Gone Hoppin’

Dear readers:

I know I’m behind on lots of important news right now but you’re going to have to wait just a bit longer. I’m off for the next couple days to experience one of the last true “milk run” routes still flying in the world, the famed Island Hopper. The route was operated by Air Micronesia starting in the last 60s and continues to be the only air service to the outside world at some of the stops. It is also a 14ish hour ride in a 737-800 from Honolulu to Guam, a trip which takes about 8 hours when flown nonstop.

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Even better is that I’m continuing on to Hong Kong from there where a group of us currently represents all the seats in the first class cabin and the upgrade waitlist. That should be entertaining.

So, anyways, I’ll catch up with y’all eventually but in the mean time I’ll be sharing the Island Hopper experience on Twitter under the @Airchive account and occasionally under my @WanderngAramean account as well.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. How about a pic of the day from each landing? Quick and duty update via iPhone WordPress app for those looking to follow along for the flight…

    Humor us desk jockeys while you are living the dream…

  2. I’ve really wanted to do this, but found extremely limited award space (like several months without any). Or maybe you’re simply paying for a seat. Anyway, I’ll look forward to the reports.

  3. How many award miles is it, using Aegean? Because I will so do this later this year…

    1. Don’t do it via Aegean, Cynthia. It would be 80k in coach! 😮

      It is a very hard award to get in business/first (I haven’t seen it all the way through in a long, long, time) and even Y can be a challenge. Assuming you’re OK with not stopping at any of the islands the best way to get it is a fare like NYC-HKG/SGN/MNL and forcing the routing on the Hopper. I was seeing r/t W fares in the $1300-1500 range later this year. That’s what I did and I got it for ~$1100 out in K and back in W (wanted to GPU the return). The upgrade rules have changed a bit and that specific route has a bunch of caveats and other “broken” bits in UA’s systems to make upgrades very hard. But it is an amazing experience. The part where the plane broke down on my trip just adds to the crazy.

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