Another short visit to Hawaii a few weeks ago. I was looking for a good amount of time on a lie flat, so decided on the AA 77E to Maui, connecting in DFW from BDL. I opted for this flight vs. flying UA to DEN then OGG on the 757, since as a solo traveler I prefer the 1x2x1. No pictures (I didn't even bring a camera), but a few notes about the trip.
BDL-DFW. 738 flight was fine and on time. I had the omelette and chicken sausage and it was not bad. No IFE on this plane, but managed to read a good book during the flight. Most memorable thing about the flight was that, right before landing, the FA's provided a handwritten note card to each traveler in F thanking us for traveling and indicating our connection gate. That's service I've never seen before and really impressed me. Unfortunately, this service wasn't on any of the other flights. Otherwise non-eventful and ontime.
At DFW, we landed in A just across from the Admirals Club, but I decided to use the Club at D closer to my gate. Well that was a mistake, turns out it's closed for renovations (note to self, check next time). By that time, I didn't want to get back on the train so wandered around the terminal until boarding.
DFW-OGG. 77E was the backwards/forwards seating. I was in 8A sitting facing forward and in the mini-cabin. This is a pretty good seat given that it's forward facing and close to the larger (handicapped) bathroom on the port side of the plane. I thought it was pretty comfortable. A honeymooning couple asked me to change so they could get closer, but they both had backward facing seats and I wasn't too keen on that, so I didn't move. Turns out the new groom was right behind me in 9A - and yes, his movement was very noticeable (hopefully it wasn't on purpose). The seat was very comfortable, but a few funny things. I had a hard time figuring out how to get it in any position other than flat, and didn't want to ask for help. I ended up using the thick blanket as a foot stool. Also, the position of the table seems a bit high. I'm shortwaisted (but long legged) so I felt like I was at the kids table with the table at my upper chest. To solve, I had to bring the seat basically almost all the way back upright to eat.
FA's served Pre-departure mimosa, OJ and champagne (prosecco). No Mai Tai's like Delta. I chose prosecco and ended up sticking with that for the journey along with a chardonnay with my salmon appetizer and Sea Bass, which was very good. Had the mandatory ice cream sundae with strawberry topping.
Movie selection was solid and lots of choice, both recent, modern and classics. I watch The Big Short, which I watch every time I fly if it's available (I'm in a related business, so I enjoy it to pick up little things each time). I watched it on the way back too. Also watched the new Murder on the Orient Express, but I liked the original with Albert Finney better. I watched The Darkest Hour as well and not sure what I thought of that movie. I'll probably watch it again at home. Lesson - AA FA's often start picking up the Bose headsets with 45 minutes to go, so you need to have your own headsets to finish what you're watching. I used typical iphone headphones and they worked fine.
I was a bit reluctant to pick 8A in the second mini cabin and worried about traffic to the restrooms from Y. (Sorry, but that is bothersome when you're not expecting it). FA's made an announcement to use each cabin's designated lavatory and they had a screen pulled, so it was not an issue on either this flight or on the return 77E flight where I was in 8J.
About 1 hour before landing, they served a very small snack. I chose fruit, cheese and crackers, or you could have edimame hummus (it didn't seem like too many chose that one). It wasn't enough food for me (I'm a big eater) but a well received snack nonetheless.
Overall, the flight was good. We took a southerly route over Mexico and Baja California, and made good time. Only thing is that besides a few FAs wearing leis, it didn't have any Hawaii feel associated with it - e.g., no welcoming music, no Mai Tais or themed food offering or IFE features. Regardless, for folks who don't think they can get to Hawaii from the East Coast, I left my house at 4:15 a.m. EDT, departed BDL at 6:30 a.m. EDT and was on the beach by 3:00 p.m. Hawaii time. That 's the benefit of the one-connection flights from the East Coast to Maui (AA/UA) and the islands (from UA in DEN), rather than going through HNL and connecting where you don't arrive until close to 5:30 or 6:00.
I stayed in the Wailea area which is supposed to be the sunny side. However, most of Hawaii had had a very wet spring, including Wailea. The week before the 10-day weather forecast had been clouds and rain, and that continued while I was there. Some days sitting at the beach and pool I was actually shivering from the cold wind blowing off the water, and even asked - half jokingly - for a hot chocolate! Everyone at the pool was covered up with towels and sweatshirts. Turns out, only 1 day of full sun, and on my last day, we had sun in the morning, then clouds and a little rain in the afternoon. (Of course it was the week that CT was beautiful sunny, crisp spring weather and warmer than Maui). Heading back to OGG, it started to rain again.
OGG to DFW. Three days later, I began my return journey home. I took the later flight (8:00 p.m.) back to DFW, and this time was on the right side of the plane in 8J with an all-forward facing F class on the 77E. Once on board, I grabbed jeans to change into and jumped into the larger bathroom on the left side. I chose Prosecco again for Pre-departure drink and throughout the flight. The seat has a lot of compartments, including a large side storage for where the headphones were located. I put my glasses in there, and completely forgot about them. Right before takeoff, I suddenly couldn't find my glasses and had to run back to the bathroom looking for them and ask the FAs to ask if anyone found them. I was checking everywhere on the seat, then suddenly remembered about that storage area, opened it and there they were.
Another quirky thing about that storage container. The plug for the headsets is inside, so when you plug them in, it won't close all the way. Maybe there was a little hole there, but I couldn't find it, so to me that's a design flaw since it was not longer a flat surface that was usable.
I also found these lie flats complicated to use and it could have been the late hour and the half-asleep condition throughout the flight, but I had a lot of difficulty getting out without going fully to upright. Poor guy in front of me. This could have the difference getting out to my left side (i.e., right side of the plane in 8J) vs. right side of the plane (8A), but not sure.
Overall, the flight was good. For dinner, I had the Mahogany Honey Glazed chicken, rice and broccoli which was all very tasty. There was a very strange appetizer thing of seaweed, rice and chicken? called a Yakitori Chicken Mausubi, but if there was chicken in it, it was flavor only. The menu says there was a continental breakfast, but either they didn't serve it or I slept through it. (I will say I've been on multiple redeyes back on AA from Hawaii, and I seem to sleep through the continental breakfast each time, so I'm not convinced they actually do the service, unless it's on request only or it's more than an hour before arrival. Similarly, I think I've slept through DL's breakfast too when going back to ATL from HNL.
Arrived in A at DFW on time at 8:00 a.m., and headed to Admirals' Club in A where I headed directly for the showers. I had about a 1/2 hour wait, which was fine, so I was able to grab a quick cup of coffee and a banana. This lounge seems to have been updated since I was there 2 years ago. Also, seems they re-did the showers and they weren't as fancy (less gold-colored marble) as I remember them. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken. I had a few bowls of oatmeal and an english muffin with peanut butter, and headed off to my connecting flight.
DFW-PHL. An A321. The connection time was 2 hours. (It turns out there was a non-stop DFW-BDL at noon which was a 4 hour connection that never came up when I booked (maybe it was already full, or connection time too long for the system). The flight was good, non-eventful. The FA was a young lady by herself who was very pleasant. The person in front of me decided to stream Star Wars on her phone very loudly without headsets (FA tried to find some that would fit her phone, but couldn't) so we all in F got to listen too it.
My meal was the lasagna, which was fine, but the gentleman across the aisle from me had steak. That wasn't an option, so I asked the FA where he got that. (It looked like what I had once on DFW-LHR). She said it's the special order Diabetic meal. She said another passenger had the special order Indian and that looked really good. That's definitely something to look into next time. We landed in PHL on time, and I made my way to the Regional terminal for my last flight back to BDL.
PHL-BDL. About 20 minutes delayed due to the plane not being there yet, but once on board, we headed out quickly. Weather was good so no delays and we were only about 3rd or 4th to take off (around 4:30 on a Friday afternoon). We landed at BDL around 5:10 or so (I think right after the DFW flight had arrived), and was back home by 6:15 p.m. All in all a good trip, save for the weather on Maui, and easily doable for such a short trip if flying F.
Last edited by atcsundevil
on Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited title for clarity