Best way to get great-grandmother from East Coast to Maui?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Seachange, Feb 3, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Seachange

    Seachange Member

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    Great grandmother (93) is in assisted living in Southern PA (Chambersburg). We need to get her to Maui, to her new assisted living place, as comfortably as possible. After considering the difficulties of transfers to hotel and back to airport, we have decided that it would be best to just go straight through without a layover- if we can find decent first class seats. I am seeking suggestions for routes and airlines. The easiest airports for us to get to are BWI or IAD, but we are open to other ideas. USAirways first class to Hawaii is pathetic, so my chairman status will be of no help. I would love lie-flat seats, but even a seat with good recline and with foot rests would be better than what USAirways provides. We will be making the trip in mid- to late- April.
     
  2. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Domestic first is nothing to write home about, so don't expect her to be showered in luxury in a 20 foot long bed :)

    United first is decent, but then again almost anything is better than US Airways... Maybe try to get in a new AA plane or United PS plane to the west coast then find a flight the rest of the way?

    With that said, I would still recommend the layover, using US to PHX then the rest of the way. It's gonna be a long day regardless, so the 90 minute break in PHX might actually be helpful.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    UA from EWR-HNL is a proper long-haul product. That's your best bet. The DL A330 from ATL-HNL is similarly good. The onward connection will not be so great but it is a 20 minute flight.
     
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Seachange,
    If you've got the miles to do so (and right now they're being discounted for purchase), can you book flights on American for your great-grandmother, using your USAir (or AA) miles? We flew direct from LAX to LIH and return last year on AA, and were very disappointed by the lack of room in the "business/first class seating". So you may have to check the seat configuration(s) available on the AA planes headed to OGG.
    Another way of doing this (although not direct) is to get your great-grandmother to HNL on a roomy business/first seating on an AA airplane, and then fly her to OGG on business class on Hawaiian Airlines. There are a few other Milepointers who can offer opinions about this, so I hope that they also weight in to help you out! Good luck!
    Newscience
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Of the two airports you listed, only IAD has a non-stop to HNL.
     
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  6. Seachange

    Seachange Member

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    This is most helpful. I guess I was not clear when I said "layover". I meant that we would not want to go to a hotel to rest overnight ( in PHX, for example) before onward travel. I do not object to changing planes somewhere along the way if the flights will be comfortable while we are flying.
     
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  7. wharvey

    wharvey Silver Member

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    Will she be traveling alone? Would you rather have the positioning flight on the mainland and fly directly to OGG? Or are you ok with flying to HNL, KOA or ITO and then the short hopper to Maui?
     
  8. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Who operates this flight?

    @Seachange : Although your easiest option looks like @Wandering Aramean's suggestion of the EWR-HNL nonstop on UA followed by the very short HNL-OGG, if you still want to fly out of BWI or IAD I would second those recommending you do one flight to the west coast and then a second to Hawaii. This is almost exactly halfway, so it's a good place for an hour or two break from flying and all the larger west coast airports have service directly to OGG on some airline or another, so you don't have to make that short island-hop flight within Hawaii.
     
  9. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    UA has a decent long-haul product to HNL from EWR with lie flat seats however don't expect much on service.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    UA operates IAD-HNL on an less-than-daily basis. It comes and goes on the schedule. It has the same aircraft as the EWR-HNL so nice seats.

    It is available Saturdays in late April.
     
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  11. Seachange

    Seachange Member

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    Thanks for all these suggestions. I will certainly explore all of them!

    I will be traveling with her, and we will be making the trip some time this Spring. Since out dates are flexible, whatever days UA flies IAD HNL would be good. Good service would be nice, but I think her comfort is most important. When I spoke with USAir people, they had no idea about what sort of planes will be flying what routes as they merge with AA - which makes it a little worrisome, to say the least. I really do not want to book a flight based on expecting good seats and then discover when we get there that they are typical USAirways mainland-Hawaii first class seats - which do not even have a footrest, say nothing about decent reline!
     
  12. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Even if they did know, there's always the chance of an equipment swap.
     
  13. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    There's always the chance of an equipment swap regardless, to be fair.
     
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  14. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    It looks like UA has an ex-CO 767-400ER on the IAD-HNL route, and that has flat bed BizFirst seats. That seems like the obvious choice. The flight appears to be operating only certain days of the week, but it has the right equipment. EWR-HNL is a fine second choice.

    Either way, I think you're better off flying east coast-HNL-OGG rather than JFK-SFO-OGG: the PS service JFK-SFO will be lovely, but then you'll have a normal domestic F class into OGG.
     
  15. Seachange

    Seachange Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions. Getting from Chambersburg to IAD is pretty easy, so I think that will be the best solution.
    I hope I will still be able to collect USAirways points by the time I have this trip organized!
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If flying on UA metal then the cutoff date for that is 30 March. Anything after that will not earn in the MileagePlus program.
     
  17. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

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    Hm-m. I have looked at various UA flights to HNL, to get something more than E++ (sold as FC), and had not seen this. I could easily see flying to IAD, if that ship (plane) is flying to HNL, then I would consider doing that - just to get more perks "up front."

    Thanks for that mention. Could be a viable alternative - have looked at DEN, ORD, obviously LAX and SFO, and nothing "better," than what we fly.

    Appreciated,

    Hunt
     
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