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UA's Micronesia Island Hopper - consolidated questions, advice, ....

UA's Micronesia Island Hopper - consolidated questions, advice, ....

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Old Jan 31, 19, 6:23 pm   -   Wikipost
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Best seat advice
See update in post 500
See update in post 690


Best seat on the Island Hopper .. {closed to new posts}

An Island Hopper [Micronesia] Definitive Guide on Where to Sit [UA B737] {this thread}

FAQs derived from findark's post (post #500)
What is the Island Hopper?

The Island Hopper is a United route between Honolulu and Guam, stopping at the islands of Majuro, Kwajaelin, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk in between. The Island Hopper operates in both directions, and skips Pohnpei on certain days. You are allowed to get off the plane and "transit" at each stop except for Kwajaelin, which is a US Army base.

This route is similar to Alaska Airlines' "milk run" routes in rural Alaska. All of these routes serve as lifelines for the residents living in areas served by the routes, as the sole connection providing supplies and transportation to/from the rest of the world.

What is the Island Hopper schedule (as of 1/14/19)?
UA154 (the full Hopper) departs HNL Mon/Fri and flies HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM.
The shorter UA154 flies from HNL on Wed and does HNL-MAJ-KWA-PNI-TKK-GUM (skips KSA).
UA132 departs Sun and flies HNL-MAJ-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM (skips KWA).

UA193 (GUM-ROR-MNL)departs GUM on the evenings of Tue/Fri and flies GUM-ROR-MNL.

The Hopper arrives around 1800+1, so in order to do the entire flight without a stopover you would need to depart HNL on UA154 on Monday morning.


Should I experience the Hopper?

If you like hopping through short segments, with beautiful island views, as well as a constant parade of amazing cloudscape between islands, the Island Hopper may be for you!

Which direction (west or east) is better?

The prevailing wisdom here seems to be in favor of taking UA154 (HNL-GUM). findark did 155 from GUM to HNL, and I think there were some overlooked benefits. The eastbound Hopper has the advantage of doing all the fun stuff in the morning and afternoon when you're fresh and eager to enjoy. 14 hours onboard a 737 is a long time*, and doing it eastbound you can give in to the exhaustion and conk out for the final MAJ-HNL segment. Even the HNL arrival was actually not too bad - it's only 10:50pm Guam time, so if you head on to a hotel you're pretty much in line for a night's sleep.

The most notable downside of taking the Hopper eastbound is that you visit MAJ in darkness. We ran about 25m late the whole way, and it was full dark by the time we touched down in MAJ. Whichever way you go, don't do it on a Wednesday! Kosrae was my favorite island, and it would be a shame to miss it.

*And, I learned, while the flight mechanic hops off in MAJ and the pilots get to work in shifts, the cabin crew are on duty for the whole 14 hours. They were understandably a bit burnt out by the middle of MAJ-HNL, but were simply outstanding nonetheless - greeting kids and handing out wings as they boarded in MAJ.


What's with the plane configuration?

The Hopper is currently flown by a GUM subfleet 737-800 (currently Version 4 on the United website - Row 1 is set back several inches which yields fewer E+ seats). The seatmap is loaded as the "Asia local" 737 map, which looks roughly like a 737-700. Like with other "generic" maps, it will update to the full seatmap about 4 days before departure, when the additional rows will appear.

1AB are blocked for the augmented flight crew, who change places with the pilots in the cockpit at MAJ. 2AB are also blocked because the crew rest seats at 1AB will recline until almost touching row 2, and it is usually used for crew storage.

Where should I sit?

The key here is understanding approach and wind patterns, along with each airport's runway configuration. The following stops and runways are on the north side of their respective islands:

TKK (4/22), PNI (9/27), KSA (5/23)

The following stops have runways on the south side of their atolls:

KWA (6/24), MAJ (7/25)

The prevailing winds at this latitude blow from the east, so a typical landing goes from west to east (into the wind). Therefore, in order to have best views on final approach and initial takeoff, you want to be on the starboard (right, F) side for TKK, PNI, and KSA, and on the port (left, A) side for KWA and MAJ. If you are flying westbound, or you land backwards at any stop on the eastbound flight, then the flight may need to position into the approach, usually by overflying the island at higher altitude out to sea. In this case, both sides of the aircraft will get views, although the closer views belong to the "correct" side. In my case, we landed "backwards" on 22 at TKK, and used the regular 9, 5, 6, and 7 at the other stops.

You should absolutely have a window seat - why else are you here?! The best seats are therefore any window in the Business cabin (note that 1A and 2A are blocked), 7AF and 8AF in Economy Plus (10AF has a misaligned window but is okay, the missing window will kill you in 11 and then the wing really starts intruding), and anything nice and far behind the wing in Economy. In this vein, I declined an upgrade on GUM-TKK since only 2E was left, and we flew in 4A/7F, 2F/4A, 2F/3F, 3A/4A, 3A/4A, 2F/7F.


What can I do at the stops?

The best thing to do is get off the plane! You can take tarmac photos and get amazing close-ups of the plane. You will then be shepherded into the gate area, where there are restrooms (some lacking soap and/or towels) and often locals selling souvenirs and snacks. On our trip, the most substantial souvenirs were available at MAJ. If the flight is running late they will make an announcement requesting transfer pax to stay on the plane; however, as obviously savvy travelers who were along for the whole ride and could get on/off quickly with no bags to stow, we got absolutely no pushback from the purser whenever we went outside anyway.

If you do disembark, you are required to take all carry-on baggage with you. They conduct a security sweep onboard the aircraft and will remove unclaimed bags. As is mentioned many times in this thread, KWA is the exception - as it's a US Army base you cannot get off unless ticketed to there. On our flight, we were requested not to take photographs but were allowed to look out the window. I didn't see anything terribly interesting.

You can also use WiFi in the terminal/transit area when you disembark and at some stops you can get your passport stamped. MAJ, PNI, and KSA have confirmed free WiFi. Passport stamps have been confirmed at PNI, KSA, TKK without "exiting" just ask security about getting a stamp at these 3 airports and they should be able to accommodate you.

Should I check my bags?

Yes. As annoying as it was to wait ~10 minutes for our bags in HNL, it was a lot less annoying than having to haul them around each stop, and find bin space again once on board.


What is the food situation?

Going east is a slightly different meal schedule than west. GUM-TKK and KSA-KWA are coded Snack, and MAJ-HNL is Dinner. The first and last meals are reasonably substantial in J (think like a Breakfast and Dinner code) and somewhat small in Y (somewhat less than a meal in int'l Y - was six pieces of fruit and a muffin in the morning, followed by a turkey sandwich for dinner). The middle snack was just a pass of the snack basket up front; neither of us sat in Y that segment but I would guess they just offered almonds. Additionally, every segment they were offering J pax some packaged almonds.

My general verdict is if going the distance in Y, pack some snacks or buy them at the stops along the way. If you're in J then there's enough food for 14 hours of sitting.


And how about IFE?

Look outside! That's actually about all the IFE there is. The GUM fleet has no WiFi and only DirecTV. Note that DirecTV does not work outside of CONUS, so really it just has the 8-10 looping movies of DirecTV (slightly different movie set for an Asian audience). The movie loop resets at each stop, so unless you want to watch the first 1h30 of a movie six times, there's not much use to the IFE. It is at least free in Y. I brought a book and read it for the middle 20 minutes of each segment and until I fell sleep on MAJ-HNL.


Can I get an upgrade on the Hopper?

Empirically, yes! We were offered upgrades of 11/12 eligible segments; I declined a GUM-TKK upgrade to keep my window, and my companion's MAJ-HNL upgrade was eaten by UA IT (agent in MAJ apologized profusely but understandably wasn't going to remove the already-handed-out upgrades to the next 2 pax on the list).

In order to have any shot, however, you need to be able to split the direct flight into six segments. This generally cannot be done on a mileage ticket or a paid through fare, and would need to be done via multi-city ticketing if visiting an island. In my case, I spent a very long time getting an extremely wonderful pmCO agent who was able to hack my ticket together with 9 connections on the way home. As this is also the only way to choose different views for the different approach directions, I recommend asking for this rather than for upgrades. It causes quite the headache for UA systems, but in the end I felt like it was a huge benefit to fly pretty much all of it in J. Absolutely something I credit to the value of being 1K: I was able to ring the 1K desk many times to get agents to deal with the various hiccups that came along with a PNR that had eight tickets and at one point 36 segments attached to it.

The first five Hopper segments (going east) are CPU eligible; MAJ/HNL requires a GPU. We had GPUs on our reservation and did a mixture of advance clearing and clearing at the gates in the islands (where amazingly enough they had the new J BPs waiting!).


Where to stay and what to do in GUM and HNL?

I think this depends on lot on which way you're going. Flying east, we arrived in GUM around 11pm (maximizing time in Tokyo, but not crazy enough for the 2am arrival), and spent the night at the Days Inn Tamuning. It was at the very bottom of my quality standards, but quite affordable and with 9h45 of total ground time all in the dark I did not want to pay double for a beachfront property I would never enjoy.

In HNL, I took up the excellent recommendation in this thread of the Best Western Plaza Honolulu. It was the cheapest of the few airport hotels in HNL. Having cleared customs by 3:45 (we arrived late), it was off to bed quickly. The arrival is only ~11pm Guam time, so I highly recommend going straight to a bed on arrival in HNL. Afterwards, we took advantage of the 24h connect rule to spend the whole day in HNL before continuing on home to SFO. We were pretty exhausted after another redeye home, but the beach time in Hawaii was well worth it, especially after being taunted by all the beautiful mid-Pacific islands.

Big Metal Bird Episode 8: Island Hopper - 2018
Originally Posted by COEWR2587 View Post
They just did a video in the Micronesia island hopper flight which is pretty interesting
https://youtu.be/TPueM5OF1Wc
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Old Jul 22, 19, 9:02 am
  #826  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Island Hopper (HNL <--> GUM) current schedule

Did the eastbound island hopper last week, thought the current schedule might be useful for some. I will try and post a brief trip report later today.

Numbers after the airports are GMT offsets. Below the United hopper schedule are the few scheduled flights between the same islands that I was able to find on other airlines, as well as the daily HNL <--> GUM nonstop schedule.

Note that westbound hopper flights leave HNL on a given day and arrive at the first stop the following day. For example, UA 132 in the first "Westbound" slot (labeled "Sun/Mon") leaves Honolulu at 07:20 Sunday and arrives in Majuro at 10:40 Monday.

Eastbound flights arrive in Honolulu the same day they leave Majuro. Using the same example as above for Flight 133: The flight leaves Majuro at 19:40 Sunday evening, crosses the dateline somewhere around 10-11 PM local time back into Saturday and arrives in Honolulu Sunday morning at 02:30.

We took a Monday flight. We ate dinner on Monday night in Majuro, flew to Hawaii, got a few hours of sleep and woke up rested for brunch on what my kids were calling "second Monday"


Last edited by md125; Jul 22, 19 at 1:50 pm
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Old Jul 22, 19, 1:50 pm
  #827  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Island Hopper Eastbound Trip Report

Originally Posted by md125 View Post
I will try and post a brief trip report later today.
So here goes.

We really wanted to sightsee in Micronesia so rather than do the hopper with maybe just one short stop or straight through, we planned a two-week trip from our home on the US East Coast with several stops in a few of the islands. My sons love history (my older one is especially into WWI and WWII history), so we made that a theme of the trip. Goals were to see Pearl Harbor, War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam, the Ghost Fleet in Chuuk and any Japanese ruins we could find on several other islands, along with hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and other diversions that the islands offer.

My overall takeaway is that if you are going to stop anywhere, Kosrae is one of the most beautiful places on earth and it would be a real shame to skip it. There are fascinating sights on Chuuk and Pohnpei, Guam is worth some time too, but please do yourself a favor and try and spend a couple of days in Kosrae. You won't be disappointed!

Back to the details... After spending some time looking at my miles stash, activities and timing, we decided on the following broad parameters for our family of five:
  • We want to stop on Chuuk (ghost fleet) and Pohnpei (Nan Madol) for sure.
  • Of Kosrae and Majuro, Kosrae looked like there were more activities, and also a bit more off the beaten path (also greener, potentially more pleasant).
  • We had enough UA miles to do the round trip from HNL through the islands and back but would need to get to/from HNL using another mechanism.
  • Based on work and vacation schedules, we'd have to do this at the beginning of the summer, ideally around July 4 to grab an extra vacation day.

We ended up booking:
  • AA to/from HNL in coach with a layover in each direction (one way saver at 22.5K, one way "anytime" at 40K miles)
  • UA HNL-GUM, GUM-TKK, TKK-PNI, PNI-KSA, KSA-KWA-MAJ-HNL in economy with UA (71K miles pp) with plans to spend at least one full day in all stops except KWA and MAJ. Note that the United Excursionist Perk makes one of the island stops free, so you pay 27.5K HNL->GUM, 0 for GUM->TKK, 8K each for TKK->PNI and PNI->KSA and another 27.5K for KSA->HNL.

Flights and hotels:
AA 1352->692 EWR->PHX->HNL on Thu July 4, staying at the Hyatt Place Waikiki (1 night, booked on Hyatt points)
UA 201 HNL->GUM on Fri July 5 (arr Sat night, July 6), staying at the Hyatt Regency Guam (2 nights, booked through hotels.com using discounted gift cards).
UA 155 GUM->TKK on Monday, July 8, staying at the Blue Lagoon (2 nights, cash)
UA 155 TKK->PNI on Wednesday, July 10, staying in a rental house provided by Mangrove Bay (2 nights, cash)
UA 155 PNI->KSA on Friday, July 12, staying at the Pacific Treelodge (3 nights, cash)
UA 155 KSA->HNL with stops in KWA and MAJ, staying again at the Hyatt Place Waikiki (2 nights, Hyatt points)
AA 8->1382 HNL->DFW->EWR on Tuesday, July 16, arriving back in Newark midday Wednesday, July 17.

All flights arrived on time or early except for the long KSA->KWA->MAJ->HNL, leaving KSA an hour late and arriving in HNL after further delays about an hour and a half behind schedule. All in all, no complaints, everything ran more or less on time and we got all of our luggage at each stop. Really can't ask for much more than that!

I'm Gold on AA and have the United Mileage Plus Chase card so no bag fees and the ability to choose E+ on AA where available. Note that every single flight was packed, in most cases, completely full with people left on the standby list.

I'll start with the flights, then summarize the islands.

Flights
  • AA 1352 EWR-PHX: Got E+ (row 11). Old (non-Oasis) 738 layout, comfortable seats. No seatback entertainment, but there was an outlet at each row and streaming entertainment worked well. Panasonic Wifi (didn't try to use it). Left on time and arrived into PHX early. We used the temporary "Club at PHX" lounge for snacks and outlets.
  • AA 692 PHX-HNL: This flight was packed weeks in advance, old 757, got seats near the back. Comfortable enough, slow but usable Gogo wifi. No seatback entertainment, no outlets in regular economy.
  • UA 201 HNL-GUM: Miserable 777, 10-across, no seatback entertainment, phone/tablet holders that did not hold my phone. Nearly 8-hour flight, no snacks other than a single, admittedly delicious, Stroopwaffel. Buy on board snacks and decently fast wifi. The three kids sat in the 3-across A/B/C in row 47, and my wife and I sat in the 2-across A/B in row 48. UA's app for streaming had some issues - first, we were unable to install it on my newish table (Alcatel, less than 4m old) as it doesn't support that version of Android. Never seen this with any other app before. Second, both my son and I noticed that the United app would not start unless we uninstalled the American App. Stopping the AA app didn't help, it needed to be uninstalled entirely.
  • UA 155 Guam to Chuuk: I bought E+ for the three legs GUM-TKK, TKK-PNI and PNI-KSA. I sat in 7F, wife and one kid in 7A/B next to the mechanic, other two kids in 8 A/B. F was a good choice on this flight. Gorgeous views coming into Chuuk. But there were great views on both sides, as the plane crossed over the lagoon between the various islands. Fruit salad and a muffin were served. Very friendly service.
  • UA 155 Chuuk to Pohnpei: Seats 8A/B/D/E/F. I sat in 8F. Gorgeous island views into Pohnpei. No food, same flight crew as the prior flight. Arrived early into Pohnpei.
  • UA 155 Pohnpei to Kosrae: 7A/B (mechanic in 7C) and 8A/B/C. Kosrae on our left, shrouded in rain on arrival. Again stunning views. No food, by now the flight crew were welcoming us back and asking about our trip! Flight left about 20 min late, but arrived less than 10 min late.
  • UA 155 Kosrae to Honolulu with stops in Kwajalein and Majuro: 27D/E/F, 28 E/F. Left KSA an hour late, same very friendly flight crew, no snacks served. Stopped in KWA (wrong side of the plane, as it turned out, no views until we landed) and after an hour UA started asking for volunteers to stay for two days until the next flight; eventually sorted the weight issue by removing all(!) KWA-originating bags telling passengers they would get the bags in two days. Glad they didn't do that in KSA, as we were leaving HNL back home before the bags would arrive, not sure what we would have done. Left KWA two hours late. Arrived MAJ just under two hours late, full dark but cool to see the lights along the atoll. Super quick turnaround but they let my son and I off the plane to grab some dinner for the family. Didn't try to get a passport stamp, I understand that they aren't as willing to do so as in Micronesia, the flight crew was aiming for a quick turnaround and I would have my head handed to me if I didn't come back with dinner! On the plus side, I forgot to take cash off the plane with me, and people offered to lend me money (I borrowed, paid the guy back as soon as we took off). Crew change in MAJ, light meal of a turkey sandwich and chips served on board. Arrived into HNL just over 1 1/2 hours late at 4:30 AM. A bit rough for the kids, but all in all not too bad considering.
  • AA 8 HNL-DFW: Got E+, overall good overnight flight. Seatback entertainment, kids were happy. Wonderful flight crew, I was comped a glass of wine after dinner.
  • AA 1382 DFW-EWR: 738 with new Oasis layout. Was OK for a short flight, even in E-.

The airports:
  • EWR Terminal A is a dump. Should be put out of its misery (yes, I know they promise something new for 2020-something...) I have nothing good to say about it, other than that we didn't have to spend any real time there.
  • PHX had a small but decent Priority Pass lounge with some snacks and drinks. Didn't spend much time there.
  • HNL is a very nice airport, we did try the Priority Pass lounge which didn't have any snacks (just a small fridge with drinks), pretty weak lounge. But the airport itself is nice, plenty of shopping, outdoor gardens.
  • GUM is small. Priority Pass lounge had next to no food when we arrived for breakfast, and the coffee machine wasn't working. So I bought coffee elsewhere and relaxed in the lounge. Airport had decent shopping, but it all closed as our 8:20 AM flight started boarding. It looked like the stores only opened around when flights were departing, and it seemed like departures were not spread throughout the day but were very clustered.
  • TKK, PNI and KSA are tiny. In all three, a vendor comes in from outside to set up shop for a small cafe in the terminal when security opens for the flight. None of the airports had working wifi when we were there. PNI was the only one with a luggage conveyor, the others just had a window to the outside and someone dumped the bags in from the truck. When we arrived in Chuuk, we were given immigration and customs forms (immigration on one side of the form, customs on the other). Was told to fill out immigration for everyone, customs for just one in the party. I filled out immigration cards with our final departure date from Micronesia a week later. Upon arrival into Chuuk, immigration kept the cards minus a small strip that tears off which you return on departure. Upon departure from Chuuk, they noted on the tear-off strips that we weren't leaving (they filled out an "extension") and told us to keep the strips, not fill out immigration into Pohnpei, and only fill out customs. I did, this worked fine going into Pohnpei. I did the same from Pohnpei into Kosrae, but upon arrival into Kosrae, immigration didn't initially stamp our passports (when I asked, she said they don't for domestic arrivals but would gladly do so as a souvenir for us), and when I stopped at customs upon exiting the airport, they checked my name against a list of domestic passengers and said I didn't need to have filled out the form. There was an exit tax at each airport. I think it was $40 in Chuuk and $20 each in Pohnpei and Kosrae. Each airport's exit tax station claimed that they took credit cards, but as I took out sufficient cash for our trip, I did not test it out.
  • MAJ: Just got off the plane for 15 minutes, as the entire layover there was less than 40 minutes. Small waiting area, one cafe, fast wifi. Worth getting off to stretch, and you can at least take a picture of the "Welcome to the Marshall Islands" sign even if you aren't staying there.
  • DFW: On our way back from HNL, we stopped in DFW and had breakfast after our overnight flight at "The Club DFW." It's small but easily the best lounge of our trip. Full breakfast, showers were available (we didn't use them).

Islands and itinerary:
July 4:
We arrived in HNL in the afternoon, picked up a Nissan Rogue at National (used the Virtual Aisle) and went to the Hyatt Place to check in. I parked using the valet but found out afterwards that we would have been better off paying half the price for a day pass at the Banyan across the street. $39 daily for the Hyatt valet, $20 self-parking at the Banyan. Starved after the long domestic flight, we ate at the in-house Domino's. Took a walk around Waikiki, generally unimpressive area, picked up a couple of Hawaiian shirts on sale. Wife and two kids crashed by 7 PM, went to watch the fireworks from the pier at the end of the street with my older son.

July 5:
Wife, myself and older son woke up early and decided to go hike Diamond Head. Great short hike, great views, go early before the heat! Went back to the Hyatt, ate the complimentary breakfast, took a long walk with the wife while the kids entertained themselves (we have three teens). Left for the airport around 11 to head to Guam. Returning the car was painless, and with pre-check we had plenty of time to go to the lounge for a bit, then we had an OK if pricey lunch at Tequileria.

July 6:
Arrived in Guam in the evening, picked up another Rogue from Nissan rent-a-car (booked through rentalcars.com). Checked into a *huge* family room at the Hyatt Regency. There was some sort of street fair going on that looked interesting but it was crowded and everyone was tired, so after walking around trying to figure out what they had to eat and how to get tickets for food, we ended up at an Italian place (Vitale's) for dinner.

July 7:
We booked a 9AM WW II tour with Discover Guam. (I've been emailing them at [email protected]). Our room rate included breakfast, so we had the incredible Hyatt Regency breakfast spread, and then headed out with our driver/guide. We went to several sites that make up the War in the Pacific National Historical Park as well as the Pacific War Museum. The morning really brought a part of history that we had been less than intimately familiar with to life. Lunch at Kings at the Guam Premier Outlets (wasn't great food). Afternoon at the Hyatt's awesome river pool and water slides, and the beach. Dinner at Boston Pizza - surprisingly good NY-style pizza at Guam Premier Outlets.

July 8:
Got to the airport around 6:30 for our 8:20 flight to Chuuk. Lounge in GUM didn't have much - looked like they may have been setting up for breakfast, so I got coffee elsewhere and brought it back. Arrived in Chuuk mid-morning. The Blue Lagoon rep was waiting at the airport to meet us. They had a decent-sized group of tourists, mostly divers, and they put all of us on the hotel's ancient bus, with our bags following in a separate van. It takes about 25 minutes to travel the three miles to the resort along Weno's potholed road.

Chuuk Lagoon is large, the fringing reef is perhaps 50 miles across with perhaps a dozen large-ish islands and many smaller ones within it. During WWII, Japan recognized that the surrounding reef had only a few breaks into which ships could enter, so they placed their navy inside the lagoon and defended the breaks in the reef against attack. Weno, the island with the airport and the main hotels, contained a seaplane base and an airstrip. Tonowas had a sub base. Etten was filled in with a runway and was used as an air base and so on. Over two days in 1944, the US Navy launched Operation Hailstone, using several aircraft carriers (including the Intrepid, for those familiar with the NY museum) to launch attacks on the base, sinking hundreds of ships and planes. The result is perhaps the most incredible wreck diving available anywhere in the world.

We don't dive, but some of the wrecks are shallow enough to snorkel, so we booked a trip snorkeling + exploring some nearby islands, through the attached dive shop.

The hotel itself is set up as several buildings on a campus. It looks a bit like the summer camps of the Catskills of my childhood, except with palm trees. Stunning grounds, dated buildings, but each room had a fridge, a porch and very comfortable beds. Two wooden 2-story buildings with external corridors containing the rooms (perhaps 40 in all), a main building complex with a dining room, lobby and hotel store, and an outdoor bar with a pool table in the back. When we arrived for lunch, we were given a designated table, which was our table for the remainder of our stay.

The island itself is very poor and most guests stayed on the property for the duration of their stay. There are a few small beaches on the property, and they have kayaks free for use by guests. There are also some picnic tables and benches, no shortage of spots to relax. Given the diving crowd, a good group gathers at the bar in the evenings and it's a fun hangout. You can see around ten islands within the lagoon from the beach at the tip of Weno on resort grounds.

There is a hotel store with some souvenirs and snacks, but if you are looking for snacks, there is a regular grocery store just past the dive shop, not affiliated with the property, that has better prices and a larger selection. We did ask the hotel about a local SIM card; they said they'd pick one up for me in town for $10.50 and I could then add a plan of my choice to it, but they repeatedly forgot and in the end gave me back the cash. We just used the limited Wifi that we found while in Micronesia in the end, cell service seemed a bit besides the point. The resort has Wifi near the office, very slow but can be used to get email or upload some photos if you have a bit of patience.

I had been feeling a bit queasy all morning, and after a very light lunch I took a short nap, and got sick when I woke up a bit later. Felt a little better after throwing up, so I cleaned up, started Cipro, didn't want to worry the kids, so I didn't say anything and went kayaking with my son. But I felt pretty weak upon returning and just conked out for the next 15 hours. My wife took the kids for dinner at the resort's restaurant and ordered us sandwiches for the next day's adventure. Upon reflection, the only place that I ate something that no one else had was in Guam, so perhaps that's what caused it. In any event, I woke up feeling fine, and ready for a full day of activities.

July 9:
We were all up early due to jet lag, and all feeling good and well-rested. We had an early breakfast at the resort restaurant and headed over to the dive shop for our morning tour. One of my sons and I have snorkel masks, but we rented fins and the three remaining masks from the dive shop. There was a guide and a driver for the small boat. We visited Japanese ruins on Tonowas (sometimes called Dublon) and Etten, both small islands with no roads. People live in the forests in small huts, raising pigs and chickens and growing fruits and vegetables (yams, taro, coconut, breadfruit, bananas, etc). You hike through the forest along the trails that the local population use to get to the ruins. Unfortunately, they sell their animals and produce in the markets on Weno, and bring back western goods, like soda and candy. Obesity is a problem, and trash is everywhere - there doesn't seem to be any mechanism for garbage collection on the smaller islands.

After seeing the two islands, we went to snorkel a wreck off the coast of a third island (Fefan) - the Gosei Maru, a freighter sunk by the US Navy in Operation Hailstone. The snorkeling was unbelievable, and we saw divers going deeper than us, into the ship itself.

After the Gosei Maru, we went to lunch on a small island owned by the resort, called Fonomu Island. Fonomu is a tiny island in the lagoon, perhaps 50 yards across, with a small cabin and a generator. It can be rented for overnight stays, but we just had lunch there on a picnic table. After lunch, more snorkeling at the site of a sunken Zero fighter and then a third site at a destroyer/patrol boat which came nearly up to the surface. We were offered a fourth wreck (oil tanker) but the kids had enough so we headed back to Weno and the resort.

In the afternoon, we just hung out on the resort grounds and the beach, and after dinner, some time at the bar and a few rounds of pool with my boys.

July 10:
Breakfast at the restaurant, then shuttle to the airport at 8:15. Both the resort and the dive shop took credit cards (with the dive shop adding a 3% charge). Chuuk was the only place where we were charged a nominal fee for the airport transfers (around $8 round trip per person), Pohnpei and Kosrae transfers were provided as a courtesy by the hotels.

We arrived in Pohnpei around lunchtime. We checked in to the Mangrove Bay hotel and were given the keys to our house, just down the driveway perhaps a 5-minute walk from the main hotel. The hotel itself is a two story building with outdoor corridors. It looked like all the rooms were on the upper level, along with the office/lobby (with coffee for guests and a small shop), perhaps 8 rooms or so. Tour/dive/surf shop on the lower level. As with the Blue Lagoon, the hotel had kayaks free for guests. The house had wifi, faster than in Chuuk. Three bedrooms, full kitchen, huge porch, two bathrooms, living room; very comfortable. By far the nicest place we saw on the island along with the other three houses managed by the hotel. We did not see anything else resembling an American house while there.

We settled in and then I went down to the tour shop ("Pohnpei Surf Club") to see that our plan for the following day was sorted. We confirmed a 9 AM pickup and the woman working at the desk (CJ) was extremely helpful - she suggested hiking Sokehs Ridge and kayaking the channel between the main island of Pohnpei and the small island of Sokehs. Sokehs is part of Pohnpei, the channel is only a few feet wide and a bridge connects it to the larger island.

My older son expressed interest in the hike. But first, lunch. We called the closest restaurant, Arnold's, and they were about to close for a couple of hours between lunch and dinner. They agreed to make us a pizza, if I could pick it up quickly. My son and I walked the 10 minutes to Arnold's, and came back with a very good hot pie. Then the two of us took a taxi to the start of the trail to Sokehs ridge. The Japanese placed anti-aircraft guns and cannons pointed at the harbor on the ridge, and there are ruins of generators used to power their equipment there. We climbed from sea level to about 470m in about 45 minutes, then back down and decided to walk the remaining 30 minutes or so to our hotel rather than find another cab. Incredible views from the top.

Dinner was at the hotel's own sushi bar (they have sushi and sashimi as well as grilled and fried fish, along with alcohol). Very good food, we all enjoyed it, and the location on the inlet surrounded by mangroves was nice. Far fewer tourists than on Chuuk. We saw a handful of other people at the hotel, but most seemed to be there on some sort of business.

We ordered breakfast and lunch for the following day from Arnold's to deliver to the house in the morning.

July 11:
A guide named Joe Lopez picked us up for our tour. We drove slowly around the island, while Joe explained that while they were not much wealthier than Chuuk, there is a very strong social structure and there is strong peer pressure not to shame your clan. So a clan might be responsible for a stretch of road along their property for example, and if it starts looking raggedy, it is shameful, so they will mow the sides of the road. The island of about 35,000 people is divided among five kings (called Nahnmwarki in the local language). Each king rules over a number of clans, each with a chief. The clans pay regular tribute to the kings, generally in the form of roast pigs and prize yams, along with, in some cases, western goods as well.

Joe said that his family is native to Pohnpei, with his last name is courtesy of a Portuguese whaler who settled there in the 1800s, giving his name to the clan. I mentioned that I noticed that the immigration officer who checked us in was also named Lopez, which stood out to me. Joe said that it was his cousin. While driving, we noticed that as we left the towns, the pigs would run wild through the forests, rather than stay in pens. Joe explained that the pigs are fed and know where to go back at night. He also said that the large numbers of dogs we saw were mostly not strays, but were being raised for food along with the pigs and chickens (we then asked about the other islands, this seems to be unique to Pohnpei...)

We first went to Nan Madol. This is a ruin of artificial islands made of stone, some dating back 1500 years. The islands contain structures on them, some with stones weighing more than 50 tons. No one knows much about the civilization that built them or how it was done, although archeologists have found that the stone matches stone found in volcanic mountains on the far side of the island. How they transported the stone and built the structures is still a mystery. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, it took more stone to build than the pyramids, and we were there with a Hawaiian couple on their way to do research in Kosrae, and a Finnish traveler who said he lives in Sweden currently. It's like having Machu Picchu all to yourself.

From there we went on to the stunning Kepirohi Falls. We were the only ones there and went swimming in the pool under the falls.

We continued around the island, stopping at a pepper farm where they grow black pepper (the spice), then ran into a feast which slowed traffic for about half an hour, with a final stop at the Capitol of Micronesia in Palikir, almost back to where we started. We walked around the buildings, checked out the Congress and the Supreme Court, and then went back to the Mangrove Bay. We heard a lot about sakau (kava), a drink that contains a drug that apparently provides a pleasant feeling that is extremely widespread on the island. Traditionally, they drink it out of a coconut, in a formal ceremony, where a senior person goes first, then others and so on. Now, they drink as friends from coconuts, or a watered-down version sold in bottles at the side of the road, and they chase it with beers. Joe says you sleep well after that.

We got back around 4:30 PM, went into town to look around and the kids wanted ice cream (we found some at Arnold's, and took the opportunity to order the next day's breakfast for delivery while we were there), then back to the house. Dinner at the hotel restaurant again, the fresh wahoo was delicious.

July 12:
Went kayaking for an hour or so with my oldest through the mangrove channel as suggested by CJ when we arrived, then packed up to go to the airport. We were picked up by the hotel shuttle around 11:30. There was a small cafe in the Pohnpei airport, where the kids ate lunch.

We arrived in Kosrae around 3 PM and were picked up by car to go to the Pacific Treelodge.

As an aside, we were told to expect lots of rain, but we only saw a little bit. The day we arrived in Hawaii (July 4) it rained for about an hour in the afternoon before clearing up. We did not see any rain in Chuuk. It rained in Pohnpei for about half an hour when we returned from our tour on July 11, but cleared up and became sunny again in less than half an hour. It was pouring when we landed in Kosrae but cleared up by the time we left the airport, and it rained again for about an hour on Friday night, but never during the day while we were out. We only saw about two hours of rain across the entire two-week trip.

The lodge is on perhaps halfway along a small peninsula maybe a mile long and a few hundred yards wide, nested between the Pacific Ocean on the east, and a mangrove inlet on the west. There is a small building with the front desk/shop next to a dive shop along the road in the front. Then two sets of three cabins leading back on each side. Each cabin is a double, with two entrances and a door between them to connect adjoining rooms if desired. We had one full (two-room) cabin. A boardwalk goes from behind the cabins through the mangroves to Bully's Restaurant, on the channel. As with the other hotels, there were kayaks available for the taking.

The hotel location was easily the most beautiful of any we stayed at on this trip. The island itself is the smallest and most remote of our stops. We came over with our Hawaiian friends we met at Nan Madol - they were going to stay for a month with a local family while she studied their language. Then there was the military family with two small girls, vacationing from the base at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. There was an financial analyst sent over by her firm to work with the local clinic along with her husband, and there was a large group of Mormons that we met - they seemed to be staying at the other main hotel up the road, but came to Bully's to eat a few times, they were missionaries assigned to various islands and were gathered there to learn the ropes. Along with the military family, we were the only tourists on the island and were recognized frequently.

They take Sunday very seriously, as the Sabbath, and don't cook, hike, fish or swim. They make a Sunday soup the night before and keep it warm in special earthenware ovens.

There are only a few guides on the island, and you really do need one to take you around, as trails are poorly marked or nonexistent. The hotel owners were off island, but Annabelle at the front desk was enthusiastic and extremely helpful.

Unlike the other islands, we arrived with no plans. Annabelle explained that we should meet with Salik, the guide who works with them, and we'll come up with a plan. But we'll need a car, since Salik doesn't have one, and she can sort it out for $45/day, all in. We agreed, and a short while later, someone from Senny's car rental came by with a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel, clearly marked for the Korean market. Car was a workhorse and thoroughly reliable though, and could fit us along with Salik as long as we all took turns sitting in the back.

Salik came by and suggested going to Lelu Ruins the following day, along with some other sights he could show us. He said that on Sunday, he can take us on a hike in a remote area where we wouldn't offend anyone.

We went to Bully's for dinner (the best food we had on the trip) and then off to bed. Note that on Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, the restaurants frequently run out of specific ingredients and make due with what they have. Bully's was especially good at coming up with truly wonderful dishes regardless of the raw ingredients available.

Also, Salik turned out to be amazing.

July 13:
Salik met us after breakfast. We headed out towards Lelu. We parked in a school parking lot, and headed behind the building into the rain forest. Lelu is an artificial island, filled in perhaps over a thousand years ago. A causeway connects it to the main island of Kosrae these days. The ruins look remarkably like those at Nan Madol, with the main difference being that these were built on landfill rather than in the water itself. The builders then carved canals among the structures to create waterways between them. Much more overgrown and less touristed than even Nan Madol. It looks like the government placed markers some time ago, but with the immense amounts of rain that the islands get, the signs are all faded and the trails completely overgrown.

Salik turned out to have a degree in botany from the College of Micronesia. He showed us how the bananas grow and how to remove blossoms so that the trees grow new bananas. He found wild ginger. Showed us where the gum trees grow and so on. When we came back out of the forest, he scaled a tangerine tree and picked fresh tangerines for us.

After Lelu, we went to Wiya Bird Cave to see the thousands of swiftlets that live there, and to get my hat pooped on. Then back along the island's only road past the capital area (Tofol), into Malem village where we went to the ruins of a Japanese communications tower from World War II. Then heading back towards Lelu and the Treelodge, we stopped at the waterfront where you can see several partially submerged Japanese tanks and a ship. Then on to what they call the "Japanese Staircase," a set of stairs up to a great overlook. At the top are what appear to be the foundations of some Japanese buildings, but the buildings are long gone. Finally, there is a scenic overlook in Tofol where we stopped before heading back to the hotel.

Lunch at Bully's, then three of us went snorkeling in the Blue Hole opposite the hotel. It was very challenging to get through the shallows to the Hole. It was further out than we thought, and the ground was covered in razor-sharp coral; only about calf deep so way too shallow to snorkel or swim. We had to walk out in fins, and it took a solid 30 minutes out and back. I had a good mask, but the two we borrowed from the hotel's dive shop didn't really hold a seal - so we all took turns using my mask.

Dinner at Bully's again, then we chilled for a bit and went to bed. One really interesting aspect of this trip was that with little nightlife and flaky wifi, we all got up with the sun, had very active days, and went to bed when it got dark. It felt incredibly good.

July 14:
Lazy Sunday morning, with brunch at 11:00 or so at Bully's. Spent time walking through the mangrove swamp behind the hotel, saw a rat catch something, saw a large monitor lizard, saw a cat go in (presumably looking for rats), hundreds of mangrove crabs and mudskippers. A Moray eel off the dock at Bully's. Dozens of large fruit bats, one at a time, in the sky. Bright red-headed birds in the coconut palms.

Two of the kids decided to stay at the hotel for the day, while my wife and oldest son met Salik at Utwe village, where the island's only road becomes unpaved for its last few miles before it ends. There is one village on the far western side of the island only accessible by boat.

Salik directed us along the dirt road for a mile or two, and then led us into the jungle, leading the way with his machete. He said that this was his family's land and we wouldn't come across anyone else here. We saw more ginger, tapioca, taro. He showed us a tree that "bleeds" red sap when cut. We forded a stream several times. We saw magnificent Ka trees, which grow nowhere else on earth, and he showed us how you can pound a stone against the giant roots to create trunk calls that boom across the forest. We drank water from a vine and coconut milk from the coconuts through a reed straw. He showed us noni, used for blood pressure, and leaves whose paste is used as an antiseptic for wounds. We saw toads (introduced by the Japanese to eat mosquitoes) and monitor lizards (introduced to eat the toads). Needless to say, they have all thrived and there are not only plenty of mosquitoes, but also plenty of toads and monitor lizards.

Speaking of straws, Kosrae has a strong environmental streak. They have pristine reefs and lots of sites of cultural significance along the sea, and want to keep the island that way. They've banned plastic bags and restaurants will offer a metal straw if you want one. There is a large solar farm going up across from the island's only power plant.

He showed us a natural pool along the river (on our way back the other family from our hotel was there, Salik having taken them there the prior week and extending an invitation to them to use the pool!) Finally, after about an hour, we arrived at Menke ruins. These are about 100 two-room structures considered older than Lelu, each one with a large outside room leading to a smaller room with what appears to be an altar. They are deeply overgrown and you can only see a few easily. Salik is still finding new ones, he showed us one he found the prior week while clearing some kudzu.

After Menke, we continued along the dirt road as the houses disappeared, and hiked back in to see Sipyen Falls. Salik guided us along the rocks leading directly up to the falls.

We got back to the Treelodge around 5 PM. Salik mentioned that there was only one store open on Sunday in all of Kosrae, run by Seventh Day Adventists. After several mentions, I realized he was asking for a lift in the roundabout way Kosraeans speak - and was happy to go and see it for myself. Plus they had gas and I'd need to refill the car before dropping it off at the airport the following day. When we got there, Salik insisted on buying me donuts and a soda, and I got gas. Like all "gas stations" in Kosrae, they fill gallon jugs with gas, kerosene and diesel. You tell them how many gallons, you pay cash, and they fill your car by pouring the gas through a funnel.

For a change, we decided to eat dinner at the Nautilus down the road. Of course we were recognized and offered a lift back to our hotel after dinner (Me: "How did you know where we were staying?" Him: "We all saw you at the airport. Everyone knows your family here!") They have a pool (Treelodge does not) but the Treelodge has far nicer grounds, also was half the price including breakfast. But the food was excellent and we had a nice walk back to our hotel.

July 15, Take 1:
Went kayaking again with my oldest. We were hoping to find Salik who said he could show us an island a short kayak trip from our hotel where the fruit bats live, but he was unavailable (turned out he had a meeting with the local environmental council). So we kayaked by ourselves for an hour, through some of the most beautiful mangrove channels I've ever seen.

If you want to contact Salik, he runs a facebook page under the name Kosrae Jungle Tours, just be aware that he has limited connectivity and might take a day or two to respond.

Then we packed up, and headed out to visit the Green Banana Paper company. They make paper out of banana tree fibers. The founder, Matt, came to Kosrae from Connecticut to teach back in 2008. He realized that the main options for people on the island were to stay (and mostly continue subsistence farming, as on Chuuk and Pohnpei), or to join the US military and leave - which is extremely common. Nearly every person we met had siblings in the US. Banana trees grow a new main stalk every time they flower and grow bananas, and the old one dies. They grow extremely quickly and have good fibers. So with lots of googling, he developed a process for making heavy paper, printing on it, and making it waterproof. He pays a few dozen farmers to bring him their banana trunks after they have provided bananas (and will no longer flower or fruit). Then they have 24 employees who process the fibers, make the paper, cut, sew and print and turn them into artists papers, wallets and the like. They have local artists designing patterns, and they also take custom orders. They then ship in bulk to the US and distribute from there. They've become somewhat well-known, and now have a room available for visiting artists-in-residence to stay. Really great operation, check them out at http://www.greenbananapaper.com!

After Green Banana, we headed back to the Treelodge and checked out, returning the car to Senny's rep at the airport. The flight out of Kosrae arrived about an hour late from Pohnpei, left about an hour late to Kwajalein, and left there after two hours on the ground following a concern over the plane's weight. We had a very short stop in Majuro, but I did have enough time to get off the plane and grab some food in the airport.

We arrived in Honolulu at around 4:30 AM, just over an hour and a half late. The rental car station is closed at that hour, so I had booked a car for later that morning at the Marriott just opposite our Hyatt Place, returning to the airport. Autoslash found an excellent rate on a Premium-class car with Hertz, about half what any other site was charging for a one-way rental. Uber XL got the five of us to our hotel by about 5:30 AM and we all fell asleep. I had booked the hotel for Sunday night and gave them a heads up that we would be arriving early Monday morning.

July 15, Take 2 ("Second Monday"):
I woke up just before 10 AM and left everyone in bed. On my way to pick up the car, I saw a sign at the Marriott's tour desk offering an intro 2-tank scuba dive for $80. So I signed up, for a 1-4 PM dive. Got the car (a fairly new Nissan Maxima), parked at the Banyan for $20 at 11 AM (good until the following day, same time) and went back to the hotel where the rest of my family was waking up. Got some snacks and coffee at the Hyatt's cafe and then I went off to the dock for diving.

The dive was fantastic (the supplier was E Sea Diver, they have a facebook page here), the kids ended up staying at the hotel, eating again at the Domino's and spending the entire afternoon in the hotel pool.

We decided to look a bit away from the Waikiki strip for dinner and found Siam Palace, a wonderful Thai place about a 20-minute walk away from the ocean. Walked back to Waikiki for ice cream at the International Marketplace, and then the kids went back into the pool for some evening swimming.

July 16:
Breakfast at the Hyatt Place, then we packed up so we'd be ready to check out, and headed off to Pearl Harbor. I got a 2PM checkout time, so we could spend the entire morning and then come back and just check out. We spent a few hours just at the memorial and USS Bowfin. The USS Arizona memorial is currently closed for repairs, and given the time constraints and difficulty getting tickets, we decided to visit the Ford Island sites another time.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Leonard's Bakery for some snacks and then went up to get our bags and checked out.

We got to the airport early enough for lunch and cocktails at the surprisingly decent Local @HNL airport restaurant, bought a few pineapples to take home, and boarded our flight.

July 17:
Our overnight flight arrived at DFW at around 5:30 AM, breakfast in the Club at DFW lounge, then on to Newark and home by 1 PM.

Last edited by md125; Jul 23, 19 at 11:29 am Reason: Add links
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Old Jul 22, 19, 2:20 pm
  #828  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by NishinomiyaDada View Post
If you have any idea what hotel I should go to in PNI or MAJ, that would be helpful.
We stayed at the Mangrove Bay in Pohnpei, very pleased. See my trip report above for details.

Last edited by md125; Jul 22, 19 at 2:21 pm Reason: Correction
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Old Jul 24, 19, 7:50 am
  #829  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by onthesam View Post
Noticed that UA132 on 9/15 is scheduled to fly HNL-MAJ-PNI-TKK-GUM skipping KSA. Doesn't appear to stop at KSA in all of June-Sep. Is this new?
They removed Kosrae from the schedule at the end of March.

From flightmapper.net:


Last edited by md125; Jul 24, 19 at 7:56 am
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Old Aug 1, 19, 1:55 am
  #830  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: TPE, SFO
Posts: 60
Dinner options and taxi situation in Majuro

We arrive Majuro on UA155 on a Friday and booked a B&B a few minutes west of the airport. I'm trying to figure out what dinner options might work. The original plan was to go to Tide Table at RRE Hotel, but I couldn't get a reservation with them over email, and our host seemed a bit skeptical if we can find a taxi home after dinner at Tide Table. The host suggested grabbing food at the airport after we land, but that sounds a bit sad.

Just returned from the trip: made the reservation by calling, RRE provides shuttle for non-guest ($5/px) from the airport, plenty of taxi on the road by 10pm but the restaurant called one for us. The food was amazing and we chatted with the cabin crew as every non-locals seems to be eating there

Last edited by ithinkurdumb; Aug 15, 19 at 2:13 am
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Old Aug 8, 19, 6:11 pm
  #831  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Programs: AC E75K
Posts: 71
I am connecting to Island hopper eastbound from Guam, with a 5 hour layover from 02:00 to 08:20 in GUM. Any recommendations on what to do here? Feels too short to grab a hotel, is there a place to hunker down or a lounge open at that hour?
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Old Aug 9, 19, 8:01 am
  #832  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DEN
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Originally Posted by s_yvr View Post
I am connecting to Island hopper eastbound from Guam, with a 5 hour layover from 02:00 to 08:20 in GUM. Any recommendations on what to do here? Feels too short to grab a hotel, is there a place to hunker down or a lounge open at that hour?
Isn't 02:00 to 08:20 almost 6.5 hours, not 5 hours? Regardless, the United Club opens at 3am, and it looks like there's a Priority Pass lounge that you can access (if you have a PP card, otherwise you can purchase a one time pass) that's open from midnight to 10am. You can check this website for some more info: https://www.sleepinginairports.net/g...port-guide.htm

Disclaimer: I have no idea how up to date or correct the info is on that website.
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Old Aug 9, 19, 8:39 pm
  #833  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 26
CPU on mileage tickets

hey all i have the following ticket and am UA G
hnl-pni stopover
pni-tkk destination
tkk-gum stopover
gum-hnl

it shows cpu reqested for pni-tkk, are the any other segments eligible? i know hnl-maj is not, but i would've thought tkk-gum wouldve been. last time i did this trip last year, pni-tkk did not clear automatically and i spoke to the gate agent and manager and they kept telling me that award tickets are not eligible for cpu even though i showed them on the website that credit card holders could get upgrades. in the end the flight attendant realized what happened and upgraded me after doors closed. but if there is anything i can do now to make things go more smoothly id like to.
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Old Aug 9, 19, 8:42 pm
  #834  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,900
Originally Posted by JAXFLY View Post
hey all i have the following ticket and am UA G
hnl-pni stopover
pni-tkk destination
tkk-gum stopover
gum-hnl

it shows cpu reqested for pni-tkk, are the any other segments eligible? i know hnl-maj is not, but i would've thought tkk-gum wouldve been. last time i did this trip last year, pni-tkk did not clear automatically and i spoke to the gate agent and manager and they kept telling me that award tickets are not eligible for cpu even though i showed them on the website that credit card holders could get upgrades. in the end the flight attendant realized what happened and upgraded me after doors closed. but if there is anything i can do now to make things go more smoothly id like to.
TKK-GUM is CPU eligible. MAJ-PNI should be CPU eligible, but things get weird with direct flights.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 12:00 pm
  #835  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by mpiotrow View Post
it looks like there's a Priority Pass lounge that you can access (if you have a PP card, otherwise you can purchase a one time pass) that's open from midnight to 10am. You can check this website for some more info: https://www.sleepinginairports.net/g...port-guide.htm.
That lounge has weak offerings in terms of food and drink, but it's not a bad place to crash for a few hours.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 1:09 pm
  #836  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
TKK-GUM is CPU eligible. MAJ-PNI should be CPU eligible, but things get weird with direct flights.
The PNR has HNL-PNI, which is not CPU-eligible. Not sure if you will show up on the standby list for CPU, but I'm thinking not.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 10:41 pm
  #837  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,900
Originally Posted by findark View Post
The PNR has HNL-PNI, which is not CPU-eligible. Not sure if you will show up on the standby list for CPU, but I'm thinking not.
Definitely can't clear in advance; I agree with that. I suspect you'd appear on the list; I have, when I've flown direct flights domestically. (I was somewhat surprised).
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Old Aug 12, 19, 1:00 pm
  #838  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
The PNR has HNL-PNI, which is not CPU-eligible. Not sure if you will show up on the standby list for CPU, but I'm thinking not.
Well presumably since each of the parts is CPUable, the whole must also be CPUable? I hope UA isn't using married segments for CPUs now!

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Definitely can't clear in advance; I agree with that. I suspect you'd appear on the list; I have, when I've flown direct flights domestically. (I was somewhat surprised).
IIRC, CPU space must be available on all legs for you to clear when ticketed direct. If you want to clear individually, you'd need to find a superstar agent to force split your segments as I did.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 1:03 pm
  #839  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by sexykitten7 View Post
Well presumably since each of the parts is CPUable, the whole must also be CPUable? I hope UA isn't using married segments for CPUs now!
HNL-MAJ requires a GPU and a minimum W fare, as does (technically) HNL-PNI. Because of the direct flight, the computer sees a single segment which is not eligible for CPU. (If a paid W+ fare you could apply a GPU and clear HNL-PNI based on through PZ inventory, of course.)

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Definitely can't clear in advance; I agree with that. I suspect you'd appear on the list; I have, when I've flown direct flights domestically. (I was somewhat surprised).
Yeah, I'm not sure how the visible list gets populated. Presumably in the domestic case your direct flight was also CPU-eligible.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:39 pm
  #840  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 844
Originally Posted by findark View Post
HNL-MAJ requires a GPU and a minimum W fare, as does (technically) HNL-PNI. Because of the direct flight, the computer sees a single segment which is not eligible for CPU. (If a paid W+ fare you could apply a GPU and clear HNL-PNI based on through PZ inventory, of course.)
I'm confused. Why would HNL-MAJ need a GPU? That's a direct and nonstop flight.

The CPU website used to be fairly clear (IIRC) that HNL-GUM nonstop was not CPUable but that the HNL-GUM with stops (e.g. namely the island hopper) was (presumably since those flights are considered Oceania). That still seems to be the gist of the terms if you read between the lines. Has this changed? Are you saying that none of the Island Hopper legs are CPUable? Or are you saying that you can never be CPUed on multi-segment direct flights?
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