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East coast to Hawaii via DL and AQ

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  • East coast to Hawaii via DL and AQ

    Finally, Spring Break ‘04 began on the morning of April 9th, 2004 for my mom and me. I was on the phone the night before until 1am(not smart when you have to be up and out the door the next day by 5:30). All of our bags were packed and we were on our way up I-64 to Richmond International Airport for our 8:32am departure to Atlanta. It’s about an hour drive from Williamsburg to Richmond, but we do it a lot. We entered the airport grounds and I saw an AA Eagle ERJ blast off runway 2. We parked in the economy lot and got on the shuttle bus to the terminal. I checked my mom and me in with the self service kiosks and printed our boarding passes. We walked up to security with no problems. Last year, RIC’s B concourse had some major renovations done to it, and this was my first time in it since then, and it was BEAUTIFUL ! It’s all tile(not that nasty carpet) and they added about 10 new gates and a customs facility. I strolled through the terminal and saw a NW DC-9 to DTW, a UA 737 to ORD, a CO ERJ to IAH and a NW CRJ to MSP(I felt sorry for those people!). I also noticed a UPS DC-8 in n/c on the cargo ramp! I then met my mom back at gate B3 and waited to board.

    April 9th, 2004
    Delta Airlines Flight 1544 RIC-ATL
    MD-88 N913DE
    Depart- 8:32am
    Actual- 8:32am gate B3
    Arrive- 10:14am
    Actual- 9:55am gate B15
    Seat 18A


    The flight was about 85% full. Everyone boarded on time and we taxied out. #1 for takeoff on runway 2. Runway 2/20 has gotten a lot of use in the last decade, and I could def tell on our takeoff roll. WOW that runway needs to be repaved. Anyway we climbed out on a perfectly clear day and turned south towards the dirty south. Beverage service began as we leveled off. I had a cup of sprite and two biscoff’s(better than pretzels). We continued to fly south along the Great Smokies of NC and into SC. No bumps whatsoever on this flight. I love DL’s MD-88's , great leg room and they are quiet(well in some parts, we will find out later in the trip that there are other parts of the aircraft that aren’t that great). We began our descent over SC and made a smooth landing onto 26R. We waited for some departing traffic on the funway(26L/8R) and then taxied to B15. We pulled up next to another MD-88 departing to MSY. Overall great flight.

    In ATL, we took the train to concourse A to get some breakfast at Cinnabon(my all-time favorite ). I ate that and then got back on the train to the T-gates. I was surprised at how nice this terminal was. I sat down and watched Sportscenter for a while and then went over to gate T02 to find N837MH getting ready to shoot me through the air at 450mph to Los Angeles. This would be my first time west of the Rockies.

    Delta Airlines Flight 541 ATL-LAX
    Boeing 767-400ER N837MH
    Depart- 11:35am
    Actual- 11:40am gate T-02
    Arrive- 1:23pm
    Actual- 1:20pm gate 51B
    Seat 36A


    Well, as I walked through the jetway and boarded this 767-400, I was expecting hell. But as I took my seat in 36A, it wasn’t bad . I was nice and comfy. While everyone was boarding, I watched the rampers load N912DE in the widget scheme along with some 27R departures. We pushed back a few minutes behind and taxied out to the funway where there was a 14 plane line up. We waited for our turn to takeoff and I watched numerous DL and FL jets land and depart. Finally at about 12:15 it was our turn. We sped downhill and left the ground with some great wingflex. Smooth climb up to 28000 were we cruised for about an hour. I got a pic of LIT while in flight. The F/A’s came through with the food for purchase menus. $2 for a chocolate chip cookie! Some of the sandwiches looked good but I didn’t get anything except for the free sprite and pretzels. This flight was very smooth. The seatbelt sign never came on until we began our descent. We crossed into Kansas and we climbed up to 35000. I spotted two WN 737's both in the blue c/s over NM. The skies were clear the whole flight so I could see about everything on the ground. We flew over the AZ-CA border and began our descent into LAX after 3 hours of doing homework and listening to my CD player. The movie was Big Fish but I didn’t feel like paying two dollars to watch it(even though that is cheaper than the theater). Smooth descent over the massive slab of concrete known as Los Angeles. I noticed all the power lines are above ground. I also saw a HUGE interchange. Anyway we continued on finals and touched down ontime. I noticed a ton of international heavies at TBIT as we passed by. The pilot came on and told us newbies to LAX that since the ramp space is so small, he had to shutdown one engine and we had to get towed to our gate. Something new for me. Welcome to Los Angeles!

    The world famous LAX, I had made it. The Delta terminal is kinda boring though. I was starving and I got a BBQ chicken pizza and my mom had a Thai chicken pizza from the California Pizza Co.(I think that was what it was called). It was good. We explored the small T5 and came back to wait for our flight to HNL. I was so excited, I was going to be in Hawaii in about 6 and a half hours! Boarding started at 3pm and we boarded with zone 8. Hawaii here I come!

    Delta Airlines Flight 1579 LAX-HNL
    Boeing 767-400ER N836MH
    Depart- 3:30pm
    Actual- 3:40pm gate 52A
    Arrive- 6:03pm
    Actual- 6:10pm gate 20
    Seat 32A


    I took my seat in 32A and got comfortable for the 5 hour 30 minute flight. The movie on this flight would be Paycheck and it was free. We pushed back a little late and taxied. I saw my first ever TED A320 and it does look better in person. We tookoff over the Pacific and continued straight towards the islands. Smooth climb up to our cruising altitude of 32000 when drinks began to be served. The movie started shortly there after and I plugged in. About halfway through the movie dinner was served(yes dinner, my first meal on a domestic flight since pre 9-11) It was lasagna with a caesar salad and a roll along with a piece of orange cake for desert. It wasn’t to bad for airline food, but just a little cold. The f/a’s however were great and funny! The movie ended and I slept on and off for the next hour when we hit some turbulence while flying through some rain showers. I had my camcorder in the overhead bin and it was rattling around making a lot of noise and people kept looking over at us. It was pretty bumpy for the next hour when we began our descent into HNL. We came in from the northeast over Diamond Head and Waikiki where I saw a rainbow from above. We continued passed the airport towards the south west side of the island when we turned around for an 8L landing. Talk about bumpy finals! The wind was pretty strong and we were blowing up and down. At one point, we hit some rough air and I got butterflies in my stomach as we dropped about 50 feet. We flew passed Pearl Harbor and touched down on 8L when captain Virus SLAMMED on the brakes and sent some people into the seat in front of them. Someone was in a hurry to get somewhere tonight. We taxied in and pulled up next to N830MH bound for CVG.

    Our tour guide met us at the gate with fresh flower lei’s and escorted us to the baggage claim. On the way I got a nice picture of a CO 764. We picked up our bags and got on a shuttle to the Pacific Beach Hotel.

    After a nice 3 days touring the island of Oahu with our tour group, it was time to leave the beaches and streets of Waikiki for the big island of Hawaii. Waikiki is one place that I will go back to some day for sure, I loved it ! We boarded the bus the HNL around 7am. Our tour guide gave us some info on HNL and I learned that the reef runway is long enough for a space shuttle landing ! Anyway we arrived at the Inter-island terminal and checked in quickly while some Aloha reps. Took the bags for our group and checked them in. We went through security with no problems and I wondered around the Inter-island terminal(It was 8:30am, our flight left at 10:20am) I noticed many HA 717's and AQ 737-200's along with one 737NG bound for Orange County, CA. Those 737NG’s look great with winglets! I walked back to gate 49 to find my mom first in line for boarding (it was open seating). N819AL pulled up to the gate at about 9:50am and they cleaned everything up on the aircraft and began boarding at 10am.

    April 13th, 2004
    Aloha Airlines Flight 246 HNL-ITO(Hilo)
    Boeing 737-200 N819AL
    Depart- 10:20am
    Actual- 10:30am gate 49
    Arrive- 11:15am
    Actual- 11:16am gate 7
    Seat 7F


    I was the first one down the jetway and I was excited about the short inter-island flight. The cabin was cold and the blue leather seats looked pretty old(not torn, but classic). I sat down in 7F in the rather comfy seats. I sat next to my aunt who flew in on NW923 from MSP on Friday who isn’t exactly small. But hey, it was a short flight. Everyone was on board but we pushed pack about 10 minutes late. We waited behind a ANA 767-300, NW 747-400, and a Hawaiian 717. We held short of 8L for an arriving Island Air Dash-8 and then had a rolling takeoff on 8L. Those rolling t/o’s are great! The powerful 737 made a right turn after departure over the reef runway giving me a great shot. The wind blew us around until we reached our cruising altitude of about 10000. The f/a’s had already began drink service and I had mango passion juice which was really good. I was impressed by the AQ f/a’s with their ability to serve all the pax on the short flight while keeping a smile on their face’s. I played cards with my aunt while flying over the beautiful Lanai and Molokai until we began our descent into Hilo. It was overcast and raining in Hilo as we descended. We flew through the clouds and bumped down towards ITO. We were under the clouds and flying through rain and I still couldn’t see land. We were about 3000 feet up when I finally saw some land and we touched down on a wet runway shortly there after. I was surprised of the size of ITO, it was really small. We pulled up near an HA 717 and deplaned through a musty smelling jetway. It had been raining in Hilo for the past week and everything was soggy inside the terminal(it is an open air terminal) We walked down to the parking lot and got on the bus that would take us through Volcanoes NP and over to the Kona coast of the big island. While leaving, I noticed a Fedex MD-11 in little ITO! All in all I was impressed with my first inter-island flight.

    After two days of beach going and shopping, it was time to leave for the island I wanted to visit most, Maui! The only downside was that we had to be in the lobby of the Royal Kona Resort at 4:15am !! I slept outside on our balcony at the hotel which was really nice right next to the ocean. That was really nice but not when I was awaken by my mom at 4am. I managed to stagger down to the lobby with a cup of coffee and then got on the bus to KOA. It was still dark outside when we checked in at the Aloha ticket counter and the security checkpoint still hadn’t been opened. I sat down and ate my little box breakfast while waiting. KOA is a neat little open air airport. I voted it my favorite out of all the airports I have been to. The joyful TSA opened the checkpoint at about 5:30am and I was the first to set the alarm off in KOA that day! I had a pair of shorts on that I hadn’t worn in a while and while I was wanded, the friendly TSA rep found a penny in my pocket. That was my first time stopped since I was in MCO last summer. Anyway our group walked over to gate 4B and I did some homework while waiting for our aircraft. I saw, and heard, a UPS 747-200 takeoff in front of my. It was awesome! Then our 737 pulled up on the tarmac and unloaded pax through the front and back of the aircraft. Shortly there after, it was time to board

    April 15th, 2004
    Aloha Airlines Flight 85 KOA-HNL
    Boeing 737-200 N824AL
    Depart- 7:00am
    Actual- 6:54am gate 4B
    Arrive- 7:40am
    Actual- 7:24am gate 52
    Seat 11F


    I received my ticket stub back from the friendly gate agent and walked out on the tarmac and boarded through the front of the aircraft. I was one of the first on the plane and grabbed seat 11A, which would be my first ever emergency exit row seat !( I turned 15 in January) The leg room was grrrrrrrreat because there was no seat in front of me. Captain Diane came on and told us the weather and gate info in HNL. With everyone on board another full AQ flight, we taxied out and had another rolling takeoff. It was a little bumpy while climbing and the friendly AQ f/a’s still served everyone coffee or juice. By the time we reached cruising altitude, we began our descent into HNL. We came in parallel to the airport and made a sharp right turn over Pearl Harbor and lined up for 8L. I looked down into the water and spotted a submarine pulling into the harbor. Shortly after that, we were on the ground back in HNL. There were scattered showers in the area and the ramp was wet. We touched down about 15 minutes early and, surprise! No gate open for us! So we sat for about 15 minutes on the ramp of the inter-island terminal until we pulled up to gate 52. Our group didn’t have to deplane since the flight would continue as AQ62 to OGG. I went to the bathroom and then sat in 11A because the view of Maui was supposed to be better on the left side of the aircraft. About 10 minutes later, the other pax began to board.

    Aloha Airlines Flight 62 HNL-OGG
    Boeing 737-200 N824AL
    Depart- 8:15am
    Actual- 8:16am gate 52
    Arrive- 8:50am
    Actual- 8:45am gate 13
    Seat 11A


    My last AQ flight. Yet another full flight and I wanted to see how well the f/a’s did on this 20 minute flight. We taxied out on time for an 8L departure. We held short for a cargo 747(forgot which carrier) and then turned on to the active and waited for clearance. After about 30 seconds, we began our takeoff roll into the morning sunrise. I got a great view of Waikiki and Diamond Head on departure. At about that time, they f/a’s were up and about. The wind was blowing us side to side during climb until we were out over Molokai. I enjoyed my juice in my exit row seat and watched the great Hawaiian islands pass by under me. Well we were on our way down after a 30 second cruise. The winds picked up again and Captain Diane reported 25mph winds from the northeast(she could’ve just said hold on). We were blown from side to side as we descended into the valley. At one point, the left wing was swept up by a gust causing us to blow off course. We got back on for finals into OGG. Our right wheel touched down and about 4 seconds later the right side touched down. It was a nice sunny day in Maui and I was excited to be there. We taxied to gate 13 and while deplaning through the jetway, the friendly f/a’s were there handing out cream savers! Aloha gets my vote for the best flight attendants! We walked through the nice open air Kahului terminal down to the parking lot. No more Aloha . I highly recommend Aloha to anyone flying inter-island.

    That day, we took a bus up to the Iao Needle and then took the coastal drive up to our hotel on Ka’anapali Beach. We spent the next few days on the beach and shopping. I loved Maui! We also went to a Hawaiian Luau, which was great! But unfortunately this great trip had to come to an end. We picked up “Speedi Shuttle” in front of our hotel to take us to the airport. We had a really entertaining driver. We picked up another nice family at the Marriot who were going to ORD. They were on our flight to LAX and I became good friends with one of their daughters. We had a nice conversation with them to the airport driving along the Maui coast during sunset. We arrived at OGG around 7:30pm and it was dark, but the airport was about 10 times busier than it had been Thursday morning when we flew in. We put our bags through the agriculture check and checked in. My mom and I got our boarding passes and I had the dreaded SSSS on my boarding pass . I had no clue what this meant at the time but I would find out later. My mom went through security and I went after her, the TSA agent not noticing to SSSS. So I went up to the main terminal without having my b/p stamped. We went to the food court and my mom got some clam chowder and I had a ham sandwich. Then we walked down to a crowded gate 7 around 8:30pm. I watched a NW DC-10 to SEA push back and takeoff while we were waiting. Boarding began around 8:55 for a 9:35 departure. After zones 1-7 were called I heard “Now boarding Zones 1-8 for flight 292 to Los Angeles”. I showed the gate agent my b/p and I got stopped and explained the concept of the four S’s on my b/p and that he had to call up a TSA rep. To search me. He was nice about it and the TSA agent showed up in the gate area. My backpack with an Airways magazine and my homework and CD player was getting searched while everyone else was onboard the aircraft ready to leave . Finally at about 9:20 I boarded and got some glares from some fellow pax. But hey it wasn’t my fault!

    April 17th, 2004
    Delta Airlines Flight 292 OGG-LAX-ATL
    Boeing 767-400ER N827MH ship 1803
    Depart OGG- 9:35pm
    Actual- 9:31pm gate 7
    Arrive LAX- 5:34am
    Actual- 5:18am gate 58A
    Depart LAX- 7:35am
    Actual- 7:35am gate 58A
    Arrive ATL- 2:32pm
    Actual- 2:10pm gate T-02
    Seat 33D


    It was finally time to leave . I got comfy in 33D, one of the best seats in the house because there is no row in front of row 33. We pushed back a few minutes early and watched the safety video. Right after that, we taxied about 200 feet for a rolling takeoff out of Hawaii. I was sad that I was leaving and tried to see the islands as we climbed. It was a smooth climb despite the strong winds outside. We reached 28000 when we got a strong tailwind of 104mph., giving me a new inflight speed record of 654mph! The movie tonight was Whale Rider but I chose to do some homework and sleep. The flight attendants passed through with our meal for the night consisting of Delta snack mix and a cup of Sprite. The seatbelt sign was on for most of the flight even though it wasn’t very bumpy. I did some homework then walked around a bit and had a nice conversation with the girl that I had met on the shuttle to the airport. I went back to the galley and talked to one of the friendly f/a’s on the flight. I returned to my seat and fell asleep for a little while. Pretty boring redeye flight. After about a 15 minute nap, we were descending. It was the fastest descent I’ve ever had. We descended over the Pacific and before I knew it we touched down on 7R in LAX. We had arrived in from the ocean side of the airport! (Thats rare isn’t it?) We taxied in quickly and deplaned. We left our carry-ons on board as we were continuing on DL292 to Atlanta.

    In LAX, everything was dead until 300 souls deplaned from Maui. About half of the pax went to Mcdonalds for breakfast and the other half went to a little bakery in the terminal. I went to the bakery and ordered a “Wake Me Up” which is a croissant with ham egg and cheese. It was good but didn’t really wake me up. I said good bye to the girl I had met who was on the 6:40 departure to SLC. I fell asleep on the ground in the gate area until boarding began. I boarded again in Zone 8 and went back to 33D. I think we pushed back on time (I was dead) and taxied to 25R. I saw Qantas’s Wanula Dreaming 747 taxing to TBIT. What a great livery! We were #3 in line and we took off back to the east coast. Smooth climb over the Pacific until we turned around towards ATL. The f/a’s came around with the drink service and I had the usual Sprite and pretzels. But wait! What is this! A full can of Sprite ! Amazing. I asked what the occasion was and she replied “It’s a long flight. Plus I like you” I’d never talked to her before. I did my homework for the first half of the flight until we hit some turbulence over Texas. I fell asleep then until we were crossing the Mississippi-Alabama border. My 764 adventure was almost over. I started talking to the guy in 33C and he was telling me stories about all of his missed flights and delays in ATL. By then we had begun our descent to 26R. It was a long descent compared to my last one. It was a nice sunny day in Atlanta when we touched down hard. The pilot really wanted to let us know we were on the ground! Even the f/a’s were cracking jokes about captain Pete’s hard landing. Oh well. We had a short taxi into T02 and deplaned. I’m really going to miss the 764. I can’t wait till I get back on one.

    Well well back in ATL. My mom and I were dead tired. We went over to Burger King for lunch/dinner and then took the tram over to Concourse B where our flight to Richmond would leave at 5pm. We had a long wait(it was 3pm) so I wandered around the concourse and to my surprise, one of my good friends was eating with his family at Popeye’s! I sat down and talked to them and found out they were on flight 1935 with me to RIC! Trey(my friend) and I walked around some and went back to B24 and sat with my mom and the rest of his family. Boarding was to start at 4:35 for the 5:05 departure, but the 4:28 flight to MSY was still at the gate at 4:30. Thats when the gate agent announced the plane was late out of Chicago O’Hare and the new departure time was 5:30pm. Along with that he also announced the flight was overbooked by 5. One college student went up and after some talking with Trey and his family, me, my mom, Trey, and his mom got bumped off the 737-200 flight to the MD-88 flight that left at 6:42pm. We only got $200 Delta Dollars but thats better than nothing. We said good bye to the rest of their family and walked over to concourse A. We got to gate A29 around 6pm and saw our plane getting ready for boarding when the gate agent announced that this flight had also been overbooked. He was offering $400 Delta Dollars along with free dinner, a free nights stay at the Sheraton, free breakfast and a seat on the 8am departure to RIC. It was a great deal but we just wanted to get home. The only problem was that no one wanted to stay. Everyone was on board at that time except for us 4. There were three seats left on the plane. The agent was searching for a solution and then finally got us a seat (a connecting pax was on a late flight and wasn’t going to make it).

    April 18th, 2004
    Delta Airlines Flight 2156 ATL-RIC
    MD-88 N912DL
    Depart- 6:42pm
    Actual- 6:43pm gate A29
    Arrive- 8:17pm
    Actual- 8:21pm gate B1
    Seat 37A


    I was on my last leg . I walked down through the cabin all the way to the second to last row. I climbed into seat A next to a college student from North Carolina and the college student who had been bumped from the 5pm flight. I looked out the window and I had a nice view of a big white engine! Trey was stuck all the way in the back in 38B. We pushed back and the engines started. I swear I was going to be deaf by the end of that flight . The engine also created a vibration throughout the back of the cabin. We taxied out to 27R and the engines roared up right in my ears. My mom and Trey’s mom were enjoying seats near the front, far away from the engine . We climbed to our cruising altitude and I finished my homework. Along with the nosie, its very cramped in the back. Oh well at least I got a seat. The f/a’s came around and I got the usual Sprite and pretzels. I talked to the college student next to me who went to Atlanta to play baseball for the weekend. He was nice but scared of flying. I talked to him for a while to get his mind off the flight and soon enough we began our descent. I heard the engines power up and power down on approach. Very smooth approach and smooth touchdown onto the bumpy runway 20. I was home ! Well almost I still had an hour drive home. We taxied to B1 where we parked but the engines and seatbelt sign remained on for about another minute. Eventually they turned off. I helped some people get their carry-on’s out of the bins and I was the last one off the plane which would return to Atlanta in the morning. I was still vibrating as I thanked the pilot who had an English accent. I walked down to the baggage claim with my mom and Trey and his mom to pick up our bags which had arrived on flight 1935. We hopped on the shuttle bus to the long term lot and we were off the Williamsburg.

    It was a great trip I won’t ever forget. Great job DL and AQ ! Comments, complaints, any replies are welcome! .

  • #2
    Wow! That is a great trip report. I love it, it is so detailed and a really fun read! I am glad you had a great time in Hawaii and Delta seems like a Great airline!


    Next Flights:

    October 14, 2006 - Airtran MDW-MSP
    October 16, 2006 - Airtran MSP-MDW


    • #3
      Great report! I love the details!!! Glad you had a great time in Hawaii(I hope to go there one day)


      • #4
        great report!


        • #5
          Well done!!! Luck guy, you got to go on 3 Delta 767-400ER's!!! I only get to go on one tommorrow . Hope you had fun
          BOI is the best!!!! Delta Rocks!!!!
          Image hosted by
          Click Here to view my aircraft photos at JetPhotos.Net!


          • #6
            Great job of bringing your experience to life for us readers. Sounds like it was truly a monumental trip!
            "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

            -Leonardo da Vinci

            My first taste: SFO-SNA, United 757-200 May 10, 1993


            • #7
              Great report. I did not even realize that it was from last year but great, nonetheless!


              • #8
                Awesome report!
                Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:



                • #9
                  Nice report!!!


                  • #10
                    nice trip report it was very enjoyable to read
                    Airlines: XT,KL,SN,ACA,DL,AF,TV,SN,OS,LX,WA,NW,FI,US,AW,CO,OH,OO,9W,AA,AE,FL,B6