Since we had a 6:00 AM flight from Detroit Metro Airport we decided to stay at a hotel near the airport. We chose the Holiday Inn Express as IHG has The Big Win promotion going on right now and I wanted to take advantage of it. We were also able to leave our car at the lot behind the hotel for free for 8 days (through the hotel) and then pay $11 per day after that or $8 per day if you have a AAA card or AARP card. We parked our car at the hotel the night we checked in and then moved it that morning to the lot behind the Holiday Inn Express. The shuttle bus was right there to take us to the airport.
Check in was a breeze as was security this time of the morning. I took photos of our luggage in case they got lost and I could describe them and show them (yes, mine had the penguin duct tape on it) as well as looking at the luggage tag to make sure they were going to HNL. The people that work the desk are only human and they can make mistakes – I just don’t want it to happen to me.
I found out that we could not use the UAL Club because we were flying domestically. It would have been nice but it wasn’t that important. We flew a CRJ (Canadian Regional Jet) from Detroit to Houston. We had two of the 6 First Class seats and to be honest, I would never pay extra for these seats. There was very little recline, no food offered whatsoever though juice/soda was offered. Additionally this jet was freezing cold. I know, at times, I’m always cold but when I see men putting on their jackets and trying to stay warm, I know that it is not just me. The flight attendants did say repeatedly that the pilot was trying to warm up the plane. I happened to get the ONLY blanket on the plane. I asked for a napkin and the FA thought I was asking for a blanket. I took the blanket and still asked for a napkin. Blogger Hubby and I were huddled together under the blanket. Hope this gives you an idea of how cold it was on this very uncomfortable flight.
Two and a half hours later we were so glad to get off this plane and get warm at the airport in Houston (IAH). A two hour layover found us having some breakfast near our gate. As the time drew closer for our take off we were all notified by the gate agent that the in flight entertainment system was not working and that we should download movies onto our IPAD’s (hmm, do’t have one) or go to a bookstore and buy a book. She did say they were working hard to fix the problem. We had plenty of books but still, it was over an 8 hour flight – a movie or two would break up the time if we needed it. Just before we boarded I ran back to the food court and bought a lunch for myself. I have not been too pleased with the food on United and had been warned that this flight had terrible food – actually inedible food. Ran to Panda Express for a chicken dish and lo mein.
We were able to have pre-boarding due to flying Business Class. Actually there were two business class sections on this plane. The plane had a 2-3-2 configuration so we chose the two together on the side of the plane. This appeared to be one of the older planes as the in flight entertainment is on a tiny foldaway screen in your arm rest that you pull out. Also in the arm rest is the in-flight phone that many airlines had in years (or is it decades) gone by.
After we were seated our cheery flight attendant (FA) came by and asked us what we wanted to drink. Since this was my first trip to Hawaii, I asked for something “tropical” and sooner than I could blink an eye, Blogger Hubby and I had mai tai’s in our hand.
Shortly we were in the air and our FA came by to serve the luncheon. As I had been told, there was only one choice and it was the chicken that I had been warned about. Hubby took the chicken and said it wasn’t bad. I was happy that I had Panda Express. Since we were up at 3:30 AM (EDT)and wouldn’t get to our accommodations till around 11 pm (EDT) wanted to make sure that I had food in my stomach.
After lunch, we were served sundaes with all the toppings that you wanted. Sundaes are always a nice treat on a United flight. I slept off and on, read a complete book and saw a movie.
We landed in Honolulu and found that we had to walk quite a distance outside to baggage claim. I was glad for the walk since we sat for so long but I’m not sure if some people knew how far it was. As we were waiting for our luggage, Blogger Hubby surprised me with a sweet scented plumeria lei. The aroma was heavenly.
As the bags came off the carousel, ours was easy to find since I used the decorative duct tape that I refer to in this post. We walked outside and waited for the shuttle to take us to National Car rental to pick up our car that we reserved through Priceline.com I had remembered to go through the Ultimate Rewards mall and received extra points for booking it that way.
We picked up our white Jetta, after carefully inspecting it and making note of the scratches and marks on the car, and we were on our way to Hickam Air Force base to buy our supplies for the week at the condo in West Oahu. Since Blogger Hubby is retired military, we are able to shop at the commissary. Blogger Daughter, who spent her babymoon here as well went to WalMart where she purchased food for their week here.
We finished shopping and were soon on H1 heading west. This traffic is worse than DC traffic in rush hour on a Friday afternoon! For any of you who travel the Beltway or I-95, you know what I am referring to.
Next, our stay at the Hawaiian Princess in Makara.