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Alaska Airlines to/from Hawaii, details of flight and equipment

winger

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We are considering getting a couple of tickets on AS later in the year since they have some rather decent prices to/from Hawaii (we are in the San Francisco Bay Area). We have never flown AS, so what are people's experience with this company in terms of comfort, personnel (FA, etc.) , equipment (the flight is on a Boeing 738 (737-800), how old/new is it? ), safety (we still remember the ill-fated flight in 2000), and so on.

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
 

tompalm

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The 800s are new equipment and not at all like the aircraft that they use to fly around the mainland. The crash was on a MD-80 and that was one of the worse airplanes ever built.

The only thing about the 737-800 is that it is a smaller plane and has a single isle like the 757. So, when the FAs are doing beverage service, you can't go to the bathroom or walk in the isle. But, the service is fast because of no food being served (unless you buy it), so not a big inconvenience.

The 737-800 is the same aircraft that Aloha use to fly and Southwest flies and there are more of those aircraft flying than any other aircraft in the world.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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AS is one of the top-rated airlines in customer satisfaction. When I lived in the Bay Area UAL was my primary airline. After I moved to the Northwest I continued with UAL for awhile, but as I got more experience flying with Alaska I switched and never looked back. Overall AS provides better service at competitive prices.

****

As mentioned above, Hawaii flights are 737-800 equipment. Those are all relatively new additions to the Alaska Airlines fleet. The planes are in good condition, and most of them have the adjustable headrests where you can turn the ends out from the seat to keep your head from rolling to the slide if you fall asleep. That's very useful on a redeye flight back from Hawai'i; I find that the biggest hindrance to me sleeping on an airplane is suddenly waking up as my head flops to the side.

*****

There is no general in-flight entertainment. Instead AS rents digi-players, which are individual video players. I've never rented one; I think they cost about $5 rental. We almost always have either my laptop computer or DW's netbook with us, and we just bring some DVDs along that we want to watch. We watch those during the flight instead of renting the digi-player.

If there are two of you traveling together it may be worth stopping by an electronics store and getting an audio splitter, which allows you to connect two sets of earphones to one audio feed. Get one that has adjustable volume controls for each set of headphones. That allows each person to set their volume and let's you compensate if the two sets of headphones have different impedance.

****

Alaska is our airline of choice for flying to Hawai'i; the only time we fly another airline is if we can't make the arrangements on AS.
 

vacationtime1

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I have taken two round trips on Alaska in the past two months: San Jose - Maui and Oakland - Lihue, all flights were non-stop.

All of the flights were on time and uneventful. Multiple beverage services; rental video units as T R Oglodyte mentions; food in coach must be purchased.

Fares are excellent. Check to see if they are still doing the promotional Visa card; DW and I each got 50,000 miles for signing up and receive annual companion passes good for $99 fares.
 
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winger

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...
Fares are excellent. Check to see if they are still doing the promotional Visa card; DW and I each got 50,000 miles for signing up and receive annual companion passes good for $99 fares.
Thanks. We are done with our air bookings for 2012 (except need to confirm my daughter's ticket tomorrow on AS) but next time around, we will consider the Visa and companion pass - sounds very good, especially given the fares are already decent. Having two Visas could be nice - sort of like we currently have two Marriott Black Visas, and the two free annual night certificates have been god-send the past few years !

The 800s are new equipment and not at all like the aircraft that they use to fly around the mainland. The crash was on a MD-80 and that was one of the worse airplanes ever built.

The only thing about the 737-800 is that it is a smaller plane and has a single isle like the 757. So, when the FAs are doing beverage service, you can't go to the bathroom or walk in the isle. But, the service is fast because of no food being served (unless you buy it), so not a big inconvenience.

The 737-800 is the same aircraft that Aloha use to fly and Southwest flies and there are more of those aircraft flying than any other aircraft in the world.
The one aisle thing - not a biggie. Good to know there are many of these aircraft being used by reputable companies, such as SWA.

AS is one of the top-rated airlines in customer satisfaction. When I lived in the Bay Area UAL was my primary airline. After I moved to the Northwest I continued with UAL for awhile, but as I got more experience flying with Alaska I switched and never looked back. Overall AS provides better service at competitive prices.

****

As mentioned above, Hawaii flights are 737-800 equipment. Those are all relatively new additions to the Alaska Airlines fleet. The planes are in good condition, and most of them have the adjustable headrests where you can turn the ends out from the seat to keep your head from rolling to the slide if you fall asleep. That's very useful on a redeye flight back from Hawai'i; I find that the biggest hindrance to me sleeping on an airplane is suddenly waking up as my head flops to the side.

...
....
Good info, thanks. I hope P@P won't disappoint !
 
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T_R_Oglodyte

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Good info, thanks. I hope P@P won't disappoint !

I see you are a DRI owner. What view category did you reserve?? I can point you to what I think are the best units to request.
 

winger

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I see you are a DRI owner. What view category did you reserve?? I can point you to what I think are the best units to request.

We will be treating ourselves to an ocean front unit ! Sure, any advice on unit(s) would be great. I have heard a few of the corner units have nice wrap-around lanais.

Do you know whether the whole water intrusion issue has affected the "look and feel" of the resort? For awhile there, we were a little apprehensive about visiting p@p because of possible construction and what physical affects the water issue may have has on the resort.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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We will be treating ourselves to an ocean front unit ! Sure, any advice on unit(s) would be great. I have heard a few of the corner units have nice wrap-around lanais.

Do you know whether the whole water intrusion issue has affected the "look and feel" of the resort? For awhile there, we were a little apprehensive about visiting p@p because of possible construction and what physical affects the water issue may have has on the resort.

The best units are the outside corner units in buildings 6, 4, and 3, in that order. The corner units have wrap-around lanais, and outside corner units have unobstructed ocean views from both lanais. Inside corner units have wraparound lanai, but one side of the lanai faces a courtyard instead of the ocean. Those are still nice units; they just don't have as much of an ocean view as the outside corner units.

In building 6 the outside corner units would be 6-203, 6-303, 6-205, and 6-305. Building 4 it would be 2-204, 2-304, and 4-404. Building 3: 3-205; 3-305; and 3-405. There's a map in the TUG reviews that shows the building locations.

The resort doesn't let owners know what unit has been assigned to them because obnoxious behavior by a few owners spoiled the process. Nevertheless you have nothing to lose by submitting a request for units.

The water intrusion hasn't greatly affected the look of the units, though it does explain why for years I have noted evidence of rust and corrosion have appeared in areas I wouldn't have expected. Such as staining around unit doors and window frames on the sides of the building that is protected from direct exposure to ocean salt water. The only likely influence on your vacation might be construction noise if the project has started.
 

Icc5

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Hawaii Flights

We fly them all the time and love that we have never had any kind of problems at all. We usually fly whomever is cheaper at the time. In flying to Hawaii we have only run into a problem once and that happened before we ever left the gate but was a 5 hour delay due to something that had to be fixed on the plane. Yes, we were very happy for the delay because I would rather things be fixed ahead of time.
We check all three airports in the bay area for the cheapest rates. We prefer flying out of San Jose but have done all three.
Bart
 

winger

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The resort doesn't let owners know what unit has been assigned to them because obnoxious behavior by a few owners spoiled the process. Nevertheless you have nothing to lose by submitting a request for units.

...
I think this is an issue at most if not all resorts I have been to where there are units with obvious 'superior' locations/views. However, once in a while the reception person will hint at or straight out tell you where you are at.

I hope the P@P unit will match the Marriott Kauai Beach Club Ocean Front unit unit (1BD) we have the week following !
 

rickandcindy23

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Rick and I are big fans of Alaska Airlines. We have never had friendlier service on any other airline. They actually give mai tais to everyone on the flight before the arrival to Hawaii, so not just First Class. In FC, I had more than one mai tai on our way to Maui in August. ;)

The $99 companion fare is a great benefit of the Alaska Airlines credit card. Unfortunately, it's B of A, my LEAST favorite bank of all time (our mortgages are through B of A). But the card is wonderful. You get bonus miles with Alaska too. Great First Class service. Loved it.
 

northpole

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We fly with Alaska every year from Seattle to Lihue - we use the Alaska credit card with the companion fare. I always buy my first class ticket, full fare, and then my wife's first class ticket is only $99! It's a great way to fly first class. When flying first class, the luggage is free, the food is free, the seat selection is free, the digiplayers are free - If you don't fly first class, then all those "little" things add up (especially the luggage).

In order for airlines to fly over the ocean with only 2 engines, they need an ETOPS rating (extended twin engine operations), which isn't easy to get! This is why small airlines such as Allegiant don't fly to Hawaii. Alaska uses only their newest ETOPS certified aircraft to fly to Hawaii - so I wouldn't worry at all about the safety.

Kevin
air traffic controller
Vancouver, bc
 

icul8rg8r

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LOVE Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is my favorite airline - if we have a choice, it's our #1 preference. In December we flew non stop from SEA to HNL and two weeks later flew non stop from Kona to SEA. Like others, we have their credit card which gives us a $99 companion fare every year. Including Hawaii!!!

The aircrafts to/from Hawaii are newer, seats are comfy, and the service is great. Highly recommend!
 

squeegeeman

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Alaska is great

For flying out of Seattle to the outer islands, Alaska is a great choice. Hawaiian is still wonderful, especially for their early flights out to Kauai--but if you have to redeye, it's nice to stay on the same plane all of the way. I have also had situations where I have flown my unescorted pre-teens solo on and off island. I must use Alaska in that case, as transfers require escorts (or at least the fees).
Also, Hawaiian and Alaska also split the fare right down the middle, making it much easier to pick up great deals on one way tickets. I prefer to fly Alaska down to Lihue and use my Hawaiian miles to book my return flight two days before departure. Also, just for you Poipu Pointe fans (fellow sufferers), our great desk concierge Patrick got out of Poipu when the getting was good and manages the Hawaiian desk at Lihue airport now.
 
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