May 06


Hawaii has every type of lodging you can think of; Accommodations all the way from ultra luxurious resort hotels to skidrow fleabags. My first tip about this is:

If you’re considering going to Hawaii on a package plan, check out all that is offered, especially the lodging that is included in the package.

Why do I emphasize this point? Because I’ve had soooo many people on my tours that voiced disappointment, or alluded to downright deception about their accommodations.
Having said that, you need to know that the general level of cleanliness, courtesy, and service in Hawaii lodgings is excellent.
The problem, most of the time, seems to be in the traveler’s perception of what he’s paying for, and what he’s actually paying for (excuse the gender thing). Here’s a property ad from an actual web description … I’ve changed a few words, but haven’t downgraded or embellished the property.

“Hotel xyz is an older moderate hotel with expansive grounds and over eleven hundred palm trees. This low-rise property is located across the street from the beach in the Kihei area on Maui. It features a pool, 2 tennis courts, central laundry facilities, activity desk, complimentary coffee in the lobby, BBQ and volleyball.
The hotel rooms (which range from garden view to oceanfront) all have air conditioning, refrigerator, shower & bathtub and color cable TV.“

Now, this is a very forthright description of the property. I’ve stayed there several times, and have recommended it to others. So what’s the problem?

The problem lies in several terms. “Older” is not well defined. This property is, without a doubt, the oldest resort on Maui that’s still standing.

And then there’s “across the street from the beach.” The beach consists of a few small pockets of sand, which are blocked off by small oceanfront units that actually belong to Unit xyz. The main body of this property sits back about 75 to 100 yards off the road…”across the street.” Again, “oceanfront” is a fair distance from the ocean and is blocked by many of the “eleven hundred palm trees.”

Would I stay there again? Sure I would. But I know what I’m getting. I have no allusions. I know it’s a very old Hawaiiana style resort that’s seen better days. But it’s very clean and friendly.

New visitors wouldn’t know that from just reading the description. They also wouldn’t know there isn’t any restaurant located on the property (McDonalds is about 1 1/2 miles down the road), or that a real beach is a pretty good hike in either direction. But the ad should have mentioned there is a great windsurfing beach a short distance away, and because Hotel xyz is far back from the road, it’s pretty quiet.

So, here’s my point again. Don’t just take an agent’s, website’s, or travel brochure’s word for what your “home away from home” is going to be like. Check it out! Call ’em up! Ask questions! It really doesn’t take much effort, and I know you’ll be a lot happier knowing your perceptions are a lot closer to the real thing.

New Features Alert: News Flash, and Fun Facts About Hawaii

News Flash: Well now, I sorta promised that I’d let up on the air travel news, but later realized that I’d overlooked an important carrier, Alaska Airlines. And here’s the flash: Alaska Airlines will start a new daily round-trip flight between Seattle and Maui that begins July 17. Of course, Alaska already flies nonstop to Kauai and Honolulu.

Fun Facts about Hawaii: Below is the Hawaii State Song.

Hawai’i Pono’i

Written by King David Kalakaua

Hawaii ponoi Nana i kou, moi
Kalani Alii, ke Alii.
Makua lani e Kamehameha e
Na kaua e pale Me ka i he.


Hawaii’s own true sons, be loyal to your chief
Your country’s liege and lord, the Alii. [royalty]
Father above us all, Kamehameha, [first Chief to unify Hawaii]
Who guarded in the war with his ihe, [spear]

Aloha, a hui hou (until we meet again)

Permanent link to this article:

Apr 28

Aloha Airlines History

As a passenger carrier is just that … history. And, also, a big hunk of Hawaiian history. On March 31, 2008, 11 days after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Aloha Airlines flew its last scheduled passenger flight , Flight AQ 261, from Kahului, Maui to Honolulu, Oahu.

If your connection to Hawaii wasn’t very strong, the announcement of Aloha Airline’s demise probably didn’t arouse your radar, or at the most only raised a “oh well, another airline bites the dust” thought.

For many citizens of the State of Hawaii, and expatriates, it was a sad day. Aloha Airlines and bankruptcy had been flirting with each other for several years, so it wasn’t any big surprise locally when the final flight was announced. But that didn’t make it any easier for the airline’s employee’s and their families. Of the 3,482 employees an estimated 1,900 retained employment to continue the cargo and ground services divisions … which are up for sale.

Aloha Airlines was founded by publisher Ruddy Tongg and his partners as Trans-Pacific Airlines. According to aviation historian Peter Forman:

“When Aloha first came in, they were responding to the prejudices of the time. They created an airlines that a person of any ethnicity could fly on and feel equally welcome. There are many old timers who still support Aloha for this reason.”

In the old days of Aloha Airlines, it was known as “the Peoples Airline,” and that feeling pretty much stuck through it’s history. Old timers tell of good times on the flights, with Flight Attendants (they were called Stewardesses in those days) serving pineapple juice, singing Hawaiian songs, even dancing the hula and playing the ‘ukulele.

And the equipment got improvised, too. When the airline still flew the unpressurized DC-3s, holes were put in the fuselage so that passengers could poke a camera through and take photographs. That’s called “island ingenuity.”

Bruddah, I’m going to miss Aloha Airlines. It always seemed they took off and landed a little faster. Kind of a hot express; didn’t fool around much taxiing to the terminal. I think when all the security measures hit the terminals and airlines there were a few folks who “make grumble,” but that was kind of universal.

So, if there’s any good stories out there, and you care to share them, we’ll do a little post with snippets of your stories. Be patient with me, ’cause I’m not the swiftest of formatters. We’ll call it Aloha Airlines history II.

Mahalo nui loa Aloha Airlines for all the great years of service. Tanks, eh.

If it looks like there’s a little raindrop sized puddle on your screen, it’s just me.

Aloha a hui hou

Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «

» Newer posts