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Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu International Airport
Honolulu International Airport

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024: Day 4 – Honolulu HNL to Los Angeles LAX

By Nige on Mon 19 Feb 2024 at 22:24
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Feb 2024
Tags: American Airlines | HNL | Honolulu | LAX | Los Angeles | Trips

This is normally the worst flight of the entire trip. It’s a red eye and I am at my most tired. I really want to sleep in a proper bed, and all I have to look forward to is a recliner.

Arriving into Honolulu International Airport Terminal 2
Arriving into Honolulu International Airport Terminal 2
Arriving into Honolulu International Airport Terminal 2
Arriving into Honolulu International Airport Terminal 2

It’s even worse this time since I am in row 3. Somehow, I messed up reserving my seats on this AA flight, and I lost any opportunity of getting into the front row. So I was not looking forward to this one.

So much for heading to the airport at 7pm. I had a snooze for about an hour and awoke at 5:30pm. I got myself sorted and decided I may as well order an Uber at around 6pm.

The guy that picked me up had heavy UK links but was an American married to someone who works for American Airlines, so that was the focus for our entire trip.

A tree in the cultural garden lit up with Night mode
A tree in the cultural garden lit up with Night mode
A tree in the cultural garden lit up with Night mode
A tree in the cultural garden lit up with Night mode

He was a very nice guy, but to be honest, I would have been happy enough dozing the entire drive to the airport. However, we had a laugh and it probably did me some good, so thanks Peter my Uber driver for the evening!

Flight: AA0298 Equip: A321Neo
Sched Depart: 22:40 Actual: 22:35
Sched Arrival: 06:11 Actual: 06:18
Takeoff: 22:51 Landing: 05:45

On arrival at Terminal 2, I had to pop my hand luggage through an aggricultural scanner, and then I headed through to TSA Pre-Check. They have converted this to facial recognition id checks now. A sign of the times I guess!

The view across the cultural garden at Honolulu airport
The view across the cultural garden at Honolulu airport
The view across the cultural garden at Honolulu airport
The view across the cultural garden at Honolulu airport

Into the Sakura Lounge and I was welcomed by the lounge agents as always. I dumped my stuff and popped out to check the few shops that were still open, but I couldn’t find anything half-appropriate for my better half.

My strategy for this flight, as it always is, is to minimise liquid intake for 4-6 hours before the flight and then try and sleep from the off as much as possible.

The flight back to Los Angeles was due to leave from Gate C2. It was an 8-10 min walk from the lounge, and it’s a gate I have used before.

On the way to Gate C2 for my flight back to Los Angeles
On the way to Gate C2 for my flight back to Los Angeles
On the way to Gate C2 for my flight back to Los Angeles
On the way to Gate C2 for my flight back to Los Angeles

I headed down to the gate about an hour before departure. I know what boarding is like for these flights. It tends to be a real scrum, so it’s good to get into a decent starting position. All worked out fine.

On into seat 3D initially, then someone wanted to swap, so I ended up in 3C. No difference from my perspective. Happy I could help out.

The captain suggested the flight time was expected to be 5 hrs 3 mins, but that would just get us in on schedule. So it’s going to be tight for getting a  Starbucks at LAX.

Take off was easy, and I was soon into doze mode.

The leg room on the AA A321Neo taking me to Los Angeles
The leg room on the AA A321Neo taking me to Los Angeles
The leg room on the AA A321Neo taking me to Los Angeles
The leg room on the AA A321Neo taking me to Los Angeles

I did pretty well I think. I managed to doze for the first three hours. Popped to the loo just because I could. Then I listened to some music and played some games on my phone.

I was planning out how my arrival might work: head to the lounge, brush my teeth, walk over to TBIT to get in the Starbucks queue, head back to the lounge. There’s a lot to fit in, in a short space of time.

What amazed me on final approach was that no one wanted to open the shades to watch us land. It’s a horrible feeling being in a tube and having no idea what’s going on outside.

As often is the case, we arrived too early, and our gate was occupied, so we had to hang around on the apron for a good 10-15 mins. That wasn’t helping my tight Starbucks-based activity planning!

After heading towards our gate, I could tell that we had done another taxi way u-turn, probably to get out of the way of another aircraft. More delays.

We finally arrived at Gate 47A, but that wasn’t the end of the holdups.


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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