Last month, I had a last-minute work trip to Maui. So for the first time in a few years, let’s do an intra-Hawaii flight review. Specifically, I’ll be reviewing Hawaiian Airlines 146 HNL-OGG.
This trip was just a day trip for me, so check-in was going to be relatively easy. I obtained my boarding pass on Hawaiian Air’s new mobile app the day before, so I walked straight through security (about 3 minutes) and headed straight to the terminal.
Terminal + Boarding
I got to the airport quite a bit earlier than I anticipated; about 6:00 am for my 7:29 am departure time. As a result, I killed some time by walking around the terminal to snap photos of Hawaiian’s aircraft and newish hanger. Almost got the entire aircraft family too! Just missing the A330 in the shot below. However, that Boeing 717 in the foreground would, ironically, come to my rescue later on in the day. But more on that later.
Boarding for our flight was scheduled to begin at 7:04 am at Gate A16. Unusually for Hawaiian (in my experience) the pre-boarding call came right on time at 7:04 am.
The general boarding call quickly followed at 7:06 am. Today, Hawaiian has three separate lines for First Class and Pualani Platinum (Zone 1), Extra Comfort and Pualani Gold (Zone 2), and General Boarding (Zones 3-5). I was in Zone 3, though that didn’t matter since everyone loves to rush the line and my seat was in the back anyway.
As mentioned earlier, my seat was all the way in the back. That’s seat 25A, to be specific, which is the window seat on the port side of the aircraft in the third-to-the-last row. It’s also the last row in which you have an actual window view, though the engine somewhat blocks your view. Not that it matters, though, as Hawaiian’s windows are FILTHY as hell. That’s why my shots out the window are going to look really blurry and hazy.
About 15 minutes after boarding began, the door closed and we began our pushback at 7:23 am; six minutes ahead of schedule!! Then, five minutes later, we began our taxi out to the runway. On the way, I did catch a glimpse of the newly modified gate for ANA’s upcoming A380 service.
Another five minutes later, we were rocketing off from HNL’s runway 8L in the blaring morning sunshine. Oh, and if this wasn’t already obvious to you, sitting next to the 717’s incredible Rolls-Royce BR715s makes for a NOISY flight.
If you’ve read my past inter-island flight reviews, not much has changed since then. That’s a good thing, if you ask me, as I love the Boeing 717. And while the seats are thin and hard, they’re completely fine for a 20-minute flight.
Per the usual, beverage service commenced once we reached cruising altitude, about five minutes after takeoff. On offer that morning was coffee, water, and the signature passion-orange-guava (POG) juice. All complimentary, of course.
The POG was quite a bit more syrupy and sweet than I remember. The Haleakala Dairy brand POG (available at Costco and grocery stores across Hawaii) is WAY better.
Then, at 7:45 am, just 12 minutes after takeoff, we began our initial descent. While the flight so far was smooth, as we got closer to Maui, things got a bit choppy. And we took an interesting descent pattern in, coming much closer to the West Maui Mountains than I’ve ever seen.
Five minutes out from Kahului, we began our final descent. I must say, while I miss seeing the sugar cane on approach, the view wasn’t dramatically different… yet.
Then, at 7:55 am, we touched down in Kahului with a rather hard landing. In fact, we came in fast and high with a minor bounce after we made initial contact with the runway. Did we have a rookie practicing on our flight?
Anyway, after a HARD bout of breaking, we turned off the runway and came to a stop on the taxiway for about three minutes. Why? No idea. Kahului was DESERTED. We eventually pulled into our gate at 8:02 am, seven minutes ahead of schedule.
Hawaiian Airlines 146 HNL-OGG, Final Thoughts
Aside from the hard landing, this flight has got to be my most uneventful Hawaiian flight ever! Well, aside from the rude couple that decided to wedge their carry-on bag on top of mine, though it clearly could’ve fit under the seat in front of them. They also cut me off when getting of the plane… Jerks.
The lack of issues during this flight, though, should’ve been a warning to me for my return home. With that flight, things began going sideways almost immediately, so stay tuned for more details on that flight.