Space A to Hawaii

Aloha! Our family successfully traveled via Space A to and from Hawaii! While the flight to Hawaii was rather simple the flight home was more of a challenge. It was the first time while traveling Space A that we got bumped from flights and we had flights get rescheduled. Listed below is the details of both flights so you can see what Space A can entail.

Flight to Hawaii: May 9th 2016

8:30 AM Left for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
11:15 AM Checked in for the flight to Hawaii
2:30 PM Roll Call for Hawaii flight (7 seats available we got 4!)
3:00 PM Checked bags
5:00 PM Flight took off from airport
3:30 AM (Eastern time not Hawaiian time) Flight landed
Total for flight= $20.20 (The amount we paid for 4 meals)

 

Flight Home:

3 Flights to NJ scheduled for Monday May 16th
Flights moved to May 17th and May 18th
Tuesday May 17th (2 flights scheduled for NJ, 1 scheduled for WI)
9:00 AM Arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
9:15 AM Signed up for flight
9:30 AM Jon leaves to return rental car
2:50 PM Roll Call for 1st NJ flight (7 available, we got bumped)
4:40 PM Roll Call for 2nd NJ flight (15 available, we got bumped)
We decided to wait for the WI flight scheduled for 11:30 PM roll call
9:40 PM WI Flight gets moved to the next day at 11:00 PM
Jon leaves to get a new rental car
10:00 PM Jon picks the rest of us up in rental car just as the passenger terminal is closing for the night.
10:30 PM We try and check into Fort Island Base Hotel (No rooms available)
11:00 PM We check into a Best Western
Talk about a long day!
Wednesday May 18th (1 flight scheduled to WI @ 11PM)
Spent the day exploring more of Hawaii (actually really glad we got this extra day, we saw so much!)
At this point we were debating on staying until Friday and hoping we could catch a flight to NJ, but they still didn’t list how many seats would be available for that flight and there was still a chance that it would be rescheduled. So we opted to try and get the WI flight that was scheduled this day and get a rental car and drive the rest of the way to NJ.
8:00 PM Checked in for flight
9:30 PM Jon returns rental car (He waited a little this time incase it looked like we wouldn’t get flight)
10:30 PM Flight gets moved to 2:40 AM roll call
We are told we need to leave the terminal because they were closing and they would re-open an hour before roll call (1:40 AM) At this point we already returned rental car and we weren’t about to pay a taxi and a hotel room for 3 hours! So we (and another family with 2 kids) waited outside the terminal until 1:40 AM. Thank goodness the weather is nice in Hawaii!
1:40 AM Doors open and we are allowed back in terminal
2:40 AM Roll Call (15 seats available , we were last on the list  but luckily got seats 9-13….talk about another close one)
3:50 AM Checked bags
5:00 AM Flight FINALLY takes off
Total cost home: Around $500 ($23 for 4 meals during flight $350 for rental car home $105 hotel one night)

Note: We did check if we would have gotten the Friday May 20th flight to NJ, yes we would have (over 50 seats became available and only 23 used). All apart of the Space A game!

Now that we shared how our flights to and from Hawaii went here are our reviews on where we stayed and where to eat while in Oahu Hawaii.

Places to stay in Hawaii:

We stayed 7 nights at the Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort & Spa. We have mixed feelings about this hotel. The location is perfect (Beachfront and you can walk to everything in Waikiki). The employees are helpful and friendly. The beds are comfortable and the views from balcony are superb. BUT we had a cockroach incident and had to switch rooms in the middle of our stay. The breakfast is good but way to expensive at $30 a person. And we had multiple issues with the hotel manager and corporate (about our hotel points, the cockroach thing, ect.). COST- around $300 a night 

 

While staying at the Marriott we decided to visit their Vacation Club location (Timeshare). We decided that their timeshare was not for us, although we did consider it. With the way we travel last minute it just wasn’t a good fit. Plus after spending the day there a few of their timeshare holders also advised us against it. Although the resort is beautiful…

 

We were lucky to spend one night at the Ford Island Navy Lodge. We would have spent more nights here if they had availability. This is for military card holders only. Its only downfall is that its not walking distance to many things. But if you have a rental car its wonderful. Clean, spacious, comes with a small kitchen, nice pool, free breakfast, and is a fraction of the price of all the hotels in Hawaii. Also it is right next to USS Arizona memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial,  Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and USS Utah. COST- $100 a night

 

 Hale KOA– While we didn’t get to stay at the Hale HOA (they were completely booked during our time in Hawaii) we did visit twice. This is a popular choice for Space A travelers. Again you must have a military id to stay at this location. There are a few different pools and a few options for food. Its also located right on the beach. Cost- Varies $100-$200 a night (depending on rank and room type)

Best Western– We also stayed one night at a Best Western. While the room was clean and they have free parking the location wasn’t ideal. The hotel/pool is right next to major highways. It worked for a late night stop when we didn’t get the space A flight we wanted. Cost- $170 a night

Places to eat:

Sky Waikiki– By far the best food we had in Hawaii! Not only was the food amazing the view was spectacular. It has a lounge/relaxed vibe. The seating was so comfortable that Mason even fell asleep on daddy. Parents just know that kids are no longer allowed after 9 PM. Our favorite item on the menu was the Garlic Chicken Sliders.

Heavenly– Was a great stop for a fabulous breakfast. We each tried something different and everything was truly Heavenly. Mommy highly recommends the eggs benedict. We will defiantly be back the next time we are in Hawaii .

Gyu-kak Japanese bbq-Be your own chief. Pick from a variety of meats, poultries, seafoods, veggies, and sides. Grill to your liking. Highly recommend their garlic noodles as a side. DELICIOUS! We found out they have a location in Philadelphia as well and plan to visit there in the near future. We found this place accidently while wondering around Waikiki, so glad we did!

Kuhio Beach Grill- Level 3 by pool at the Marriot we were staying at. Other than the view and closeness to our hotel room we don’t recommend this place. Below average food for above average prices. Instead we highly suggest walking one street over to Tiki’s Grill & Bar (listed below).

Tiki’s Grill & Bar– Best Happy Hour we found in Hawaii with $3 and $5 drink specials compared to $7 & $9 specials everywhere else! Kids food is served on a Frisbee that they get to take home as a souvenir. Service is friendly and food is yummy.

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Transportation Info:
1. Rental Cars- Rates change daily for car rentals. While friends of ours found a place for $15 a day, the lowest we found was $60 a day. If you are staying in Waikiki don’t be afraid to go car less.  You can walk to so much! We spent 7 days without a car and just walked. It was awesome exercise too.  Also if you do rent a car be prepared to pay for parking. Our hotel was $30 a night for parking! We saved so much going without a car for most of our trip. We did rent a car for our last 3 days and drove all over the island so we could see everything we couldn’t walk to.
2. Taxi- We used Charley’s Taxi several time to and from the airport. It cost a flat fee of $29 each time. The drivers are VERY friendly and helpful. They are also the only taxi company cleared for full access to the military bases.
3. Trolley/Bus- If you do go without a car rental another option is their trolley( cost varies depending on which trolley) or bus system ($2.50 a ride).  We rode the PINK line trolley to the Ala Moana shopping and it costs us $2 each, kids were free. The best part was that it was a double-decker; we sat up top and enjoyed great views of Waikiki. The kids had a blast! For more info on routes and prices check out their website: Waikiki Trolley
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Other Tips:
1. Everything costs more- No surprise here.
2. Homeless epidemic- There are homeless people everywhere. While we were not shocked it was quite sad seeing this reality.
3. If you are traveling with kids be prepared to be stared at. Japanese men and women seem to love kids. While traveling we have never been told more often than in Hawaii that we have the “perfect” family. I actually felt like our family was on display most of the trip. People would stop us and comment on our children every few feet! Some even took photos of our kids or had their kids get in pictures with ours. While we thought it quite strange they were always so kind and sweet. They truly loved our family and were so happy for us. Is this a glimpse of what a trip to Japan would be like? Only time will tell.
4. Some free things to do- Any beach, Makapuu Lighthouse trail, Makapuu point, Laie Hawaii Temple, and Halona Blowhole.

Well that pretty much sums up our flight details, where to stay,  where to eat, transportation, and other tips. If you have any questions about your future travels to Oahu Hawaii please feel free to contact us. Below are more photos from our time spent in Hawaii. Enjoy, Mahalo!