Competition on the NYC-HNL route: United should be worried

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Wandering Aramean, Jun 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I took the inaugural JFK-HNL flight on Hawaiian this week to try out the service and compare it to the UA option in the market. If I was running United I'd be concerned.

    Seat
    The HA seat is a bit wider. They are also apparently replacing the cushions to make them softer. In F UA still has the advantage with the BF-ish seat, but down the back the HA seat is much more comfortable. Also, the bulkheads are only $35 for the 11 hour flight.

    IFE
    AVOD at every seat, albeit paid for most services. And if you have your own USB-enabled device you can run the content via the IFE system. Or just charge your device via the USB port. I know that the 764s are getting upgraded but the IFE on HA is pretty solid.

    [​IMG]

    Meal
    HA offers free meals on the flight. They aren't particularly great, but they are there, just like "meals at mealtimes" used to be. There are also paid upgrade options on HA. I actually think the UA BoB is better.

    [​IMG]

    Service
    This is a harder one because I know I had one of the best HA crews they employ as it was an inaugural. Still, they kicked arse.

    Flight Times
    This is one where I think UA is really going to suffer. The flights on HA are ~2.5 hours earlier than the UA flights in both directions. This means being able to get to Hawaii and to your hotel, even after an inter-island connection, before sunset. UA simply doesn't have that option. Also, on the east-bound it times great for arriving in NYC and being able to go to work rather than a mid-morning landing.

    I'm betting that the flight times for UA are predicated on connections through to GUM or Europe. I have no idea how much that plays in to the feed at both ends. I do know that the B6 feed into HA at JFK has a number of cities where the connections are quite reasonable in both directions, so that's not the only thing out there.

    It will be interesting to see if UA steps up their game on this route now that there is some competition in place.
     
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  2. Theweeklyflyer
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    Theweeklyflyer Silver Member

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    Is that a suasage McMuffin:)

    Thanks for the review.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Cheeseburger. :oops:
     
  4. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    On the Hawaii longhauls, United's meal service is pitiful. Both cabins, but especially F.
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This trip is circa 5,000 miles, roughly the same as JFK-IST. The yields to someplace like IST will be far greater...with business-fare paying j pax. Till people are willing to pay $4-5k for a round trip premium cabin ticket (principally the domain of corporate pax), Hnl will always be a second tier service destination from NYC, unfortunately.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    How's the leg room in non-bulkhead coach rows? For me that would probably be the ultimate deciding factor on such a long flight if I was likely going to end up in coach.

    Personally, when I fly that long, I want something a bit more exotic at the destination than Hawaii (and don't get me wrong, I do like Hawaii and for me it's just a five hour hop).
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Just OK, but no worse than UA without E+.

    Me, too. But at the prices they were offering, plus the fact that it was an inaugural, it would have been a sin not to take the trip. ;)
     
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  8. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Isn't the general rule: East Coasters go to the Carribean, West Coasters go to Hawaii?
     
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  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Sometimes we swap just to bitch about long flights. :)

    (No aspersions meant to WA here, I was just thinking of my time working at a travel wholesaler taking calls from TAs.)
     
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  10. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    And buffaloes stomp the terra. :D

    Thanks for the report. The family is contemplating this route later this year/early next year.
     
  11. shinbal

    shinbal Member

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    I wish HA would open up IAD-HNL to compete with UA.

    From your trip report, there's a wild card missing: service. There are a few of us left who hope the crew will be in some type of mood reflective of the destination. HA crews are friendly - even on longhaul service. UA crews are hit and miss, and I bet the odds are one out of 50 you'd see a UA/CO crewmember in an Aloha shirt.

    I'd be interested to hear other trip reports of service. My feeling is that it won't be far off from what WA experienced on this flight.

    I'd take a HA crew to a UA crew hands down these days.

    Oh - and I'll take their A330, and the chances of it being in good shape, over UA/CO's 767, after some pictures I've seen detailing the shape of the BF cabins.
     
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  12. shinbal

    shinbal Member

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    By the way, Wandering Aramean - thanks for the trip report. I always enjoy what you write here and on your blog.
     
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  13. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Not this East Coaster "cousin". Mahalo Nui. :D
     
  14. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    This East Coaster goes to Hawai'i. We don't care so much about the long flight at our house.
     
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  15. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    Me also now if I could the # of eqms going to the Carribean that I do to HI I would consider the switch
     
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  16. sellthesedownfalls

    sellthesedownfalls Silver Member

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    Thanks for this report! I'm flying this route in coach on an award ticket next February - looking forward to it! :)
     
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  17. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    I would think in general, yes (definitely true for me and my wife). Why would I spend twice as much money on a plane ticket to fly 10 hours to a place that's four times as expensive as the places that are just as nice 3-4 hours away?
     
  18. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    upsidedown!
     
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  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There's barely enough demand to support one flight on the route. No way a second shows up any time soon.

    I mentioned that. ;)

    Well, I'm on HNL-IAD tonight, also an inaugural, and I expect that the service will be a bit different. :oops:
     
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  20. sellthesedownfalls

    sellthesedownfalls Silver Member

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    Maybe the beaches are similar, but I find the South Pacific/Hawaiian culture to be totally different than Caribbean culture, and I like experiencing it! I am probably biased, though, since my best friend lives in Honolulu and I have a free place to stay while I'm there. And miles/points to get me there for free or cheap :)
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't think the cultures are all that different. The concept of "island time" certainly thrives in both, for example.
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    How much of that culture do some of the tourists experience? Senor Frogs is the same in all parts of the world :)
     
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  23. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    There's no Senor Frogs in the Cook Islands nor the French Polynesia to start with mi amigo.
     
  24. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think it's apples and oranges though... the Caribbean is a lot more than just beaches and nice weather, as is Hawaii, but you have so many different types of people by comparison that it's not the same.

    If you go to Hawaii -- for the most part -- you don't see as much variety as you see from just the handful of islands out East. Anybody that has gone to the Bahamas will tell you it's a completely different place than Bermuda, or Jamaica, or Turks and Caicos, or Puerto Rico, ad nauseam.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Monsieur Grenouille then? :D

    I thought we were talking about Hawaii vs. Caribbean, though.

    Totally true, though Hawaii vs. Oahu vs. Kauai vs. Molokai also gives you some variety if you don't just hang around the pool all day and then head to Cheeseburgers in Paradise for dinner. My comment was more a joke about the average (or should I say, stereotypical) tourist, though.
     
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