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Showing posts from January, 2006

Time is money? No, time is miles.

I'm looking at going to a conference in Mexico City in March. As usual, Northwest's web site can't find its way anywhere from Hilo, and this time, it can't even find its way from Kona. So I decided to look from Honolulu. After all, I'm pretty sure I can get from Hilo to Honolulu and back, thanks to Hawaiian's inter-island flights.
The shortest and thus most logical way of getting to Mexico City and back, from Hilo, is:
Hilo > Honolulu > Los Angeles > Mexico City > Los Angeles > Honolulu > Hilo
That's 216 + 2553 + 1552 = 4,321 miles each way, or 8,642 round-trip. Since there's a 500 mile minimum per flight for frequent flyer miles, it'd actually be worth 9,210 frequent flyer miles, if I did it all on airlines that I earn miles on.
But... I found a decent price (on airlines I earn miles on) for:
Hilo > Honolulu > San Francisco > Atlanta > Mexico City > Detroit > Cincinnati > Honolulu > Hilo
That's …

On-time flights: perception, or reality?

In the last year and a half, I've flown on Air France, Air India, Alitalia, Aloha, American, British, China Airlines, Hawaiian, KLM, Northwest, Ted, and United. (Nice selection, eh?) Most of them tended to be more or less on-time (give or take a few minutes) most of the time. On my most recent trip, though, I had one Air France flight, one KLM flight, and four Northwest flights... and every single one departed on-time and got in early. One flight stopped to drop off passengers, then made a 30-minute hop to its final destination, and even on that 30-minute hop, it was 8 minutes early.This impressed me greatly, but it also made me wonder what was going on. These airlines fly the same equipment (Boeing or Airbus) as everyone else. The routes I flew are unfortunately ones that no one else flies exactly, so it's impossible to compare their scheduled flight times to others. 
They do operate out of airports that are slightly less busy, which could reduce ground delays.…

A few thoughts on Paris

Good:
Traffic isn't too bad. The Metro and train systems work really well. Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice at breakfast is apparently a basic human right. The croissants are soft and flaky and buttery, like croissants are supposed to be, but almost never are anywhere else. Good food can be had. People are generally kinda nice. Lots of pretty old buildings.
Bad:
Too many people still haven't figured out that they could be even more glamorous if they didn't smoke. There's only one channel (BBC World) in English, and it repeats every 30 minutes. The food is different enough to complicate things, and some of it is just kinda gross to think about (foie gras, anyone?).
So, overall, Paris seems a nice place to visit, and even a nice place to be very very busy. I'm not sure what I'd do if I had a lot of free time, though. :)

Mainland flights return to Hilo!

For the last couple years at least, Hilo has been the only major jet airport in Hawaii without direct airline flights to North America. Honolulu, of course, is served by all kinds of airlines. Most major US airlines also serve Kahului on Maui. American, Northwest and United serve Kona, across the island from Hilo, and even Lihue on Kauai gets flights from American and United. ATA also flies to Honolulu and Kahului.
Anyway, ATA just announced that they're going to start daily non-stops between Hilo and Oakland, California.
This presents a bit of a quandry. On the one hand, we've flown ATA before and they did a good enough job, and they're allied with Southwest, which is also reasonably priced, so they might be good for family trips. On the other hand, neither of them is allied with anybody else particularly useful when it comes to going overseas, so they're basically a non-starter for my world travel.
I'm hoping that other airlines (Northwest, are you li…

Murphy works for an airline

Fifteen thousand miles. 25 days. Two generally (and some would say deservedly) bankrupt airlines.
What could possibly go wrong?
The plan called for:
YUL-ORD UA 7597 ORD-LAX UA 519 LAX-HNL HA 1 HNL-ITO HA 262
And then, a week later:
ITO-HNL AQ 49 (UA 4959) HNL-DEN UA 44 DEN-MDW UA 1442 (TED)
And then, a week later:
ORD-PHL UA 1008
And then, a week and a half later:
PHL-ORD UA 895 ORD-HNL UA 1 HNL-ITO AQ 68 (UA 4904)
But...
UA 7597 was delayed out of Montreal due to snow at O'Hare, so it reached Chicago too late for me to catch UA 519. United rebooked me - well, once I found a live employee in their main hub airport at 10 PM - on UA 1 to Honolulu the next day; no seats were available on Hawaiian's later flights so I was forced to buy a ticket (full-fare) on Aloha, and I don't even remember the flight number, but I got home later than expected, which wasn't good since I was going straight to work. And of course my bags (which I kinda needed) came in on the flight …