Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022: Day 3 – Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
I think the good amount of sleep I got on the flight to LAX last night caused me not to be able to sleep at the Hilton LAX hotel. I had set the alarm for 4am but managed about 30-45 mins of actual sleep. After doing loads of admin and the like, I decided I may as well head back to the airport to chill out in the lounge.
TSA Pre-Check security wasn’t open at 4am when I arrived, so I had to queue up with everyone else. Although the queue looked long, it actually moved fairly fast, so I was only hanging around for about 10 mins or so.
When I reached the AA Flagship Lounge (FL) just before 4:30am, I found it yet to open! Luckily I only had to wait a few mins and I was good to get in. Having settled into my favourite seat, I headed over to TBIT to Starbucks at 5am.
Starbucks was relatively quiet, but it still took 5 mins to get to the front to place my order. The barrister that made my drink, made it as a Frappuccino (i.e. cold) rather the hot drink that I had asked for. So that had to be made again. Taking that first sip after starting my walk back to the lounge was smile-inducing!
I had a little taste of a bacon and egg pad Thai in the FL which was very nice. Ultimately that was because it was quite sweet, but I didn’t really care why it tasted so good! After all, I had missed a main course on the flight last night, so it was time to catch up on a few carbs.
I did my normal all terminals walk; a bit of exercise helps to offset the extra calories that are built into these types of itineraries. When I got back I decided it was time for some English muffins, butter and jam, which brought back a disappointing episode in the FL on my last TP run in Nov.
On that occasion (as I have done numerous times previously), I prepared my toasted English muffins in the Business Lounge (the Business Lounge connects to the FL via a reception area). I popped them onto a plate alongside my jam and butter and headed back to my seat in the FL. Bear in mind the only reason I do this is because the FL never has English muffins as a standard breakfast item. Anyway, I was stopped in the reception area and told the transfer of food between lounges was against policy and I wasn’t allowed to do it. I needed to sit in the Business Lounge to eat my muffins.
Subsequently, I complained to AA via email and asked them to provide written evidence of having a policy against the transfer of foods from one lounge to another. Unsurprisingly, they couldn’t provide one, but suggested next time I ask for an attendant to transfer the foods for me.
So on my walk into the Business Lounge, I thought I would check whether I could “move” my English muffins into the FL, or perhaps I needed some help from the attendants? No problem was the response – you can move foods as you so desire. So much for having a policy forbidding it eh?
Los Angeles LAX AA Flagship Lounge Restroom
This is a very nice restroom; it’s big, clean and very few cheap-feeling plastics in sight. It’s not the ultimate marble encrusted restroom you might find in Asia, but it’s a nice one.
Back to My Trip
My last flight of the outward trip to Honolulu was due to leave Gate 54A, so that’s a 10 min trek from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5. Hawaiian flights often leave from T5. Not sure why.
Flight: AA0031 Equip: A321Neo
Sched Depart: 09:05 Actual: 09:01
Sched Arrival: 13:10 Actual: 13:00
Takeoff: 09:24 Landing: 12:55
When I got to the gate there was a huge queue for priority boarding and the impression I got was that they had already started boarding but had paused. This was 45 mins prior to departure. I weasled my way towards the front, but could only go so far.
Finally boarding continued and I was onboard into seat 01A. I picked up my Hawaiian Agricultural form to complete – fairly sure that’s pointless, since there appears to be no check as to whether every passenger has actually completed one or not.
We got away from the gate slightly ahead of schedule and we were advised that it would be around a 5hr 30 min flight.
By the time I was asked about whether I wanted breakfast, the options were eggs or eggs. The attendant had started taking orders from the back and was now out of all other options. Well that was quite fortunate since the egg breakfast was amazing! It turned out to be a Mexican omelette with black beans. Wow – it was stunning.
After a period snoozing, the captain announced that everyone needed to be buckled up including the flight attendants due to bad turbulence reported by other aircraft and it was not something they could fly around. At the time it sounded a tad worrying. There was a lot of scurrying to the restroom and twenty mins later, there was a minor bit of turbulence that lasted all of 2 mins. The captain came on the PA system and announced that the flight crew had done a good job in minimising the turbulence. Good on you crew!
We arrived into Gate E8 which is the old Gate 18 (as I remember it), but it doesn’t seem to be the normal gate for this flight to arrive into, which I think is further up the terminal. However, that meant a shorter walk to the Uber pick up point!
I ordered my Uber as I was walking out of the terminal and as soon as I reached the centre media at Lobby 8, my cab arrived to pick me up. $25 later (which is a pretty decent price if you ask me), I was waiting at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Front Desk asking for a room as high up as they could get.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Dec 2022