After we took off from Pohnpei, we continued on United Airlines’ island hopper Flight 133, which flies on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Pro-tip: if you fly on the Wednesday schedule, you’ll be lucky to add on a stop in Kosrae, another island of the Micronesia island hopping airport chain (photos by Francis DeAsis, who was with us in Syria last September, will be joining us on our upcoming trip to Libya, and who had taken this island hopper in reverse only a week prior!):



After that it’s Micronesia’s last stop at Kwajalein, home to Bucholz Army Airfield.

Unlike on the other islands on the island hopper you are not allowed to take photos outside as the airport is US military through and through. That said, unless you have special permission to disembark here as military personnel or an invited guest of the US military, you are also not allowed to leave the aircraft while the plane stops to refuel here.



Ah Majuro, it’s good to be back after 4 years!



Like in Pohnpei, you can get off in Majuro as well for a quick transit on the group and an exit/entry stamp.



Not sure how much has changed since I last visited here.



Since I had already have stayed in Majuro before, getting off the plane was not as necessary for me, but I wanted to check it out because…nostalgia. But I eschewed the stamp this time and headed straight to the transit area.



The departures gate staff here are so relaxed you can step outside for fresh air and enjoy a banging sunset before boarding.



At this point due to all the standby for upgrades on all my segments, I suddenly received multiple e-mails (upon immediately connecting to the airport WiFi) that United Airlines had both reconfirmed AND cancelled my itineraries at the same time, as well as saying my checked luggage would be rerouted as far back as Pohnpei (even though my AirTags said they were with us on the tarmac in Majuro).

Confused at receiving all these e-mails, I went up to the gate agent to clarify what was happening. She also appeared confused. Then when she looked up my name, she saw two double booked itineraries: one was as is in all economy as it was, and the others were all on standby for upgrades to United First.

As she sorted out some technical wizardry to make sure I’d stay on this flight AND also be upgraded (woohoo!), I could hear her muttering how she wished I had come up to her sooner at the gate. When I sheepishly admitted that I had just gotten off the island hopper flight from Guam and had not been coming through security from Majuro, she made an even more confused look why I would do such a thing. I then just smiled at her.

We then boarded half an hour later than scheduled.



Then enduring an another half an hour delay where the plane was deemed too heavy, they offloaded some cargo and we were then able to depart. Thank goodness for the upgrade because this United First meal of salmon was excellent.



Once landing at 3am local Honolulu time (technically normal for us as it would be 11pm where we were coming from in Micronesia time), we retrieved our bags and headed out to hail an airport cab for a 4 minute drive to the nearby Airport Honolulu Hotel. They allowed late checkout at noon so the plan was to sleep in 4am-12pm noon (8 hours! 12am-8am Micronesia time!) but for some reason I felt wide wide wide awake despite getting only 2-3 hours of sleep on the flight to Honolulu.

So I caught up on blogposts, including this very one, before I finally got a little sleepy and napped from 8:30am-10:30am local Honolulu time. And this was with 3 cups of coffee in me already!

Eschewing the late checkout offer, Stephanie also happened to be up and we both agreed to check out at 11am and leave for our respective accommodations closer to the city center. I got a room at the Ala Moana Hotel via an Airbnb booking and she was staying at the Alohilani Resort Hotel via an AMEX Hotel Collections booking (which I need to learn more about).

I think the lightning booking at the Ala Moana Hotel was one of the best accidental bookings I’ve ever done.



This complex has everything I needed including a nearly full service gym, wet sauna, dry sauna, a big outdoor pool, open cabanas to relax in, and a combined spa/hair salon/massage studio/café all on the 3rd floor. It also is right next door to the Ala Moana Mall, which has even more stuff in its uniquely outdoor environment that got me hooked on window shopping while walking around.



Even better its central location allowed me to catch up with Isaiah from our Wales roadtrip monsoon last year!



He took me and Stephanie (who came back just to hang) to Magic Island which is a 5 minute walk away from Ala Moana.



Afterwards with a random callout on Instagram to see who was also around, Mary from my Australia and New Zealand roadtrip quickly reached out, saying she also had just landed in Honolulu at the same time I did! She was coming from New York for a 10 day remote work trip and furthermore, she was staying right next door to me at her friend’s Stefanie’s apartment. What are the odds for both timing AND place?

So for us to catch up it was a quick 5 minute walk for the both of us to catch up at Debu:



It was great to see you again after all these years!




- At time of posting in Majuro, it was 27 °C - Humidity: 80% | Wind Speed: 35km/hr | Cloud Cover: slightly windy, clear


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