It’s Hard to Avoid Long Flights.

Hawaii is the most remote populated spot on this planet. Most of us living in these islands have come to accept that as . . . well . . . as one of the inconveniences we deal with for living here.

If we want to go anywhere, we have to fly . . . even if we’re just going to another island. Most of us tend to favor Hawaiian Airlines for our transportation, be it a 25-minute hop to one of the other islands (there is no other option) or the five-hour flight to the West Coast. 

Hawaiian Airlines flies to the mainland U.S., but all over the Pacific, as well. Several years ago, I took a Hawaiian flight back to Honolulu from Seoul, South Korea . . . an eight-and-a-half hour flight. 

Long jet flights are punishing and are not for everyone. You need an iron constitution to take Hawaiian’s non-stop flight from Honolulu to Logan Airport in Boston.  Eastbound, that flight is listed at nine hours and 30 minutes from takeoff to touch down. Coming back, against the prevailing headwinds, flight time is 11 hours, 35 minutes. And that, I was told recently, makes it the longest non-stop flight within the U.S. flown by any commercial airline.

On Tuesday, I’m leaving here for a meeting of the Rail Passengers Association in Washington, DC. I’m going to fly Hawaiian Airlines to Los Angeles, spend the night there, then take Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to Chicago—a two-night trip.

I’ll spend a night in Chicago, have dinner with old and dear friends, then continue on the following day: an overnight ride to Washington on the Capitol Limited.  

I don’t know how many trips I’ve taken across the country by train—30 or 40, I’d guess—but it never gets old. Something interesting or unusual always seems to happen. To prove it, I’ll post something here about whatever it was either when I have time along the way or when I get back.

And I’ll post progress reports when I can along the way.