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Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Gladstone, Australia
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Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii


My wife and I are looking to fly to New York in October, travel the US and fly back from San Franscisco. I have found a flight that takes us to Hawaii first, before continuing to New York.

Brisbane - New York

--Flight HA444--

Departs Brisbane: Friday October 18, 2013 6:35pm

Arrives Honolulu Intl: Friday October 18, 2013 7.55am

*Change planes*

--Flight HA50--

Departs Honolulu Intl: Friday October 18, 2013 4.20pm

Arrives John F Kennedy Intl: Saturday October 19, 2013 6.55am

As we have never before travelled outside of the country, I am hoping for some feedback on this idea.

If we fly to Hawaii, is this when the international security checks take place, THEN we board a domestic flight to New York? OR is it considered the same flight so we just transfer planes and do the security checks at JFK?

This would help me choose the flight, as the 8 hour delay until plane change can be used to get through all the security side of things.



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1. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Since Honolulu is your first point of entry in the US, you will clear immigration and customs upon arrival there. Your flight from Honolulu to JFK will be a domestic one. If Hawaiian allows a free stop, you may want to consider hanging out on the beach for a day or so before continuing on.

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2. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

I agree with whirlwind 100%. If you can stay longer than a day, do. Also suggest a stop in San Francisco on the way home.

Gladstone, Australia
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3. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Thanks for the feedback guys. That clarifies the issue and I will probably go with the Hawaiian flights.

Appreciate the quick responses!


New York NY
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4. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Hawaiian Airlines is very good.

Hawaiian just recently introduced the nonstop flight between Honolulu and JFK. I've flown the nonstop flight between Newark and Honolulu (now operated by United). Honolulu - New York is a domestic / internal flight much like Brisbane - Perth is a domestic / internal flight.

Hawaii is nice and I would suggest that rather than spending 8 hours 25 minutes at the Honolulu Int'l Airport for customs formalities which in reality will take under an hour (assuming you are Australian citizens), I suggest you spend at least a day exploring Hawaii if the fare allows a longer stopover.

What are your plans for this trip? How much time do you plan to spend in New York City? What are your plans for getting to San Francisco? Are you planning to drive across country? Are you planning to see any other cities like Chicago or Las Vegas? Are you considering maybe taking a train or driving to get to see some of the American landscape? Please let us know your thoughts so we can make some suggestions.

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5. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

In hawaii if nconnecting to the main land you will be required to go through agraculture prior to boarding flights to the mainland.

Gladstone, Australia
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6. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Hi MoreFFmiles,

Thanks for your feedback. Our basic itinery is as follows:

New York 8 nights

1 day trip to Niagara Falls

1 day trip to Washington DC

Fly to Miami

Miami 1 or 2 nights before going on 'Ship of Fear' 5 night cruise to Bahamas

Fly to Las Vegas 4 or 5 nights

Half day trip to Grand Canyon

Half day trip to Hoover Dam

Drive to Los Angeles 4 nights

Disneyland for 1 day

Drive to San Simeon 1 night

Tour Hearst Castle

Drive to San Fransisco 3 nights

Alcatraz/ city tour 1 day

Muir Woods 1 day

Fly to Brisbane.

The reason for choosing the stopover in Hawaii is the relative cheap fare, the whole trip takes 26hours. I dont mind sitting around an airport for 8 hours with an 8 hour flight each side when other flights in this price range have a 17hour flight as part of the trip. Yikes!

I also like the idea of once we get to New York, we are classed as domestic so less hassle once holiday officially starts.

Hawaii holds little interest to us at this stage but we will certainly look for attractions.


Edited: 15 December 2012, 02:19
New York NY
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7. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

The last time I was in Hawaii was on a business trip and I really didn't care for it. Waikiki Beach is more touristy than Times Square. It was all tourist trap restaurants and cheap tee shirt stores. I looked forward to coming home.

Once you clear Customs on arrival, you are a free person so if you want to stay in the airport, you can. If you want to take a taxi (or bus) into town and have lunch, you can. You can do whatever you want.

Upon arrival at JFK, there are no formalities of any kind. Collect your bags and off you go. A couple important notes for arrival at JFK. Shared ride shuttles are horrendous and should be avoided. There are often touts at the airport asking if you need a ride or are looking for a taxi. Simply ignore them - they're operating illegally and are often uninsured. They'll even try to rip off visitors. You want to stick with an official yellow taxi from the taxi rank where the uniformed dispatcher is positioned *or* you can pre-arrange (but don't pre-pay) for a sedan with a reputable company like Dial 7 or All State. There is also very easy to use and extremely fast and efficient public transport. Once you know where you are staying, if you're interested in the train, we can give you step by step instructions.

Niagara Falls can be done one of two ways. You can do it as a day trip by flying up to Buffalo. jetBlue is the best. jetBlue doesn't start selling tickets until something like 5 or 6 months in advance (I don't know the exact timeframe). I just know jetBlue doesn't sell tickets as far in advance as other carriers. Delta also flies the route. You fly up on the first flight of the day and back on the last flight of the evening and then hire a rental car and drive up to Niagara Falls (approx. 20 miles / 30 minutes)

The other option is to take all your baggage with you and fly single / one-way from New York to Buffalo, check into a hotel in Buffalo for one-night so you have a place for your baggage. Buffalo isn't as awful as I thought. It turns out it has some interesting art and architecture. There are a couple tours you can do if you are interested in art or Frank Lloyd Wright. If not, Buffalo doesn't have a tremendous amount going for it in terms of international tourist appeal. You would then fly from Buffalo to Washington. The reason I'm mentioning this is that if you do all these things as roundtrips from New York, you'll realize you could have saved money. You have to decide whether it is more convenient for you to do day trips roundtrip from New York or take all your stuff with you and go point to point.

I might spend 7 nights in New York and stay in New York City the whole time (there is plenty to see and do - some people spend two weeks and nobody ever gets bored). I might then fly to Buffalo and overnight up there as lodging is significantly less expensive. You dump your bag at the hotel early in the day - spend the afternoon at Niagara Falls, get back to Buffalo in the evening, have a leisurely dinner before a flight to Washington the next morning. You could also skip the overnight if you really don't like this idea. You could store all your stuff safely in the trunk (boot) of the rental car and then get the last flight of the evening to Washington D.C. from Buffalo.

I think you really must have at least one night in Washington D.C. You have to see the monuments all lit up. D.C. is beautiful at night and Georgetown is a lovely part of town to have dinner. I don't think you do a city like Washington D.C. justice without an overnight. I've been to Canberra and it is much smaller than D.C. There is so much more to see and do in D.C.

It is easy to get a single / one-way from D.C. to Miami.

It is easy to get a single / one-way flight from Miami / Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas. jetBlue has a huge operation in Fort Lauderdale and it is only roughly 15 miles from most of Miami.

It sounds like you plan to pick up the car in Las Vegas and keep that same car for the drive to the Los Angeles area and the drive up to the San Francisco Bay Area. That will be beautiful landscape. You'll go through some beautiful Central Coast winery country. This is not Napa / Sonoma but it is excellent nonetheless. You may want to consider working some time into the itinerary for the drive through Paso Robles and Central Coast wine country.

Depending how much time you have, say you wanted to drive from Washington D.C. to Miami rather than fly, you'd need a few days but you'll go through some interesting places in Virginia, Raleigh-Durham North Carolina (home to UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University), Charleston South Carolina, Hilton Head, Savannah Georgia, etc.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can help in any way.

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8. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Hi going to throw something else for you to think about Niagara falls ,,, I am Canadian ... the Canadian side of Niagara Falls has a lot more to offer than the USA side... it might be something you want to consider in the planning stage.. way more hotel rooms... more to see .. you could rent a car and see alot more on my side of the world.

Niagara On the Lake,

you are within a hour and bit to Toronto.. I could go on forever but do consider the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. If you are coming this far why not see the best side... Just saying ;-)

also a suggestion for getting to your cruise,,, if you fly into fort lauderdale which the cheaper airlines will fly into --- jet blue, southwest airlines there is a transfer service that can get you to your cruise ship if it is leaving the Miami port ... look up SAS transportation it is cheaper than a cab if there is just two of you.. PM me if you want more information .

Edited: 15 December 2012, 21:58
Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

Even if you were to fly directly to the mainland with another airline ( most airlines go to LAX from Australia ) ,rather than stopping in Hawaii, you will be clearing customs and immigration when you transfer flights in LAX , not at the JFK end. So this will not effect the start of your holiday either way.

Edited: 16 December 2012, 03:40
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10. Re: Flying from Brisbane to New York via Hawaii

I agree about overnighting at Niagara, but not impressed with Buffalo. We would rather take the limo service, not expensive, takes you to your hotel door, across to Canadian side if you choose to stay there (we much prefer Canadian side) and the same service will pick you up and take you back to the airport. This service can be found on to internet. You book, but do not pay until you get there. Excellent service. Look up under limo. Service or car service to Niagara Falls.

Also, try driving to Miami as Savannah is gorgeous, also Hilton Head, SC. Spend a little time in DC as well, soooo much to see there and the surrounds as well.

Good luck. Consider a motor home too. We used Cruise Amerkca.