The Pohnpei That Survived The Volcano

by | Mar 3, 2024 | March 2024: The Pacific Island Hopper, Micronesia, Way Way Off the Beaten Path | 0 comments

After new passengers from Chuuk boarded, I finally got my chance to pee as they close the bathrooms during landing for cleaning. Delayed gratification. 

We then forged ahead to Pohnpei, taking off at 12:10pm. I recommend sitting on the right side when landing if heading east from TKK to PNI.



Not to be confused with Pompeii of Italy, Pohnpei is Micronesia’s largest island and home to Palikir, its capital. After an eventful flight from Guam to Chuuk on United Airlines #133 island hopper, this leg was far more chill.



Enjoying business class with my glass of whiskey as long as I could on this 1 hour and 10 minute flight, I unbuckled at the last minute to head to the last row for unobstructed views of Pohnpei islands.



We then landed at 2:30pm local time after an hour and 10 minutes in the air.



Unlike Chuuk and Kwajalein, even if your final destination isn’t Pohnpei, you can disembark in their airport for a quick turnaround stamp in and out, and to enjoy the (relatively) elaborate gift shop in the transit area. As long as you take all your cabin luggage with you when you do that, they’re all fine with it.



So I did just that, taking advantage of heading out to get a quick exit and entry stamp just for the story.



But instead of continuing on in immigrations into baggage claims, the immigrations officer said I could turn back into the transit area at the gate without having to go through security.



This gave me extra time to enjoy the gift shop. Pohnpei is known for their local pepper.



I also purchased two boxed sets of cookies for the flight attendants Dee and Kristy, who were really wonderful to work with during another passenger’s medical emergency earlier on the trip.



We only had about 20 minutes in the transit/departures gate at Pohnpei before we reboarding our flight:



Once reboarded, I found I was only upgraded only for the prior leg of the trip and I had to return to my originally assigned seat in row 32. I didn’t mind since that meant I didn’t have to move for photos when we’d land in Kosrae, Kwajalein, or Majuro 2 hours later.

The ground staff waves you goodbye at Pohnpei, which I felt was a nice touch.




- At time of posting in Pohnpei, it was 24 °C - Humidity: 76% | Wind Speed: 32km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy


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