To catch-up on my vacation recap (and to learn about must-visit restaurant and hotels in Hawaii) check out these posts:
Post 1: The Hilton Waikoloa
Post 2: Waikoloa to Hilo
Post 3: Hilo to Volcano Village
Post 4: Volcano Village to Kona
And so we leave off with us saying goodbye to the Big Island and taking an “island hopper” to Maui. It’s not common to take boats between the islands as it’s not cost effective or environmentally friendly which is a big deal in Hawaii. We dropped off our rental car and took the shuttle to the airport, only this time we didn’t get dropped at the main entrance. Instead we were taken to a shack of a building away from the main airport. And this is why this flight earned it’s own post.
So it’s the three of us and another two couples in this “terminal”. We approach the desk to get our tickets (since they don’t let you get boarding passes ahead of time… which should have been a warning sign). Instead of a person, there is a courtesy phone where you speak to an operator to “check-in”.
The planes parked out front were tiny. Very tiny.
We had a lot of time to kill, considering it’s Hawaii (and they have issues with plants and soil) we got their super early because of security. It turns out island hoppers don’t require you to go through security. So yes, lots of time to kill. The sunset was beautiful, watching it over the tarmac. And you know me, I made friends with an older couple waiting for their flight so that helpped time go by.
Eventually an attractive guy comes out and calls our names. He asks to see our licenses and confirm our weight. Oddly enough, weight on these small planes is a number one priority. We told him our weights (painfully after 5 days of vacationing) and then waited to board the flight. We were concerned about liquids and the number of bags and sure enough, none of that mattered. It turns out that the attractive man was our pilot, Captain Tim (he told us to call him). Oh how hottie Captain Tim will remain in our hearts.
Captain Tim loaded all of our luggage himself, and even called out our seat assignments. It was pretty funny, given that this plane fit 8 people? What an awesome/frightening/cool/scary experience. He put the three of us directly behind him. My knees were hitting the pilots back, that’s how small this plane was. We could see all the gauges, maps, whistles. Given how flying is these days, this was such a unique chance to see how pilots fly. It was totally new to me.
I was a tad worried, since the plane was so small and my stomach gets motion sickness sometimes, but it was all perfectly fine. Our only regret was that we didn’t do the flight during the day. Most travel companies had $100+ helicopter tours of The Big Island, but this plane was only $60 and was low flying enough that you could get the island tour experience. We booked our flight for just after sunset so we couldn’t see very clearly. Trust me, book a flight to another island and do it during the day time.