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Jul 5th, 2014, 05:27 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Flight Back

Hi everyone,

At the beginning of October I will be flying to Vancouver back from a cruise to Hawaii. My travel agent is telling me that we have to be at the airport 4 hours before the flight (which is at 8h25 p.m.) because it takes a long time to go thru security. Do we have to be at the airport that early?

I saw a picture of the night sky full of stars saying "Taking in millions of stars at Mauna Kea on the Big Island." Are there that many stars to be seen and if so do you need to be at the top of a mountain? Can you see a lot just being on the ship or on the beach? I would be happy even seing a quarter of that!

Is there any excursions especially for that?

Thank you for all your input.
whiteowlmtlca is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2014, 12:28 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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4 hours prior to flight? I've been through Vancouver a bunch of times, and never needed anything more than the usual North American standards. Has something changed recently? (i don't imagine that the tasering incident alone would cause this.)
As for stars, just getting away from cities and lights helps a lot, but getting above sea level 10,000 feet or so does tend to clear the view, with that much less atmosphere to clutter things up. While I never did visit the Observatory there, (there are tours, I understand), I did go across Saddle Road at night, once. They have one of the best observatory sites in the world up there, for good reason.
The possible presence of VOG on the Big Island is a whole other issue!
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Jul 6th, 2014, 12:35 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Whoops, I now see that your enquiry relates to the flight back to YVR. Same answer, 4 hours seems excessive, coming out of any of Hawaii's major airports.
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Jul 6th, 2014, 08:06 AM
  #4
 
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Are you asking about Honolulu?

While sometime there are long-ish lines because you have to go thru a separate agriculture check even before you go to your airline counter, the standard 2-3 hours is sufficient. I agree 4 seems excessive and I've never seen that recommended.

Instead of your travel agent's advice, I'd call your specific airline and ask them directly. I'm guessing they will say 3 hours.
suze is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2014, 08:30 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Might this have to do with a whole cruise's passengers taking the same flight? Are you flying out of HNL or Big Island? Is the cruise line responsible for getting your luggage to the airport? Disembarking can be slow.

We hear news reports of expanding airport security in response to new, less easily detected bomb materials. (Will we all be going through security in hospital gowns? Our birthday suits?)

Stars are more easily seen in many parts of the islands just because there is less ambient light.
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Jul 6th, 2014, 11:52 AM
  #6
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My flight is from Honolulu airport.

ChiSue - I used to love flying,those days you got a meal, wine etc.(for free). For me it wasn't a vacation if I wasn't flying there. But now... I would do anything to go somewhere without flying. At the security they look at you like you are a criminal. It's stressful.

As far as stars goes I hope I can see at least a few hundreds to a few thousands since it's a good night for me when I see a dozen from my balcony.
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Jul 6th, 2014, 12:05 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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When we must connect via HNL we spend a little time sipping a Longboard at the Dewar's cafe while sharing an appetizer. The airport has a pretty central garden. There were a lot more shops than we'd seen previously when we came through on our way home to Chicagoland in March. Next trip we're able to go in and out of OGG on Maui.

We buy coach and use miles to upgrade to first on a 767 for the long leg from DFW. That gives us miles for the purchase and for the distance flown. (Rinse. Repeat.)

As for the stars, they feel closer in Hawaii. We usually arrive near sunset and stop to pick up groceries enroute to our condo. When we come out to the car we're Goofy Mainlanders, standing there in the Safeway parking lot, staring up at the stars!
ChiSue is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2014, 08:12 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Unless the boat is transferring your bags, 4 hours is ridiculous. I usually arrive at HNL 90 minutes before the flight, but I always check in online and I have elite status, so usually shorter check-in and security lines. Family and friends who don't have status with airlines and are checking bags usually go 2 hours prior.

You don't need to go up on a mountain to see lots of stars. Just a clear sky and get away from city lights. We used to have exchange students from Tokyo and New Delhi. Star watching on an unlit beach or even by the side of a country road was always a hit here. I'd guess it would be good on your ship, If you can find a dark spot.
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