Updated June 23, 2020.
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We thought it would be great! A non-stop flight from our home airport (IAD) all the way to beautiful, exotic Hawaii (HNL). No worries over missed connections, short layovers, or bad weather in our connecting city to add any stress to our travels. And since it’s so long, we’d definitely get a meal, maybe even two!
Wrong! As in, we could not have been more wrong about that last part. Silly me, I thought in-flight meals were determined by time or distance, but no; domestic is domestic, according to the U.S. airlines. Nevermind that we’d get two meals on a 7-hour flight from the East Coast to Europe… a 10.5-hour flight from the East Coast to Hawaii only has meals available for purchase, and my flight attendant friend told me that flight is notorious for running out of what food they do bring onboard to sell!
Literally every other airline flying from the Mainland U.S. to Hawaii besides United provides meals. We needed to be prepared, and I thought you might need some preparation, too! So I decided to write a whole post on surviving long-haul domestic travel. Here is it!
Here are the stats for planning purposes:
- Flight Number: UA 345
- Aircraft: Boeing 767
- Economy Seat Configuration: 2-3-2 (2-1-2 lay-flat seats in Business)
- Length: 10 hours 37 minutes
- Departure to Arrival Times: 8:35am-1:12pm; Times and days of the week vary according to season. Check out Flight Mapper for specific dates and times!
In My Personal Item
No matter what class of service you’re flying, whether you’re in First, Business, or one of the many versions of Economy, everyone is allowed a personal item! Here’s a peek at the contens of mine! Just click the link to get yours!
BYOB: Bring Your Own Bottle! Take an empty refillable bottle with you, then fill it up to the top after you get through security. You can bring it with you on the flight!
Flying for 10.5 hours? I needed some food to get me through! I’m a fan of protein for staying power, so jerky is always a winner with me, and this particular brand has plenty of flavors and types of meat to choose from!
My other little secret weapon for staving off hunger and satisfying my sweet tooth is a Cliff bar! Get the variety pack to see what you like:
Need more? Check out The Best Snacks to Pack for the Flight!
The older I get, the more my feet swell when I fly for more than about 5 hours. And the more uncomfortable my legs become! I started using compression socks a few years ago, and I just can’t recommend them enough. My favorite brand is Go2Socks, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns from plain white to argyle to polkadots!
Eyemask and Earplugs
Need a little help sleeping on your flight? These will go far in helping your dreams come true!
A Fresh Book
I always take a fresh book with me on long flights! In-flight entertainment is great, but there’s not always enough of what I like to get me through the whole flight. And occasionally, the screen doesn’t work! So always take a book, whether it’s an e-book or my preference: a good old-fashioned paperback! Here are a few favorites set in Hawaii:
Need more ideas?
Check out all my Summer Reading Lists on my Shop Page!
Services and Amenities Onboard
That’s one mighty long flight to spend not knowing what to expect. Here’s what to know about the service and amenities onboard.
Yes! There are plenty of movies, TV shows, and other entertainment options available. Click here to find out what will be showing on your flight!
Food and Beverage
As stated before, there are no meals, just food for purchase! Since they often run out of food, however, you should definitely pack some food of your own. The only word of caution is that Hawaii is very strict about what fresh foods can come in or go out, so keep that in mind when planning your food rations! If you don’t finish it before you land, you may have to throw it away.
If you do decide to buy food on board, you can find your options here! Choices change every few months!
Loyal 1K customers, you can receive your complimentary snack, but it may be a good idea to ask a flight attendant upon boarding to save your first choice for you. There’s no guarantee you’ll get your first choice, but if it’s important to you, be your own advocate!
There were both breakfast and lunch options on this particular flight, so that made for a bit more variety!
More here: Benefits of Airline Loyalty
You’re in Hawaii! It’s truly amazing what a difference just stepping outside will make, even if you were getting hangry in-flight. The breeze, the scent, the “alohas” from everyone around you. It’s beautiful! And there are plenty of food options once you get to HNL.
All passengers arriving into Hawaii must fill out an official Department of Agriculture form stating what plant an animal products you may be bringing into the state. On the other side of the form you’ll find a survey from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.
A Note for Connecting Flights at HNL
If you’re like us and are connecting for a flight to another island, you may want to know what to expect upon arriving at HNL. You won’t have to go through security again, despite being at Honolulu’s open-air airport! Just walk or take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle to your next terminal.
Does this post help you feel prepared for your own long-haul domestic flight on United? Let emknow below, and don’t forget to check out my Pacific Islands Page for all my Hawaii planning posts!
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