I’ve been to Honolulu several times and have always enjoyed flying Hawaiian Airlines. After a two-year break from visiting Oahu, I bought a roundtrip Economy ticket in mid-December for $588. I flew from SFO to HNL in June and got to check out some of the new features on their Airbus A330.
(This Trip Report is written by TravelSkills’ very own Kim Grimes.)
Chris contacted Hawaiian Airlines in advance and arranged for me to get on the plane before boarding to snap some photos. The crew seemed to be in a bit of a rush but they were very kind and welcoming. I checked out the sleek new lie-flat seats in the Premium Cabin first.
The lie-flat seats are in sets of two (2-2-2) with nature-inspired dividers in the center that you can pull up out of the arm rest for privacy. The reclining wheel in the arm rest allows for passengers to lie flat or find the perfect spot for them anywhere between flat and upright. When the seat is completely flat, it connects to the footrest efficiently adding length for comfort.
The modern design includes plenty of in-seat power with two USB ports and an AC port in each seat. Passengers in the premium cabin are given tablets to enjoy in-flight entertainment which they can place on the adjustable retractable tablet stand in the arm rest.
After taking a moment to enjoy the lie-flat seat, I moved on to check out the Extra Comfort seats. These seats are similar to the Economy seats in appearance, but they have extra leg room and come with a few additional amenities.
Extra Comfort seats have a pitch of 36 inches which was more than enough room for me, at 5’4’’, to fully extend my legs while seated. In addition to the spare room to stretch out Extra Comfort passengers receive benefits like priority boarding and access to a priority security line at select airports, including SFO.
After I took photos of the premium and Extra Comfort seats, it was just about time to board. I went back to the gate to meet my family and then made my way to the Economy seats noting the nice and relaxing Hawaiian music that played throughout the cabin. I always claim the window seat and got comfortable in 37A with my sister seated next to me in 37B.
Check out Hawaiian’s A330 layout on Seatguru– note that this is Version 2 with the new Premium Class seats.
I was feeling a little stressed after guiding my family through the airport, so I really appreciated watching Hawaiian musicians play calming and welcoming songs on the seatback entertainment screen before takeoff. Hawaiian Airlines offers an unlimited television and film package for $7.99, but I never pay for in-flight entertainment and opted to flip through the Hawaiian Airlines magazine. The magazine is called Hana Hou! meaning “Encore!” They always have interesting stories about local businesses, Hawaiian culture, and art. I particularly enjoyed its interview with the creator of Hawaiian Ola noni beverages that I love drinking for an energy boost.
For the morning meal service, Economy class passengers received a hot breakfast sandwich, fruit, and a cookie from the Honolulu Cookie Company. I decided to have some guava juice with my meal as well.
I ate the fruit first which was nothing spectacular, but it was refreshing. The sandwich was really heavy and tasted mostly like buttery biscuit to me. I’m not usually keen on biscuits, but I ate the whole thing hoping that it would help me fall asleep; it definitely did.
My favorite part of the meal was the chocolate chip macadamia cookie. I love these cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company but rarely buy them because I find them to be a bit pricey, so I was excited to enjoy one for free on the flight.
After the meal service, I tuned in to one of the free Hawaiian music radio stations and dozed off.
I woke up a little over an hour before we landed just in time to receive my complimentary snack and cocktail. The cocktail was Hawaiian rum punch made by the Koloa Rum Company. The premixed cocktail had Koloa white rum from Kauai, lilikoi (passionfruit), orange, guava puree, and locally sourced cane sugar. I was worried it would be too sweet for me, but it was actually really well-balanced and delicious with my Sweet Maui Onion Hawaiian Chips.
Although we left SFO a little late, we landed in Honolulu on time at 11:45am. Overall, our flight was smooth and enjoyable as all of my flights with Hawaiian Airlines have been. I really appreciate the effort that they put in to making passengers feel comfortable and welcomed.
Now let’s take a look at my return flight:
Two weeks later, my family and I returned to SFO with Hawaiian Airlines. On this flight, I was really looking forward to the afternoon meal service since the airline usually serves a stir-fry and rice which is one of my favorite comfort meals in economy class.
On this flight, I had a chicken and vegetable stir-fry with white rice, coleslaw, and a cookie from Honolulu’s La Tour Bakehouse. Complimentary red or white wine was offered with this meal, but I opted for a POG (passion orange guava) juice instead.
I fought the urge to fall asleep and stayed up for the majority of this flight reading and glancing out the window. I love when I can catch the sunrise or sunset during a flight and was happy to see the sun setting shortly before we landed at SFO. It was a beautiful way to end a long vacation.
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