Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 3 – Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
As on previous trips, I didn’t sleep very well at the LAX Hilton. Probably because it’s UK day time and I have had some sleep on my previous flight.
Consequently, I didn’t do that well with catching up on some well-earned zeds. So I decided to head back to LAX at around 4am.
I was in the empty security line at 4:30am and there was just one line open which had a 3D scanner, which meant that I didn’t need to take anything out of my bag!
I had to wait a few mins outside of the AA Flagship Lounge, along with about 10 other passengers who also wanted to gain access. I got my favourite seat in the lounge and I had a nosey around the amazing food on offer in the breakfast buffet.
I had to sample the bacon and egg pad thai and an unusual looking omelette. Both were tremendous.
After checking out the facilities I headed down to Starbucks in TBIT and there was no queue! I had my drink in my hand 2 mins after ordering and the staff were really friendly.
Really goes to show when things are relaxed how much of a better experience it is.
It was obviously very quiet at the time of the day that I arrived, but it didn’t really get that much busier later on during the morning either. Good to be able to wander around without having to squeeze between passengers.
After my all-terminal wander, I checked with the lounge staff that it would be ok for me to toast some English muffins in the Business Lounge and then take them into the Flagship Lounge.
No problems and this reaffirmed the position from my last trip in Dec. The muffins were thoroughly enjoyed with butter and grape jelly. Yum!
My final flight of the outward portion of my trip was due to leave from Gate 54A.
I duly headed along the connecting tunnel and appeared at Gate 54A to find that there must have been a gate change.
It was now Gate 42A, which meant I needed to walk back along the connecting tunnel! Lesson learned: always check the gate before heading off on a long walk to a remote gate!
Got back to the correct gate just in time to find my name on an ipad held up by a CK rep, who invited me to pre-board.
Nice when that happens and it doesn’t happen enough. Having said that, it has happened 100% more than it has ever happened with British Airways!
Flight: AA0031 Equip: A321Neo
Sched Depart: 09:00 Actual: 08:54
Sched Arrival: 13:12 Actual: 12:44
Takeoff: 09:18 Landing: 12:40
On into seat 01F and looking forward to getting to Honolulu now. Plugged my charger into the seat.
Reminder that plugging in a UK standard plug into what appears to be an international socket doesn’t work on these AA A321Neos. I had to use a USA adapter in between the standard UK plug and the international-looking socket in the seat. Suddenly, current started to flow.
I noticed on my JFK-LAX AA flight yesterday, that the safety video has been updated. I now miss the old style video! There was something musical about the old video, which grew on me. This one is far more focused on the essence of the message and less so on the theatrics.
I noticed after boarding had completed, that the seat next to me was empty. That’s unheard of with AA. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long though. They called three passengers from economy before finding someone who wanted to come and sit next to me!
We pushed back early (why can AA do it, but BA can’t?), but it took a while to reach the runway. I took a short video showing the final 20-30 seconds of take off, which I’ll embed here at some point. It’s a lovely feeling: taking off from LAX heading towards Hawaii.
I had pre-ordered the frittata, which was a surprise. The other options were obviously not good ones since frittata is not my sort of thing for breakfast. However, it turned out fairly tasty.
With the A321Neo, the only way you can watch movies and the like is via your smart phone or tablet. There are no screens built into the aircraft. That perhaps has given AA the opportunity to include more movies.
Consequently, I actually found a film I quite fancied watching: Dark Waters with Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman.
A film on the same lines as Erin Brockovich about a corporation that was polluting waters around one of its plants. The chemical, PFOA was used to make Teflon! Great film; strong cast; highly recommended.
Managed to close my eyes for 90 mins or so. When I woke, the captain announced that in 20 mins, the seatbelt sign would be going on until we arrived to deal with expected turbulence. I think it was the same scenario in my last trip in December. There was a mad rush for the restroom after that announcement! Then we hit the turbulence and at times it was pretty violent. Not one that the Vickster would have enjoyed.
We arrived almost 30 mins early into Gate E10, which is always great. I was out of my seat like a rocket so was in pole position for deplaning. Had a quick chat with the cabin crew about being on a mileage run whilst we waited for the door to be opened by ground staff.
On the walk to Lobby 8, I ordered my Uber which was reported as being only 2 mins away.
So I had to jog that last 200m so I wasn’t late for it. A nice VW SUV took me the old school way into Waikiki.
It’s slightly slower with more traffic lights, but you are closer to the coast and it feels like you are closer to downtown Honolulu rather than rushing in on the freeway.
Honolulu was lovely and warm, but I could see a dense rain cloud hanging over the top of Waikiki in the distance. It started to rain on the way to my hotel.
Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023