Plans sorted. Update 3. A COVID-19 story.

Yesterday I wrote my second update about what options I had for leaving Samoa and continuing my trip from Hawaii, given the fact that I wasn’t able to travel from here to Pago Pago in American Samoa.

I’ve decided that today I’m going to fly from here, back to Auckland on Air New Zealand. In Auckland, I’ll overnight, and then the next evening, get the Hawaiian Airlines flight from there to Honolulu and onwards to Kona.

Thankfully the overall costs aren’t too much more. I have an extra night in the Sheraton here, which was more than I was planning to spend, but isn’t going to break the bank.

The flight from Apia, Samoa down to Auckland, New Zealand was roughly ¬£250, which as it was booked at 18 hours notice, isn’t actually that bad. Unfortunately there was no availability with miles or I would have used my stash with Lufthansa for that.

Finally, after some polite and persistent persuasion, Hawaiian Airlines agreed to waive their $200 change fee and rebook me on their flight from Auckland (which was actually cheaper than the fare I paid from Pago Pago). There was a further $0.69 in taxes and a $30 uplift for my extra comfort seat that I had paid for, but all in all, I’m glad to see them doing the right thing.

I’ve still not heard from Samoan Airways about what refund I’ll get for my domestic flights.

Map showing my route from Samoa to Hawaii

However, as you can see from the map above, I’m having to travel 6181 miles instead of 2598 miles direct from here to Hawaii. That’s an extra 3583 miles in total. All in economy.

#GretaHatesMeEvenMore

So in the end, it’s not all too bad. I’ve got plans confirmed, if things change further, which is likely, I’ll have more options from Auckland than from here.

I’m sad not to have been able to travel as planned, but I think this is the best way of getting back on track as far as possible, with limited extra expenditure.

Samoa is genuinely stunning and would love to return. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming – it’s been an amazing couple of days here and I can’t recommend it enough.

However, as a gay man, I’m still somewhat conflicted due to the fact that gay sex is still illegal here. Hopefully in the future they will amend the law and it will become a more progressive society.

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