Second in a Series
In the 1960s, there were few flights at Oakland International Airport, and most of them were short haul routes to places like Los Angeles, Sacramento, Reno, and – somewhat ridiculously – San Francisco, which took all of 20 minutes.
You can now fly non stop from Oakland Airport cities all over the United States and Mexico and there is seasonal service to Europe.
There are several daily flights to Hawai’i on two airlines – Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines . Destinations include four Hawaiian cities – Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, and Lihue. But there were no direct flights in the late 1960s. If you wanted to depart from Oakland, you had to fly across the bay to San Francisco Airport, which had non stop flights to Honolulu on United Airlines.
I was driven to Oakland Airport by my parents. They were very excited as they had never been to Hawaii. An avid photographer, my mother lent me her camera and light metre. She demonstrated once more how everything worked and made me promise that I would take lots of pictures.
My father then made me promise that I would send them picture postcards every day. I agreed to both requests.
After saying farewell to my parents, I entered the departure lounge, where I met a charming mother-daughter pair from Hawaii. Of Portuguese ancestry, they had left the islands many years before, settling in California.
It was their first trip home. They took an immediate liking to me and took me under their wings. They asked the agent to change our seats so that the three of us could sit together.
We boarded a vintage United Airlines propeller plane from the 1930s for the short flight across the bay to San Francisco International. We changed planes at SFO for the five hour flight to Honolulu. We talked the whole way over.
My friends said they would show me around. They even offered to put me up with relatives if I couldn’t afford a hotel! When I told them that I was continuing on to Hilo, they gave me their phone number and insisted that I call them as soon as I arrived in Honolulu.
To Be Continued
For More Information on Hawai’i
For More on Hawaii and Hawaiian Tourism and Travel
Hawaii: Your Guide to the Aloha State
Top10 Things to Do in Hawaii
United States: Top 10 Things to Do for Free or Nearly Free in Kauai
My First Trip to Hawaii: Collecting Sunsets
My First Trip to Hawaii: Departure from Oakland Airport
My First Trip to Hawaii: the Big Island
M8y First Trip to Hawaii: Arrival in Honolulu
My First Trip to Hawaii: Pineapple Surprise
My First Trip to Hawaii: Lazy Days and Sundays
My First Trip to Hawaii: Here Today, Gone to Maui
California, Here I Come!