On the Ground: I spent a few days in Honolulu on business and, like many travelers, extended my trip for a little R&R on the neighboring islands. This trip, I was heading to Maui for the first time. Honolulu Airport, the major hub for airlines into the islands, lies just 20 minutes from downtown Waikiki. Hawaiian Airlines’ interisland connections allow travelers to experience every island easily, with more than 20 flights per day out of HNL for a convenient price. Check-in and TSA screening were busy but moved quickly, and I was headed to the Plumeria Lounge in the Interisland Terminal within 10 minutes.
The Plumeria Lounge is reserved for international businessand all first-class passengers and Pualani platinum members but is accessible to others for a modest fee. The Plumeria Lounge includes everything you could ask for in a business-class lounge: lots of seating; complimentary WiFi; a sleek, modern design; and aloha hospitality. Mai tais, local beers and juices are offered along with light snacks, which I enjoyed while taking care of last-minute emails before my weekend. My gate was just a short breezeway away from the lounge, and I headed there a few minutes before pre-boarding.
Pre-Flight: Boarding my mid-afternoon flight was quick, and our flight attendant for our first-class cabin was friendly and attentive. We were offered guava juice, Champagne or mai tais before takeoff along with macadamia nuts. We took off on time and started the short, 41-minute gate-to-gate hop to Maui.
In-Flight: The Boeing 717 is a perfect fit for the interisland hops, as it seats 128 passengers and is meant for high volume and lower altitudes. First class includes only eight seats with 37-inch pitch, comparable to a plush premium-economy seat with plenty of room. The actual flight time to Maui is only about 25 minutes and thus there was no meal service, but attendants quickly topped off refreshments. Since we never reached cruising altitude, the up-close views of the islands were a marvel to see from both sides of the aircraft. The captain asked passengers to keep the shades open and gave a guided tour as we flew over and around islands, volcanoes and other landmarks. Before we knew it, we were landing at Maui and swiftly disembarked.
OGG is still a tiny airport with a true island feel, but the infrastructure is growing to help passengers prepare before heading to either side of the island, including a Target and a Starbucks. The island has many beaches to explore, and the Road to Hana is a must for crossing the island, so I recommend renting a car for your trip. Hawaiian Airlines offers bundle packages for some extra savings.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ interisland routes give passengers more than 70 options to all the islands, making it easier to hop around.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ flight attendants and gate agents embody the aloha spirit and are ready to help with any issues or offer ideas and advice on island hot spots.
◆ Hawaiian Airlines’ new firstclass, lie-flat seats and nonstop service from the United States mainland make it easier than ever to get to Hawai’i, especially from the East Coast.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.
The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.
Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.