Monday, November 14, 2011

A series of delays

As a good seasoned traveler would, I checked in for my flight to Honolulu via San Francisco from Orange County airport online so that I could use the electronic boarding pass. I love this since it is paperless. My flight boarded at the really cool new addition to terminal A and consists of 3 new commuter gates.
My flight boarded on time and we were able to walk out to the plane which I love because it reminds me of the good old days before Orange County had a terminal with jetways.
I flew on a United Express regional jet and it was actually quite comfortable.
Once on board, we were informed that our flight that was supposed to leave at 10:39am would now leave at 11:05 for an air traffic control hold from SFO airport. It wasn't that big of a deal because I would still have plenty of time to make my connection to Honolulu. I started this new service with called pro.

It tracks your flights for you and sends either text messages or emails with flight alerts. It works quite well and it let me know that my flight from SFO to HNL would actually be delayed also due to a late incoming aircraft. It evens gives you options for alternative flights. I'm sold on it. I had a free 30-day trial, but I may purchase it. Once I landed at SFO I had about 3 hours to kill so I ate lunch at Boudin and had a great overpriced sandwich. I found a wifi signal near an empty gate and played some games and did emails, facebook, etc. I soon made my way to my gate and saw that the estimated departure time kept creeping more by 5 minutes each time I checked. My flight ended up boarding around 3:15p and we left the gate around 3:30p with an initial departure time of 1:40p.
I ended up with the seat free next to me which made for a very comfortable flight. United Airlines has a contest on their flights to Hawaii called "Halfway to Hawaii". The captain gives out the flight time and average speed and you are to determine at what time in HST the plane reaches the geographical midpoint  between SFO and HNL. I was 15 seconds off from the winner. I was pissed.
Upon landing I saw parked at Hickam AFB all of the dignitaries' planes for the APEC meeting in Waikiki this week. I wish it would've been daylight so that I could take pictures because there were all of the President's planes and executive planes from Russia, China, Australia, Brunei, and Japan that I noticed. Once we arrived the bags came out quite quickly and my grandma was waiting for me at the curb. We went right to dinner since I was starving and didn't buy any food on board my flight. We went back to her house and she let me take her car to my hotel for the night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Apparently President Obama and President Medvedev of Russia were staying there too. It took me 2 hours to get past all of the blockades and security measures in place before I could even drive up to my hotel. It was crazy. They made every car open their trunks and engine hoods and had a bomb dog sniff out each car. I was exhausted by this point. Nicely enough, the hotel didn't end up charging me the $25+ for valet parking. Most of the streets were blocked and things were beyond crazy. Given the number of world leaders and Hawaii's history with Pearl Harbor, I was glad to be in the safest hotel on the planet.

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