Setting up our New Home in Feb 2019

So we have moved in – what’s next? This series of posts explains the changes we made to our new home.

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A view of a proud American aircraft hangar at Honolulu airport
A view of a proud American aircraft hangar at Honolulu airport
A view of a proud American aircraft hangar at Honolulu airport
A view of a proud American aircraft hangar at Honolulu airport

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 4 – Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX)

By Nige on Sun 29 Jan 2023 at 23:50
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | HNL | Honolulu | LAX | Los Angeles | Trips | USA | Waikiki

By the time I decided to head to the airport, the rain had finally started to subside. When I got into the Uber assigned to me, the driver said that the rain had been so bad on the freeway that he had decided to head home, and my trip would take him towards his home – it was his last for today.

I was heading through TSA Pre-Check at 7:30pm – it was a fairly long queue but it still only took about 5 mins to do my id check and push my bags through the scanner.

Up into the Sakura Lounge and I was already starting to feel a tad weary. Hopefully, that will put me into a sleepy mood when I get onboard my first flight of my trip home.

A United aircraft sat at Gate D1
A United aircraft sat at Gate D1
A United aircraft sat at Gate D1
A United aircraft sat at Gate D1

As normal at 10:30pm the lounge dragons announced that the lounge would be closing at 11pm and that the gates for the late flights were a good 15 mins away. I took the hint and headed out at 10:45 on my slow walk to Gate C2. It’s closer to a 5 min walk from the lounge to be honest.

Flight: AA0298 Equip: A321Neo
Sched Depart: 23:44 Actual: 23:40
Sched Arrival: 07:16 Actual: 06:55
Takeoff: 23:56 Landing: 06:48

The gate area is an unusual one in that it’s not entirely clear as to where passengers should start queuing. There’s a small final ante room before the jet bridge, accessed through a fairly tight doorway, and its in this ante room where the boarding pass scanner is located. If everyone started queuing in the ante room, there would be grid lock. There were a couple of Group 1 passengers loitering around the doorway to the ante room, so I joined them.

A business-looking apron at Honolulu airport
A business-looking apron at Honolulu airport
A business-looking apron at Honolulu airport
A business-looking apron at Honolulu airport

Boarding commenced about 10 mins after I arrived. On board into seat 01F and I made sure I had everything I needed to hand, most importantly an eye mask and ear plugs! My strategy was straight forward: avoid drinking anything to minimise need for facilities; sleep as best I can for as long as I can; then (hopefully) I may get to an hour or two out when I can keep myself busy listening to music and the like.

The AA team managed to be ready 5 mins before our departure time – this appears to be their target every time. They just managed that on a very late arrival of the paper documentation. I’ve never been sure as to exactly what’s in there – is it passenger manifest and cargo or something? Anyway they achieved that by the skin of their teeth.

I was provided with a menu which surprised me a tad. Unusual to get menus on a Honolulu flight, especially a red eye.

We therefore pushed back early and headed out to the far runway, which takes a good 10 mins of taxiing to get there. The captain clearly put his foot down and we were taking off at about 23:55; with an estimated flight duration of 4hr 55min, it meant that we should be landing at LAX ahead of schedule. Any additional time gained would be appreciated due to my need for a Starbucks and my experience of their queues!

Whilst taxiing, I could feel the little judders as I started nodding off and then waking up again. Once up in the air, my flight strategy was implemented but I never felt like I was dropping off; the best I could describe it as was dozing. My neck wasn’t comfortable but somehow when I finally surfaced there was less than an hour to go! In celebration I stuck some music on and enjoyed playing a few games on my mobile.

The sunrise on the way into Los Angeles LAX airport
The sunrise on the way into Los Angeles LAX airport
The sunrise on the way into Los Angeles LAX airport
The sunrise on the way into Los Angeles LAX airport

On the final 500 miles or so, the sunrise was an indication as to how close we were getting to reaching our destination. It’s always a sight to behold.

Some amazing cloud formations on final approach into Los Angeles LAX airport
Some amazing cloud formations on final approach into Los Angeles LAX airport
Some amazing cloud formations on final approach into Los Angeles LAX airport
Some amazing cloud formations on final approach into Los Angeles LAX airport

We landed a few mins earlier than the captain’s estimate and our taxiing didn’t take long at all. The other bonus was that rather than arriving at Terminal 5, we ended up at Gate 42B which is a lot closer to my local Starbucks at LAX! So when I deplaned first, I could jog up the air bridge and on towards TBIT with some confidence in securing some caffeine, irrespective of how long the Starbucks queue was.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023


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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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