Strategic Airlines Adding Hawaii Route In December

It wasn't that long ago that flying from Australia to the US was essentially a two-horse race between Qantas and United. The route has become much more competitive with the addition of V Australia and Delta to the mainland and Jetstar to Hawaii. That latter destination is now getting an additional option from December, with Strategic Airlines flying twice a week from Melbourne and Brisbane.

Strategic's origins is in servicing mining destinations, but it has already expanded into international travel this year with flights to Phuket. Hawaii is obviously a holiday rather than business destination, but landing there opens up the possibility of mainland connections with a bunch of US carriers. It also offers the prospect of dodging LAX. That said, I've never passed through Honolulu myself. If you've got any insights into how good (or bad) its immigration processing is, tell us in the comments.

[Strategic Airlines via eTN]


Comments

    I flew through Honolulu (HNL) recently en route to Canada.

    The airport is not of the type you usually see, it's hard to describe, but it is mostly open air, with big windows. It's a nice airport but pretty small.

    The immigration process is pretty good- they are more laid back than mainland airports seem to be (then again, probably anything is better than LAX or Miami.)

    It's not a great airport for sleeping in, if you've got a long time between flights. The area 'landside' is pretty sparse, airside is better. (I was stuck landside)

    The security wasn't too bad, thorough, but friendly, not angry.

    It's really easy to catch TheBus from the airport into town if you're doing hand luggage (or no luggage) only, but they don't let you take on suitcases.

    Airport prices were still airport prices, but were better than other airports.

    The only big downside is the almost total lack of wifi, even the pay option is pretty hard to find. No free options, even from the Starbucks.

    If you are flying out of Hawaii to the USA mainland, you'll need to clear an agricultural check.

    The Jet star flight over (overnight) to HNL was pretty awful, as it was an over night flight, but because you have to pay for your entertainment, people opt for chatting as the mode of entertainment (I suppose that's less creepy than the silent masses with a glow on their face and headphones in) but it was noisy! The seats aren't that great.

    Also note that Hawaii is a family holiday destination, and there were lots of families with young kids on the flight.

    I was much happier on the way back because it was a day time flight, so I didn't attempt to sleep.

    (I flew West Jet onwards and the difference in seat quality was striking.)

    This route may seem worth a crack if can get directs to Toronto. The Mel-LA then LA-some hub-Toronto flight kills time and dollars.

    Doesn't look like you can get HNL-Toronto direct.

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