Now that you know how I met Heidi, let’s fast forward to the days leading up to our wedding. The week before the wedding I was in Los Angeles while she made final preparations in Germany. Enter my friend John, stage left. He said, “My friend, you need to have a bachelor party. We’re going to Hawaii.”
Do click on that link above about John: he’s quite a character and it will give this story context. I’m not much of a “bachelor party” type of guy and with the expenses of the honeymoon and a new life together with Heidi, I was happy to save my money and just fly straight to Germany.
But there were two things working in John’s favor. First, I was planning on using a friend’s buddy pass to get to Germany and flights looked very full from LA early in the week. Second, John offered to pay for the hotel if I could get us upgraded on the flight over. The Honolulu diversion was suddenly becoming more attractive.
Although Hawaii is in the opposite direction of Germany, I opted to go through with it. (Who am I to turn down a trip to Hawaii?)
John and I have taken a handful of trips to Hawaii over the years and as I will explain in a hotel review tomorrow, Hawaii is one of the few places where I will deviate from a chain hotel. We both like the Kahala there, which is independently owned and away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
Tickets on United were cheap enough and since we were only a few days away from departure, complimentary 1K upgrades to first class cleared for both of us within 24 hours of booking. I packed my bags, including my wedding suit and a large suitcase full of clothes (because this was really a one-way trip to Germany), and we were off.
I’ve talked about my love of United the last couple days, and the flight to Honolulu was another example of why I love United. I lost the Halfway to Hawaii game, the food in first class was nothing memorable and the Mai Tais pale in comparison to how good they used to be, but the service was remarkable. United has many veteran Honolulu-based FAs and this flight was no exception.
Working our cabin was a wonderful team of Barbara and Boise. Boise had been with United for four decades and still loved his job and Barbara wasn’t far behind him. What an amazing duo and a testament to the fact that age and great service are not at all correlated.
Now in the Hawaiian spirit, we landed to a beautiful afternoon in Honolulu and proceeded right to the Kahala. Partying, booze, and hookers for the next two nights? Nah, we just relaxed, catching up on sleep and enjoying some good food, the beautiful weather, and the great hotel.
We really lived it up one night: we ventured into Waikiki. Then ventured back after an hour.
It was actually a very relaxing 48 hours in Honolulu, but one thing kept me from fully enjoying my “final days of freedom”: I was checking loads and the flights back to the mainland were filling up, and filling up fast.
I wanted to fly back via Washington or Newark to Frankfurt on standby, but the flights became so full that I broadened my search to Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco.
All full. Every flight. With huge standby lists of employees trying to get to the mainland. No award space either and many of the flights were so full I could not even buy a paid ticket.
So now what? Trapped in Hawaii with Heidi waiting anxiously in Germany, it was time to get creative.
To Be Continued…