The flight was only 7 hours, not 9+ as I had expected. We rode on an old JAL 747-400 on the lower level. The upper deck was for economy class? This bird was so old that the business class armrests still had ashtrays. The seats were more like domestic first class, but had more legroom. In-flight entertainment in the armrest and tray table in the other armrest.
We had spent four hours in the JAL Lounge and when we boarded the old 747, the first attendant to approach us apologized for the bad seat on the previous flight. How did she know? That was a nice touch and much appreciated.
There must have been 8 attendants for the business class section and no more than 20 passengers in the two cabins. There were 6 of us in the rear business class section. We were in row 9, seats J and K. I fell asleep just after the meal of steak and mustard sauce. It looked and tasted exactly like the steak and red wine sauce on the previous flight?? Mr. Ambien to the rescue again. I woke up on my own and looked out the window to see Midway Island per the attendant. We were 1 hour and twenty minutes from landing.
My first look at a US state was of the western most island of Lihue. It felt good to be home. We flew right over Kauai and made our approach in Honolulu past the Arizona Memorial. Customs was a breeze and we waited for our free flight (5K UA miles) on Island Air.
We left Narita at 9 PM on May 25th and arrived in Honolulu at 9 AM on May 25th thanks to the International Date Line.
The Dash prop plane took off to the east over downtown Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head crater (photo above). The flight was all of 39 minutes passing Lania and Molakai islands.
Our Alamo rent a car was $151 from Priceline for the week, and things were busy at the Maui airport. The was no sign of economic slowdown there. It took 1/2 hour to drive to the Marriott at Wailea Beach where we were given a parking lot view room for our award points stay. Nice room with tile floors, with plenty of space and ample sized bathroom.
I asked at the front desk about my Marriott Gold benefits and was told I would receive none as I was on another base member’s points stay. I was informed that the resort was not owned by Marriott, just managed by them and even Platinum members did not receive free breakfast or internet. Somewhat surprised, I questioned the statement and proceeded to inform the receptionist that I had just receive free breakfast in Phuket on a gifted stay and was surprised by her position. I also called the party I had traded with and he was also unaware of such a policy although he is not a regular Marriott user.
The receptionist then went to, (or pretended to) go see a supervisor and came back with free parking and internet… about a $30 per day saving. I thanked the agent and proceeded to introduce her to President Jackson for her efforts on our behalf.
The order of the day was nap, shower, and laundry. We were grateful to find on site facilities that took care of our laundry needs for all of $10. We will make it home now without another laundry stop.
I made it to the pool but just briefly and we did not explore the resort yet, but that’s what tomorrow is for.
The photos are the western most Hawaiian Island and the crater in Diamondhead.