There’s a first for everything, and for me, it was riding in a turboprop plane (the old-school propeller planes). Much like the aircrafts for Island Air, Mokulele and now Hawaiian, the United Express we took from Los Angeles to San Diego was very compact – to say the least.

We had no idea that when we booked our flights, it would be on this toy plane; that is, until we got to the end of the tarmac. Instead of stepping right onto the plane and into our seats, we stepped off of the tarmac by way of a rickety metal staircase. The plane was several yards away…and surprisingly tiny.

As we walked across a section of the jetway and in the direction of yet another rickety staircase, I could feel the chilly morning air creep through the crevices of my coat. But my nerves is what got the best of me at that moment. The tiny opened entrance of the plane welcomed passengers to flight 809. Inside, there were probably no more than 50 seats; my head nearly touched the roof.

I’m probably making it a bigger deal than it really is, but for my family and I seated in the Exit Row, it was a little more terrifying. The flight attendant kept reminding us about our role during the flight in case of an emergency. She made sure we verbally agreed to the terms, on more than one occasion before take-off. Was there something they weren’t telling us?!

My nerves jumped a little more rapidly once the engines fired up and the propellers started to spin with a boisterous roar. I could barely hear myself think; it was that loud. We were also prohibited from using any technology for the short, 30-minute flight, so I initially resorted to writing this story by hand – until I got motion sickness from the bumpy ride, LOL.

I guess you could say that these are among the minute sacrifices travelers make when on a budget. We got a darn good deal for our roundtrip flights to and from Honolulu; this layover in L.A. was part of the deal. I’d say it was very well-worth the roller coaster ride – literally and emotionally.


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