Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Heading to the Other 'Home' ~ Make that, 'Hale'!

Hale ~ ‘Home’ in Hawaiian

As the pilot announced our approach to the Honolulu, Hawaii airport on Sunday, the person next to me shifted and stretched as he observed, 'Boy this is a rather long flight, isn’t it?’

It had taken six hours to travel from Seattle to this island state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

P1060144
Ko Olina on O'ahu's western shore from the airplane
I simply nodded. He wouldn’t have comprehended that this was just the final leg of our 8,700 mile journey which had begun days before on the other side of the world. This flight simply marked the end of our journey and our arrival ‘home’ – albeit the short-term variety.

This is the 10th year we’ve journeyed to Hawaii in January for a month of tropical living. What makes this year’s trip different is that this is the only 'home' we have left in the United States.

14224970_10153729824326423_4875871008760126598_n[1]
Our Stone House on the Hill, far right small gray stone home in this photo
Our full-time home is on a rocky hillside at the edge of an olive grove in the Greek Peloponnese. We moved there last fall after selling our home on the outskirts of Seattle. And in doing so, made our ‘commute’ to the timeshare life we’ve lived for a decade a whale of a lot longer. But this segment of the 'old life' was one we weren't ready to give up.

PicMonkey Collage
The journey between homes is a long one
Our journey began with a four-hour drive to Athens and an overnight stay at the airport hotel there. An early departing Aegean Airlines flight the next morning got us to London’s Gatwick airport where we had another overnight stay.  Wednesday morning we boarded another early morning flight from Gatwick to Seattle.

P1060099
Norwegian Airlines flies Boeing 787 'Dreamliners' to Seattle from Gatwick
We could have shaved some time and hotel stays off that by flying British Air from Athens but it would have come with a much higher ticket price. Instead, we’d opted to try Norwegian Air, the European low-cost airline, that is taking that side of the world by storm.

Even though we knew it was popular, we were surprised at how large its presence is at Gatwick.

P1060096
Norwegian Airline counter at Gatwick
In September the budget airline, which flies to 150 destinations world-wide, began flying between Seattle and London four times a week. Flying this airline to Seattle can cost as little as $500US or less, round trip in economy class, with an additional charge for food and beverages ordered on board and for bags checked.

Affordable Luxury

PicMonkey Collage
The Lounge at Gatwick
Being a low-cost airline, it doesn't have a Business or First class section, yet it offers what we consider 'affordable luxury' in its Premium Economy class. For a trip as long as we were taking, that's what we wanted for at least a portion of this journey.

Premium Economy offers large reclining seats, with food and beverage service provided as part of the ticket price. We also had access to the Business Class lounge at the airport.  Our cost was about $1,300 per ticket – several hundred less than the price of Premium Economy tickets on British Air and we had no extra charge for seats (British Air charges for advance seat selection).

P1060117
Two seat side, bulk head - perfect!
Waiting for takeoff  with feet up and not yet fully reclining, it had already exceeded our experience flying British Air Premium Economy last fall.

P1060115
A Mimosa or a Buck's Fizz by any name, is tasty
Wine and beer are complimentary in Premium Economy and our flight attendant made sure that my Mimosa (or a 'Buck’s Fizz' as it is called by our British friends) was as generous a pour as The Scout’s club soda! A second round was offered before meal service commenced. We had a choice of fish, meat or chicken entry. We chose the fish which was flavorful, not overcooked, but steaming hot and tasty (on an airplane! - can you believe it??).

P1060116
Dinner was served
The lights were dimmed as were the windows (the Dreamliner’s features include enhanced air filter systems, mood lighting and extra large windows that turn dark instead of closing completely.)

P1060118
Lights and windows dimmed 

We set off for The Land of Nod and hours later awakened to the second round of food – this one a cold plate was just as tasty had the first had been.

P1060123
Second meal service as tasty as the first
Had we flown in the Economy section we’d have made our food choices from the screens at each seat and the flight attendant would have brought the order from the galley and payment would have been made by credit card.

P1060120
Menu choices included food and drink
As you can tell, we were pleased with that experience and are singing the praises of the new airline. I should note, that our praise is not based on any compensation we received from the airline for saying good things about them. . .they don't even know we are raving about them. But we wanted you to know as many of you are contemplating travel to Europe and it might be worthwhile to check out this airline.

That’s it from our Pacific Paradise this week.  Welcome to our new readers this week (thanks for getting in touch with us and letting us know how you came across TravelnWrite!). And thanks to all of you for the time you spend with us.

We are linking up this week with:
Best of Weekend
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration


8 comments:

  1. This Dreamliner looks like a dream! I love those shades and the seats. Thanks for photographing and explaining all the parts of your flight. I'll definitely look into Norwegian Air next time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A long way to holiday from your new home in Greece, but if you love it so much it is worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A lovely place to holiday, even if it is such a long way from your new home in Greece. Hope you have a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How nice to read about a pleasant air travel experience. Norwegian Airline sounds like a good deal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting to learn about Norwegian Airlines. Will have to check it out. I flew on Aegean Airlines when I went to Santorini.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a long flight! Sounds like your premium economy seats on Norwegian Air were a good choice. Welcome "home"!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Norwegian has started to fly from Barcelona and Madrid as well and l have been thinking about flying with them as the prices are very reasonable. Now l know what to expect. Thanks for the helpful review as it answers a lot of questions. I think we will definitely fly with them next time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've flown short flights on Norwegian but not any longer flights, despite the temptation of their low prices. Thanks for the reassurance that it's not terrible, and for the tip about premium economy!

    ReplyDelete

So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...