I can see that the flight is indeed full, save for a few spare seats in Economy Plus. I’m seated in 7A, which has a great deal of legroom, and is almost certainly one of the best seats in Y.


And we’re off!


View of the tarmac at HNL from our aircraft

The captain comes on, welcoming us onboard, stating that our flight time to Majuro would be four hours and 40 minutes. Time ticks on and we’re still sitting at the gate, despite it getting very close to our departure time. You can hear bags being shuffled around in the hold, so I’m guessing that is part of the hold up. There is another guy sitting in seat 7C who decides to move to 7F, and another lady - who appears to be known to the crew - promptly takes his vacated seat. The announcements detail our destination as “….to the Islands and Hagatna, Guam” - I guess all the destinations are a bit of a mouthful.

We finally take off from HNL’s reef runway at 8:15am, almost an hour late, and I am nervous about our ability to disembark at the intermediate stops as I’ve heard sometimes they don’t let you if you’re running late. We head off toward the south, and an FA immediately starts to distribute arrival documentation for all our ports, asking each passenger where they are headed and handing out the respective arrival form. The Guam and FSM ones are an entire A4 page, and the RMI one is a smaller blue card.


Guam arrival form


FSM arrival form

By this stage I’m starting to get hungry and am hopeful that our food will arrive soon. About half an hour later, after I doze off in the morning sun, I’m woken for food, which is a choice of a cheese omelette or french toast. While I await the food which is coming from the rear of the cabin, I take the opportunity to ask the FA whether or not we will still be able to get off the aircraft in Majuro and she assures me it will be fine. I take the cheese omelette which is actually quite decent, and doze off again after finishing it. The light in the cabin seems strange, almost like it is already afternoon. Maybe it’s a reflection of the eight hours or so that I’ve been awake already.


Breakfast time


Not sure where the sky ends and the sea starts here….

As we continue our journey south, the clouds grow slowly more numerous, letting us know that we’re well and truly entering the tropics. About an hour out of Majuro we’re served a snack of Oreos and another drink. I just take a Diet Coke, and the FA appears to struggle with my Australian accent, thinking I wanted a G&T…! A bit early for that I think! The girl next to me gets offered one of the infamous cookies from business class and I can only look on in envy.


Pre-landing snack and drink….

The clouds start to grow quite thick, but I’m still hopeful of some decent views on approach to Majuro. As we start our approach, I think an FA presses the wrong button and we accidentally get a briefing on the use of the oxygen masks. Looks of alarm go around the cabin.


Amazing views on approach to Majuro

I enjoy our picturesque approach around Majuro Atoll, while simultaneously being alarmed at one of the flight attendants who is still up in the aisle as we are very much on finals! We land and roll in toward the terminal. The stairs are quickly pushed to the aircraft and we are welcomed to disembark. Passengers are required to take their luggage with them if they leave, or if staying aboard, they are to take down their items and identify them to the crew. I am the first to disembark and walk across the tarmac, getting my mandatory photos of the “Amata Kabua International Airport” sign - I’m not the only one who does it either! I wonder how people are able to get stamps, as the direction arriving passengers are sent is the opposite direction to the departure lounge, where the transiting passengers are sent.


Terminal complex at Majuro


Welcome to Majuro!


Baggage collection etc. at Majuro

The terminal at Majuro is constructed from cinderblocks painted in green and looks expectedly spartan and aged. The arrivals area is outdoors under a shed. I come to find out that it is to be perhaps the second most run down terminal of them all, behind that at Kosrae. There are a lot of people waiting in the terminal, and I head toward the back to a small convenience stand, which sells various snacks and drinks.


[I]Terminal at Majuro[/]


Security and emigration at Majuro - try for your stamps here!

I buy a local paper from the stand, keeping it for reading on the plane - I always like to read local newspapers when I travel to get an idea of local issues etc. I notice at the rear to the left, the entrance from the security and passport control, and note that they are processing the arriving passengers on the opposite side. I get the attention of one, and ask if I can have a stamp, but like many before me I am refused. I get the feeling I probably could have pressed him for it, but didn’t want to be pushy.


Terminal paraphenalia…


Our aircraft on the ground at Majuro

After a short wait, we are asked to reboard, and the boarding sequence in groups is adhered to, and continues to be along the entire journey to Guam. As we head out to board, drops of rain start to fall. I quickly get another selfie in front of the sign and then dash up the stairs back to 7A.


Why yes I did, all twenty minutes of it - wish it could have been more though!

I have an engineer next to me in 7C this time - I come to find out later in the trip that he is Guam based, and is part of a rotation of three engineers that does the run from Guam to Majuro, overnighting there, and then returning the next day.


Re-boarding at Majuro….

United UA154
Origin: Majuro, Marshall Islands
Destination: Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A


After a lot of mucking around on the ground (weren't we running late?), we're underway again, now with an engineer sitting in 7C (who apparently accompanies the aircraft all the way to GUM). It's now raining in Majuro, and we taxi to rwy 7, and climb straight out into the clouds.


Looking back at the runway at Majuro

After a few bumps breaking the cloud, it is a fairly uneventful and short flight to Kwajalein. We're served just a cold drink, which was appreciated with the tropical heat.


A small atoll, spied on climb out from Majuro…

We approach Kwajalein Atoll which seems huge from the air in comparison to Majuro. The approach is rather slow and we set down fairly far down the very long runway - no need for heavy braking here!

We pull up to the terminal and a large number of people disembark and are replaced by a lesser amount continuing from Kwajalein to Guam. An airport worker gets on board and asks all passengers to identify their bags, and in addition unlike the other ports (as all that have read other Island Hopper TRs would know!), transiting passengers aren't allowed to disembark at Kwajalein.


The “terminal” at Kwajalein

I manage to somehow get a WiFi signal from the aircraft, so I touched base with family and friends and checked Facebook etc. for what seemed quite a long layover.

United UA154
Origin: Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
Destination: Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A


As we taxi out, I spy some kind of cargo aircraft of sorts, making me wonder just how much other traffic comes in and out of Kwaj. Guess that's probably on a need to know basis. We taxi back down the runway, and take off towards our next stop Kosrae.


Takeoff from Kwajalein

By this time I'm getting hungry and we get served a sandwich with a fruit salad and a Hershey's chocolate. Pretty uninspiring sandwich but it still hit the spot. The seatbelt sign doesn't go off for the entire 1hr20m journey from Kwajalein to Kosrae as we bump our way to our next port of call.


Lunch time!


Pondering the Guam arrival form, it reads more like a tourist survey than anything else…

As we make our way below the thick cloud, I spy Kosrae shrouded in rain and mist off to the left side of the aircraft. Unlike the previous stops, Kosrae is an island, not an atoll and is filled with mountains and trees. It is also the first stop in the FSM. I'm on the "wrong" side for this take off which is a bit disappointing as you can see from afar that the landscape on this tiny island is just stunning.

We land in Kosrae with the brakes on hard and taxi toward the terminal in the rain. Not many people get off here but when we pull up, the handling crew get on and announce that transit passengers should stay on board. We have been running behind all day, but no one seems to mind. They also don't police people getting off, so I decide to go and explore the terminal at Kosrae.


Arrivals area at Kosrae

It's probably the most primitive yet, seemingly everything is in the same room - the checkin, security, the departure lounge and a shop. As primitive as it is, it has seemed like the most efficient operation yet.


The check-in area at Kosrae


Waiting area at the terminal at Kosrae

We wait around for maybe five minutes and boarding starts again. When I get on board, the engineer casually offers me some banana chips that he bought at Kosrae, but I politely decline. From what I can tell, he lives in Guam but follows the flight all the way to Majuro and back. Many of the Kosraeans (male and female) that have just joined the flight also are wearing flower garlands on their heads - perhaps a parting gift from relatives?

Here I also become fully aware of the inter-island travel system - at every port "non-rev" pax (who are all islander folk) are asked to press their attendant call button and are handed a new boarding pass. Presumably they just take whatever seats are spare, so over the course of the trip, the same people around me rotate seats around the cabin.


Our bird on the ground in Kosrae

The turnaround here has been the quickest yet (despite the uplift of quite a few passengers from here) but as we take off for our next stop, Pohnpei, I can't help but be struck by the mountainous beauty of this island.

United UA154
Origin: Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
Destination: Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A


A roaring takeoff from Kosrae sees us double back across our earlier path, heading westward to Pohnpei, the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. A relatively quick flight again, we dodge a number of big cloud patches on our journey, which is only slightly bumpy although the seatbelt sign remains on the entire time again.

Only a drink is served on this sector, and I again take just a Diet Coke. I listen to some recent boarders from Kosrae, and can't help but remark at what I assume to be the Kosraean language, which seems quite different to the other languages of the region. Curiously, one of the crew converses with the recent arrivals, plus some others that boarded in Majuro, so I'd be curious to know what language they were speaking.

The descent path into Pohnpei sends us through the middle of some decent cloud cover and we sit through our roughest approach yet. We wind our way down and as we descend I get the feeling from the direction we're headed that I'll again find myself on the "wrong" side of the aircraft. Turns out I'm right, although I get a nice view of the lagoon at the side of the runway anyway. The landscape looks similar to Kosrae, but due to the cloud and also the distance of the "mainland" from the island runway in Pohnpei, it doesn't give quite the impression of beauty that those in Kosrae did.

We slam down onto the runway at Pohnpei with brakes on heavy again. The runway here seems to be in the best condition of them all, and we backtrack along the runway to a relatively modern terminal building.


Welcome to Pohnpei! - Along the bottom of the sign is hello in all the languages of the FSM - Pohnpeiean, Chuukese, Yapese and Kosraean respectively

The terminal at Pohnpei is quite large even by island standards, with two departure areas (maybe intended to be separate gates) and a very underwhelming "cafe" that sells basically drinks and packaged ramen noodles. The terminal is filled with a lot of people, although it also seems a lot of people disembarked here. It also seems like most of the transit passengers also disembarked here. In contrast to the other ports, there are also a lot of western faces in the terminal here, including an Australian accent!


The terminal/gate area at Pohnpei

At this stage, out of those boarded in Honolulu, it is only me, another solo traveller and a larger group of Americans left. Something tells me they're divers, so I expect they might get off in Chuuk.

We board again, stepping out into the tropical heat of Pohnpei. The weather on the ground is reasonable despite the rough approach, and we get a nice view of an incredible cliff formation in the mountains above the airport. Clearly I'm not the only one taken by this, as many passengers stop to take a picture of it. Boarding is slow here due to the sheer number of boarding guests and during boarding we get an announcement in the local language which is nice. Also, the crew from here have stopped saying "the Islands" and are now referring to Chuuk, Guam etc.


Sheer cliff in the mountains above Pohnpei Airport

Despite there appearing to be many more people, the seat next to me is once again free. I look at my boarding pass and note that the arrival time is a mere twelve minutes after our departure time. I'm thinking there might be a time change between Pohnpei and Chuuk?

United UA154
Origin: Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
Destination: Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A


The crew on the flight are a curious but fun bunch, who seem to know many of the people that get on and off. While friendly, it's in that aloof manner that seems quite common on American carriers. The head purser is particularly nice though, and is the only one that seems to acknowledge that I've been on the flight for a while now. And while I'm enjoying the experience - and it has undoubtedly been more interesting than a direct flight - by this time I'm getting a little travel weary and am looking forward to getting to my hotel in Guam and relaxing.

We push back quickly from the terminal at Pohnpei, and proceed out to the runway. Interestingly we're taking off the opposite direction to which we arrived (a first for the trip) and disappointingly I miss out on any view at all of the main part of Pohnpei. We head out past some atolls into some clearer air than that over the last two sectors.

The FAs roll out the drink cart again, with only drinks, much to my disappointment. I have cookies in my bag but it's up in the overhead and I can't be bothered getting out of my seat. The First Officer comes on, and gives us a weather and time estimate for our arrival in Chuuk, which has us arriving about 30 mins behind original schedule. Not bad. I doze off to a nap during the latter part of this sector and wake up as we're beginning our descent into Chuuk.

The technician has kept himself busy with a newspaper on this sector but pulls out an iPad that he watches basketball on just as we commence our descent into Chuuk. I guess the weather has been reasonable for most of the trip, but I'm surprised at how late the FAs sit down just before landing.

We dip into some thick but benign cloud as we begin our descent into Chuuk which feels a lot less steep than our descent into Pohnpei.


On approach to Chuuk

It’s quick taxi to the gate after our landing on RWY 22, taxiing across the apron with the infamous L5 Hotel off to our left in the distance. Deplaning at Chuuk is a quick affair, and a family that have been sitting around me in various places since Majuro finish their journey here. Most transit passengers mill around outside taking in the views, taking photos with the Chuuk airport sign, smoking and just getting some fresh air.


Chuuk airport terminal

The gate agent, who appears eager to start boarding, eventually heards us back into the terminal, which appears almost modern with its marble floor but it is nevertheless sparse and rundown in parts also.


The terminal at Chuuk

United UA154
Origin: Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
Destination: Guam, United States of America
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: N25201
Seat: 7A



On the ground, prior to departure from Chuuk

Boarding and pushoff (rather than pushback!), was done rapidly on this final sector, and it was only a short taxi to the runway, taking off headed direct toward our final destination, Guam. I get talking to the engineer on this sector, who has worked for United and Continental Micronesia for a long time now. He tells me about his other work around the local network, telling me he often also goes to Yap and Palau in addition to the “classic” Island Hopper. He seems to enjoy the work and we have an interesting discussion about life on the islands, the Island Hopper and the performance of the aircraft (which he assures me is extremely reliable!), and a variety of other topics.

He solves my curiosity about the origin of the crew, telling me that the two I was curious about are Pohnpeian. I’m still curious as to what language they were conversing in with the various people getting in and out at each stop, as my understanding is that all the FSM languages aren’t as similar as what you would expect - a later Wikipedia search confirms this.

The meal service on this leg is the same sandwich/Hersheys combo we got on the KWA-KSA leg, although sans fruit salad this time. It fills the spot, as I was beginning to get pretty hungry. I chat to the engineer pretty much the entire 1hr30 final leg - a nice way to close up the trip. We descend into Guam as the sun sets, and touch down around twenty minutes behind original schedule, so we made up around 40 minutes or so on the way. We taxi quickly toward the gate, and I bid my farewell to the head purser, who asks me if I enjoyed the experience, to which I answer a resounding yes!


Welcome to Guam! At Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport

Closing thoughts:

I have read some say they wouldn’t do it again, but I absolutely would - although would probably try and find some way to stop on one of the islands - the scenery in Kosrae in particular really drew me in. I think sitting in the seat I had contributed a lot to my enjoyment of the trip - I’m not good with even standard legroom on anything more than an hour and a half or so, and I can’t imagine having to sit in a standard seat the entire trip. After the first long leg to Majuro, the rest of the island hops go quite quickly, both in the air and on the ground - you aren’t left much time at all to wander around in the terminal, so don’t be thinking you will have oodles of time to look at what minimal there is to look at anyway.

A couple of tips:

- As is fairly commonly known, but is worth repeating, it is best to do the IH in the direction HNL-GUM as it operates entirely in daylight hours. The return to HNL is during the night.

- It is normally the cheapest if you book a ticket from HNL to a destination beyond GUM, i.e MNL, HKG or even NRT, and route via the IH. The cheaper tickets don’t allow you to stop at any of the intermediate stops (inc. GUM), which would explain why almost all that do the IH don’t actually stop during the trip.

- Although the food is adequate, bring a few snacks, as a some point you will certainly feel hungry.

- At some intermediate stops, you may be asked to stay on board. I don’t want to say ignore them, but it wasn’t strongly enforced. Just don’t dawdle if you do get out and be aware that you may only get a very short time in the terminal anyway.

- As to which side of the plane to sit on - it really is a lottery. I took 7A on the basis that most said you will get “the good view” at all ports except Chuuk. I ended up getting dudded at KSA, PNI and TKK in 7A, so you really can’t pick it.

Last edited by ryanbryan; Feb 1, 2015 at 4:39 am
ryanbryan is offline  
Old Jan 31, 2015, 9:57 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,058
Isn't there one stop that is a military base with no photos or getting off?
JVPhoto is offline  
Old Jan 31, 2015, 10:08 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CBR
Programs: QF, Velocity, AA
Posts: 284
Kwajalein is a military installation yes, but nothing was mentioned about photos. I was also openly using my mobile phone (along with many others) and nothing was said....
ryanbryan is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 1:16 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Stockholm
Programs: Various
Posts: 3,394
Thanks for the report. United in economy doesn't sound too good but it feels like it would be worth it for the Island Hopper.
Fredrik74 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 1:24 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: West of CLE
Programs: Delta DM/3 MM; Hertz PC; National EE; Amtrak GR; Bonvoy Silver; Via Rail Préférence
Posts: 5,443
Fantastic Trip Report

You educated me about a part of the world of which I knew very little.

I'm guessing that United inherited routes from Continental subsidiary Micronesia that included the route you described.

I went and looked at the United website to try to figure out how many miles you covered and how many time zones you crossed.

HNL-MAJ 0725 day #1 - 1035 day #2 (MAJ is 22 hours ahead of HNL) 2,280 miles (by way of comparison, HNL-SFO is 2,399 miles and two time zones--although a 3 hour time change between March and November as Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time)

MAJ-KWA 1119-1219, 268 miles

KWA-KSA 1259-1312 (time zone crossed here), 661 miles

KSA-PNI 1347-1450, 344 miles

PNI-TKK 1531-1543 (time zone crossed here), 438 miles

TKK-GUM 1620-1755, 633 miles

Total scheduled time of trip (including stops): 14 hours 30 minutes (four time zones)

Total miles covered: 4,624

United's website indicates that they have an HNL-GUM non-stop covering 3,801 miles and requiring 7 hours 50 minutes gate to gate (1450 to 1840 +1; GUM is 20 hours ahead of HNL).

Just messing around in the middle of the night.

Last edited by ND76; Feb 1, 2015 at 1:58 am
ND76 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 1:53 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SYD
Programs: UA, VA, ZL, Priority Club, HH. Rydges.
Posts: 126
A Great report, it is something I have always wanted to do.
As you say, it's best to book it through to HKG price wise.
Thanks again.
g-day is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 3:58 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: CBR
Programs: Motionsick Planespotters, Inc.
Posts: 21
I was so surprised to see a TR beginning at the Jolimont Centre that it's brought me out of my FlyerTalk lurkerdom! It makes the trip seem a lot closer to home - I found myself thinking 'Gee, I could totally do that trip... motion sickness notwithstanding'

Great balance of photos and text in the report, it was very engaging.
peachtea is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 7:32 am
  #8  
was thetravelingRedhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Western Michigan
Programs: Delta Silver Medallion, United Silver Premier
Posts: 642
very nice tr!

was a bit shocked to see meals on UA... then I realized this is an Island hopper

how did you get back to canberra? or is that a story for later?
Mrtrash757 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 9:33 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, AA, AS
Posts: 305
Nice story about your Island Hopper trip. It looks you stayed on the same side of the plane the entire trip. Is view best from this side?
sfonorth is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 9:39 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,058
Originally Posted by ryanbryan
Kwajalein is a military installation yes, but nothing was mentioned about photos. I was also openly using my mobile phone (along with many others) and nothing was said....
In other TRs I had read that you couldn't get off, they mentioned no photos/phones and even there was an armed MP on the plane while the door was open.


I think I am going to be spending a fair amount of 2016 in Thailand so I am thinking about doing this trip once for the HNL-GUM leg as you said which is during the day.
JVPhoto is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 11:13 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada
Programs: Star Alliance G*, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium,
Posts: 3,601
great TR

Great trip report. Very informative!

I am doing the IH on Feb 11. I struggled with the issue of where to stop en route? I originally settled on Truk, but abandoned the plan when I read about the crime! Instead, I am spending 24 h in ROR (going snorkeling) and 24 h in MNL (suggestions welcome).

Like you, I settled for Y and I am happy I did. You get to meet more Islanders!
Antonio8069 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 12:43 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CBR
Programs: QF, Velocity, AA
Posts: 284
Originally Posted by Fredrik74
Thanks for the report. United in economy doesn't sound too good but it feels like it would be worth it for the Island Hopper.
Absolutely, although try to get a seat in Economy Plus…! It’s well priced and definitely worth it!

Originally Posted by ND76
You educated me about a part of the world of which I knew very little.

I'm guessing that United inherited routes from Continental subsidiary Micronesia that included the route you described.

I went and looked at the United website to try to figure out how many miles you covered and how many time zones you crossed.

……..

Just messing around in the middle of the night.
Yes, they were ex-Continental Micronesia routes, although from my understanding, all the staff still on there are all ex-Continental etc. so really things haven’t changed much for them other than they’re now working for United :-P And yes, a lot of timezones there, but it really just felt like one really long day….!

Originally Posted by peachtea
I was so surprised to see a TR beginning at the Jolimont Centre that it's brought me out of my FlyerTalk lurkerdom! It makes the trip seem a lot closer to home - I found myself thinking 'Gee, I could totally do that trip... motion sickness notwithstanding'

Great balance of photos and text in the report, it was very engaging.
Great to hear that it brought you out of your lurkerdom, but sorry to hear about the motion sickness - doesn’t work too well with a love of flying I’m sure!

Originally Posted by thetravelingRedhead
very nice tr!

was a bit shocked to see meals on UA... then I realized this is an Island hopper

how did you get back to canberra? or is that a story for later?
Hahah yeah, I actually think maybe even the alcohol was free too - I saw someone get some and there appeared to be no money changing hands. While I usually don’t mind a drink while flying, I didn’t bother on this flight for some reason. As for how I got back to Canberra, it was via Philippine Airlines to MNL and then Cebu Pacific to SYD and then the bus again. I would have added these in too, but friends were hounding me to get the TR for the Island Hopper online, so I wanted to get it up quickly!

Originally Posted by sfonorth
Nice story about your Island Hopper trip. It looks you stayed on the same side of the plane the entire trip. Is view best from this side?
Thank you! Hard to say because the direction of landing/takeoff can vary due to weather conditions. I would say in hindsight I would have chosen an F seat - this side had the best views of PNI and TKK, which I think were the most picturesque ports.

Originally Posted by JVPhoto
In other TRs I had read that you couldn't get off, they mentioned no photos/phones and even there was an armed MP on the plane while the door was open.
I think once upon a time some REALLY top secret things probably happened at Kwaj - suspect it’s probably not the case anymore and there’s not the same need to be strict. Had heard that many years ago they would have to land there with window shades down and all. Definitely no armed MP on the plane while we were there.

Originally Posted by Antonio8069
Great trip report. Very informative!

I am doing the IH on Feb 11. I struggled with the issue of where to stop en route? I originally settled on Truk, but abandoned the plan when I read about the crime! Instead, I am spending 24 h in ROR (going snorkeling) and 24 h in MNL (suggestions welcome).

Like you, I settled for Y and I am happy I did. You get to meet more Islanders!
TKK seemed like it may have been the best place to stop - I had heard about the crime as well, but I think as long as you’re vigilant, it should be ok? Have heard ROR is very good for snorkelling though, so that sounds great too! I was in MNL for a similar amount of time - it is a difficult city with heavy traffic all the time. Stay somewhere that doesn’t involve you have to get a cab or anything to places you want to go. Interesting city with lovely people but I’m not in a rush to get back. If you are leaving MNL from any terminal other than terminal 3, leave ALOT of time for getting to the airport and consider organising some type of transport in advance. Due to a lot of roadworks around the airport, many drivers won’t bother (at least not with tourists) unless they can get some extra cash. Terminal 3 only involves a short journey through the roadworks though, so isn’t nearly as affected.
ryanbryan is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2015, 3:45 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: DL Diamond; Marriott Titanium
Posts: 226
Great TR, not something many of us will get to try.
HLT1904 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 2015, 10:52 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: TUS and any place close to a lav
Programs: UA 1.6MM
Posts: 5,423
I assume this was a revenue ticket?

How were the miles awarded? Did you get each segment's mileage individually or just the HNL-GUM direct mileage?

Did you have to call in to get the segments split up individually?
warreng24 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 2015, 11:13 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,058
Originally Posted by warreng24

Did you have to call in to get the segments split up individually?
Don't think you have to call in, let's you select the flights on UA.com
JVPhoto is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.