Weekend in London in Feb 2018

Another enjoyable trip down to London. This time to visit the Postal Museum near Kings Cross.

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LAX early in the morning - nice and quiet!
LAX early in the morning - nice and quiet!
LAX early in the morning - nice and quiet!
LAX early in the morning - nice and quiet!

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024: Day 2 – Los Angeles LAX to Honolulu HNL

By Nige on Sat 17 Feb 2024 at 14:29
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | HNL | Honolulu | LAX | Los Angeles | Trips | Waikiki

I managed to turn off the light last night at half past midnight. Three hours later and I was awake and raring to go. The alarm was set for 4am, but there was no point in hanging around.

A colourful Marriott on the walk back to LAX
A colourful Marriott on the walk back to LAX
A colourful Marriott on the walk back to LAX
A colourful Marriott on the walk back to LAX

It didn’t take me long to get ready and I was soon walking back down Century Boulevard in the slightly cooler early morning. It was about 12 deg c.

It was nice and quiet, but I always come across one or two people on the sidewalk. I always try to skirt around giving them plenty of room to avoid any scary encounters. All good today.

LAX was nice and quiet and when I reached T4, I found that TSA Pre-Check was already open at just before 4:30am.

It didn’t take long to get through the security check and I then joined the back of a 10 passenger queue to get into the AA Flagship Lounge.

Early morning in TBIT
Early morning in TBIT
Early morning in TBIT
Early morning in TBIT

Once in, I had to get my boarding pass checked. I was in first class but my group number was Group 2?

I didn’t quite understand that, so the customer services rep reprinted my boarding pass and it showed Group 1. I suspect it was because it was a BA-printed boarding pass.

Having secured my favourite seat, I dumped my stuff and headed over to TBIT to get my Starbucks.

According to the Starbucks app, the Starbucks store close to Gate 153 opens at 4am – I always though it didn’t open until 5am – seems early when there are limited flights going out at that time of day.

The Amber Nectar enjoyed at LAX
The Amber Nectar enjoyed at LAX
The Amber Nectar enjoyed at LAX
The Amber Nectar enjoyed at LAX

Back to the lounge and I was tempted by the Brussel sprouts and grapes. I’ve enjoyed them previously and today was just as nice.

They were accompanied by potatas bravas and some spicy sausage. Nice!

Spoke with Vick, who had been out lunching with her choir mates. Ladies, that lunch, eh?

The flight to Honolulu was due to leave from Gate 53B at 9am, so I planned to head down there at 8am.

The scene at Gate 53B at LAX T5
The scene at Gate 53B at LAX T5
The scene at Gate 53B at LAX T5
The scene at Gate 53B at LAX T5

Hawaii flights are always a bit of a scrum at the gate. If I remember correctly, Gate 53B is quite tight, so as soon as you get a few passengers milling around the gate area, it’s difficult to get through.

There are always a good few wheelchairs heading to Hawaii, so that complicates queuing at the gate as well.

I got to the gate about 50 mins before the scheduled departure – it was the gate I was thinking about.

It was showing as boarding would start in 5 mins, so I was glad I got down there early.

The view from seat 01F on the way to Hawaii
The view from seat 01F on the way to Hawaii
The view from seat 01F on the way to Hawaii
The view from seat 01F on the way to Hawaii

I managed to get myself in prime boarding position, but I kept out of the way to allow pre-boarders easy access. Pre-boarding started at 45 mins out, then there was an issue with aircraft weight.

Flight: AA0031 Equip: A321Neo
Sched Depart: 09:00 Actual: 09:11
Sched Arrival: 13:16 Actual: 14:08
Takeoff: 09:32 Landing: 14:04

Gate staff made an announcement: five passengers needed to be unloaded, and vouchers were being offered if passengers were prepared to take a later flight.

It was a big no from me – I was going to be there long enough to make it worthwhile. But it made me wonder what was going on.

The queue of aircraft waiting for access to the runway at LAX
The queue of aircraft waiting for access to the runway at LAX
The queue of aircraft waiting for access to the runway at LAX
The queue of aircraft waiting for access to the runway at LAX

Late arriving passengers decided to crowd the priority boarding queue, so I was sort of forced into joining the queue.

On board into 01F and there was a delay due to the weight issue. Perhaps tied in with the long flight time and strong jet stream working against us.

Finally pushed back a good ten mins late. We joined a long queue of aircraft waiting to take off.

It was overcast in Los Angeles, so after taking off, we quickly climbed into the clouds.

A tasty breakfast served on board the AA flight to Honolulu
A tasty breakfast served on board the AA flight to Honolulu
A tasty breakfast served on board the AA flight to Honolulu
A tasty breakfast served on board the AA flight to Honolulu

I’ve taken plenty of photos looking back at LAX, and I wasn’t going to be able to add to the collection today.

Drinks service started, and in addition to a cup of tea, I ordered a glass of bucks fizz for a change. Nice it was too!

Breakfast comprised an omelette with a sausage and potatoes, some fruit, and a yoghurt.

I dozed for a while and watched Up in the Air (again). I love that film!

The rest of the flight dragged on to be honest. I wanted to get into my hotel room to have a chance to relax.

Getting ready for a right turn to line up for the runway
Getting ready for a right turn to line up for the runway
Getting ready for a right turn to line up for the runway
Getting ready for a right turn to line up for the runway

I got a very blue view of the islands on the way to O’Ahu and we definitely approached the island further south than the normal flight path would take us.

It was lovely to see Hawaii again and it was also a relief that the end of our flight was nigh.

Arrived into Gate D2 – not one I have experienced before.

The beautiful shoreline of O'Ahu
The beautiful shoreline of O’Ahu
The beautiful shoreline of O'Ahu
The beautiful shoreline of O’Ahu

Whilst waiting in the galley to deboard, the cockpit door was opened and the flight crew and cabin crew exchanged comments to the effect “wow – we just about made it”.

I couldn’t help but wonder whether that was a reference to the strong winds and the large amount of fuel required to get the aircraft to Honolulu.

Which also tied in with the weight issue we experienced at LAX and our need to offload 5 passengers in LAX.

The captain came out and I had a brief chat with him.

Arriving into Honolulu airport
Arriving into Honolulu airport
Arriving into Honolulu airport
Arriving into Honolulu airport

Apparently, due to the southern route we took compared to the normal northern route, we arrived before a Hawaiian flight that took off an hour before us – it decided to fly the northern route as normal.

Interestingly, I checked flightaware.com later on and I couldn’t find any evidence of this. Not sure what that really says about my exchange with the captain!

From Gate D2, it was a shorter walk than normal to the Uber pickup location. However, the Uber was very expensive at $46. On the positive side, i got the timing spot on. I only waited 1 min before climbing in and getting on my way to Waikiki.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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