All good things come to an end unfortunately, and it's already time to head back home, with a 4 legs journey and an awful long travel time: we left the hotel at 01:30P on Thursday (00:30A home time on Friday) for a scheduled arrival time in France at 11:15A on Saturday…
Check in was very fast, nobody in front of us. A few airport pictures from landside:
TSA is cleared in no time, very efficient and, most important, super courteous and friendly agents. One of them was absolutely charming, with an incredible smile and so handsome. I would have loved to check if its name was true, as he was named Freepartner ;)
Airside, KOA does not offer any Wi-Fi nor lounge for Hawaiian first class passengers (there is one, however, but it was under renovation for the whole month of January). But KOA is an open air terminal, no windows and plenty of good picture opportunities. The only thing is that you have to compose with the greens that surround the terminal.
Let's go for a big spotting session (if you don't like that, scroll to the back^^)
Here lots of HA 717, within 2H, there were a total of 5, including mine (the last one):
AS 738 Special Livery, so beautiful:
Re-United but a -800:
US Airways 757-200:
Classic AS livery:
737-700 Kaiser Air, never heard about them:
Navy with a Lockheed P-3 Orion that did some touch and go (they are regular visitors there):
Boarding pass and misc. pictures:
In no time it's time to board, here the first class cabin:
Seat pitch, nice carpet wall and PSU:
Boarding bridge is taken away and the next 717 service to HNL arrives:
Safety card and HA magazine:
The plane landed at 03:40P, boarded at 03:45, ended boarding at 03:55, departed 04:00. Well done. Views as we taxied out:
Soft and very silent take-off, as usual when you seat front on the 717. KOA is surrounded by petrified lava fields:
There are no welcome drink on inter islands flights as the ground time is too short. And as the flight short is too, the drink orders are taken on ground. Here the small and the big seat trays. The big one is really big and well designed:
Mai-tai, water and some snacks:
On this short hop, the purser came twice with drinks and three time with snack. Quite impressive :)
Then a short visit to the lavs, and some shoots from the back:
As there are not so many people in the back, (first is full) I was able to take Maui and Lanaii in pictures:
Shortly afterwards, we are already approaching HNL, with the USS Arizona memorial (the white monument in the middle of the bay)
We parked at the inter-island terminal and needed to take the shuttle that is very badly signed (not to say, no signs at all).
Time for the bonus!!
Big Island is an amazing island, the landscape changes from one minute to another. You can be in a rain forest at noon, on a petrified lava field five minutes later, and within half an hour be almost at 12'000 feet an above. From lush green gardens to black, white and green sandy beaches, from smooth lagoons to Rough Ocean. This is everything Big Island has to offer. I'll split my bonuses in the four part of my return in order not to show too much one just one. Anyway, FR caps the reports to 150 pictures and this is how many are on this report :)
To start with, here is Akaka Falls and its rain forest:
Some of the landscapes reminded me of Switzerland:
Polulu Valley Lookout, at the North of the island and the end of Highway 270. Wonderful black sand beach, unfortunately we were too tired that day to hike down.
Sunset from my balcony (Marriot Waikoloa):
Kailua - KOA
Honolulu - HNL
That was the first part of our return, the cabin of the 717 was very comfortable as the seat recline is really impressive (much better than Delta)
The crew was amazing and had the Aloha Spirit. For the flight time the catering offer was more than adequate.
Kona airport should have WIFI, that's a minimum nowadays.
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