Hawaiian Airlines offers a friendly, comfortable product onboard its A330-200 in first class. My flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu certainly put me in the Hawaiian mood.
I used points to book my ticket. The ticket was $500, which equates to 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. But since I burned them via my Business Platinum account, I will receive a 35% rebate, meaning the trip will actually cost 32,500 miles. That’s not too bad for a six-hour flight with lie-flat beds that will also earn miles and elite credit.
Hawaiian departs out of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport. Unlike in Honolulu, first class passengers do not have lounge access prior to their flight. I had checked in online and was traveling with hand baggage only, so I proceeded straight to the PreCheck line to clear security. Boarding began 45 minutes prior to departure.
Los Angeles (LAX) – Honolulu (HNL)
Monday, February 18
Depart: 07:00 AM
Arrive: 11:26 AM
Duration: 06hr, 00min
Seat: 3J (First Class)
I was first to board and was warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by a flight attendant standing at the door. She directed me left to my seat in first class.
Hawaiian Airlines A330 First Class Seat
Hawaiian Airlines’ A330s features three rows of 2-2-2 seating in first class, totaling 18 seats. The seats are a bit narrow and not found on any other U.S. carrier, but I found them to be comfortable for the 5.5 hour journey to Honolulu.
I spent the majority of the flight in the lie-flat mode and slept well despite the poor bedding onboard. Hawaiian offers what amounts to an economy class pillow and premium economy blanket on its flights between the Mainland and Hawaii (with the exception of the flagship New York JFK to Honolulu route). Longhaul international routes do offer better bedding in the premium cabin.
If traveling alone, a privacy divider can be extended between you and your seatmate.
I was sorry to see that Hawaiian has not done a great job of maintaining these relatively new seats. There were all sorts of dents, cracks, and abrasions all over the seat and tray table.
There’s a small area for storage at the bottom of the seat in front of you and each seat has a power outlet.
Hawaiian Airlines A330 First Class Meal
Prior to takeoff, passengers were offered a choice of guava juice, water, Prosecco, or Mai Tais in real glasses. I know it is nothing but sugar water, but I enjoy guava juice when flying on Hawaiian…it puts me in the Hawaiian mood.
Menus were distributed just before takeoff and orders taken takeoff. Drink orders, that is. The menu did not offer a choice of breakfast. Here’s the full menu:
Despite the 7:00 AM departure time, Hawaiian served brunch onboard. The meal began with salted macadamia nuts.
Next came a small fruit plate with a side of croissant, served warm. The meal came on a faux-wood tray table similar to what both Alaska and Delta use. With the exception of the honeydew, the fruit was ripe and sweet.
The main course was a quiche with eggs, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes served with Portuguese-sausage on the side. It was attractively served, piping hot, and hit the spot.
Next came chocolate cake, which seemed totally unnecessary but I suppose completed the brunch. I just had a few bites with some coffee.
Hawaiian uses Lion Coffee, grown in Honolulu, which was just okay…not great but not bad.
After my three-hour nap, I ordered a Mai Tai, which was served with snack mix. The Mai Tai is very sweet and could have used a lot more rum and a lot less juice.
Thus, I switched to the “Tropical Landing” cocktail, which was guava-juice based, prior to landing. It was served with Maui sweet onion potato chips. You may be best just sticking to water.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the brunch on Hawaiian. I also appreciate that economy class still receives free meals.
Hawaiian Airlines A330 First Class Service
One thing I appreciated so much about Hawaiian was the kindness of the flight attendants. They were kind and friendly, which makes such a difference. The two female FAs working the first class cabin were native Hawaiians and were also quite attentive. Throughout the flight, they would take turns monitoring the cabin for beverage refills.
Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 First Class Lavatories
Two lavatories located in front of the cabin were decorated with banana leaves and flowers. Hawaiian-branded coconut soap was offered.
Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
Hawaiian Airlines does not have built-in IFE aboard the A330. Each passenger in first class was offered an iPad loaded with movies, games, and TV shows while the same tablets were available to rent (for a fee) in economy class.
The noise canceling headphones were not great at all but did the trick.
It really takes some maneuvering to get the little stand out of the center console to support the seat. I would not call it a design flaw, but it took some serious force to push down the round button to release the metal arm that would support the iPad.
The iPads were fully charged and no charging cables were distributed with them. FAs picked them up about 45-minutes prior to landing.
Hawaiian Airlines does not offer wi-fi onboard.
Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 Journey Pictures
It was an absolutely beautiful day from Los Angeles all the way to Honolulu. Here are some pictures I sanpped out of my window during the journey.
I like how Hawaiian puts you into the Hawaiian spirit. The pre-boarding Hawaiian music, flowers in the lavatory, and Aloha spirit of the flight attendants made for a pleasant flight.
We landed ahead of schedule in Honolulu and it was not even 11:00AM yet: the whole day was ahead of me.
I don’t care about spelling errors (some of the most successful people I know send emails that look like a third grader wrote them), but given your post about the spell check thing the other day, this made me laugh (like laugh out loud): “stsausageuage.” LOL WHAT!? hahaha 🙂 Happy Friday!
I’m quickly finding that Grammarly is missing a whole lot.
Why not just ask the flight attendant for a little bottle or two of the complimentary rum that you could add to the weak Mai Tai? I also like to add extra lime to counter the sweetness.
I don’t see them monopolizing flights to the Hawaiian Isamds much longer with all the issues and bad publicity they’ve been getting in the news lately! It seems everyday you turn on the news or read the newspaper something has happened. Passengers are not going to be very happy with having to lose a day or 2 of their vacation and making adjustments!!!! Can’t wait for Southwest to start selling tickets and have the price fare wars begins amongst the airlines!! This may be the beginning of the end for Hawaiian
They’ve ALREADY lost me as a customer after my attempt to fly home with my family out of Kona and they locked me out of the plane with my family and 4 kids on board! The most messed up part I was AT THE GATE the entire time trying to wait for an answer to see if the gate agent could take my car rental keys. They never knew about “will call” at check-in and neither did I. That 10-15 wait cost me getting onto to plane!!! #hawaiianairlines has STILL to respond to me even after numerous emails and postings to their website!!!! 6.5 months without a response is pretty bad!! In my book I don’t think they really care too much about Ohana nor have much Aloha…..
I don’t think its Hawaiian Airlines issue that you were late for your flight. When booking flights there is a disclosure on all airlines on how much time you need to check in for your flight. I feel its not a gate agent’s responsibility to take your car rental keys. Those employees are already under a lot of stress, the last thing they want to worry about is your car rental keys. When signing the rental agreement form, you are solely responsible for returning all property to the rental car agency, not a gate agent. Hawaiian Airlines states on their website that you are advised to check in 1.5 hours on all Neighbor Island flights. And as far as bad publicity, every airlines has had their share of mishaps. Hawaiian Airlines may have lost you as a customer, but they have been the only airline in business to survive in this neighbor island aviation business. Good luck with your future travels.
Hawaiian Airlines is horrible at communicating ANY information to its customers, especially during delays. A friend of my recently experience a cancellation with them and they promised a hotel room would be ready for them if they went to the specified hotel. At the hotel, they found out Hawaiian hadn’t even made contact with the property. Hawaiian is now saying to send them their receipts for reimbursement, but I’m not holding my breath for them. Heck, my wife canceled a flight she paid with gift cards, and it took them about 2 months to put the balance back on her gift card after initially saying it would take 7-10 days. And every time she’d call, it’s always the same response.
That is unfortunate that happened to your Wife and friend. I’m hoping Hawaiian Airlines got word of all this mishap. Then again what can you expect from an airline that pays their gate agents $10.92 an hour. Hopefully they will respond soon to all your inquiries. Safe travels.
Right? But they don’t seem to care anyway. Heck, their cancellations seem like they’re becoming more frequent too, so ♂️. Thanks for the concern, by the way. At least my wife got her money back. Eventually.
@Matthew, nice review! I may be wrong, but Economy Class has built-in IFE on HA’s A330s. It’s so odd (not to mention cheap) for them to hand out tablets in F. :-/ Also, it’s too bad that they have a single choice for the main course. Do they at least offer special meals?
It’s unfortunate that Grammarly isn’t really working out. You’d think it would catch something like that. 🙁
You are right about the IFE. Odd indeed.
Those two economy seats right behind the first class bulkhead and immediately in front of the bulkhead for doors 2L and 2R! Those seats seem to be the better Y seats onboard. Semi-private, no seats in front or back of you. That’s all I could see when viewing the cabin photos.
Hawaiian is overrated.
The frequent flyer program sucks.
The international business-class product is uncompetitive with the 2x2x2 configuration, especially with premium Asia–Hawaii routes and even Australia.
Catering is very weak; especially wines.
PLEASE ADD A SUBSCRIPTION BY EMAIL OPTION.
Does’ HA First Class have premier security line at LAX? Will be flying from LAX to HNL tomorrow afternoon and just wondering.
I did not see it. I had PreCheck, but there did not appear to be special line.
We have flown HA from LAX to Honolulu and Kahului four times this past year and every time we are directed to the line on the left for TSA Pre-check. Next flight is Wed. 6-12-19. Will give you an update.
I can’t wait to board this plane type in first from SFO-OGG, later in the year.
Originally had booked economy extra comfort, but got it changed. I think your review helped ‘justify’ my decision .
Seems to be a fairly comfortable way to spend a 5.5 hour flight and arrive rested.
Enjoy your flight!