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.