On the 7th of July I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. The first stop was Honolulu. My family and I decided to fly Hawaiian airlines. We’d never flown with them before and their tickets were reasonably priced. Hawaiian Airlines has direct flights to Honolulu from both Auckland and Sydney.
Hawaiian Airlines isn’t your usual airline carrier. It’s more of a passenger airline. It only flies to Hawaii and from Hawaii to various ports. Whilst they do have Business Class and possibly a First Class, these aren’t anything fancy. All you get are slightly bigger seats and lounge access at the airport, if you’re not a frequent flyer.
Hawaiian Airlines also have pricing for different types of seats. For example to buy a ticket it might cost you X amount of dollars. If you pay $100 on top of that, you can get a spacious seat. What are spacious seats? In my case I got the exit row seat. However in other cases, there’s just a little extra legroom. In my opinion unless you can secure yourself an exit row seat this isn’t really worth it. The reason I say this is because, these extra room seats are specially designed to be with extra legroom. These are just seats throughout the aircraft where there is a little extra room.
My experience flying with them was an interesting one. The aircraft crew are very polite and friendly, which is a very good trait of all Hawaiians. The air hostess who’s seat station was right in front of my seat (as I was sitting in the exit row), said a little prayer to herself, as we were about to take off and again when we were about to land. For some reason I really liked this gesture. She’s been flying for years. I don’t like to talk about religion and/or religious stuff on my blogs or via my videos however, I just couldn’t help myself on this one. I’m not really religious, that wouldn’t be a word I use to describe myself at all. Nonetheless both, the takeoff and landing were smooth. I can’t quite recall what they’d served for dinner however I do remember not eating the breakfast. Not because it wasn’t anything good, but we were landing soon and I’d wanted to eat brunch with my family.
Here come the bits I didn’t like. Despite paying extra to have a spacious seat as they call it, the seat itself was far from comfortable. Yes, I had a lot of legroom and I kept juggling between sitting upright and sliding down. Neither of which was comfortable and I got off the plane with intense cramps in my leg. The seat space itself seemed smaller and tighter. The biggest annoyance with an exit row seat is that you don’t have a seat pocket in front of you to keep your things in. You do have a side pocket, however those are usually stuffed with airplane safety information cards etc. with not a lot of room left to keep anything else. I had to hold on to my passport as the person sitting next to me had taken up all of our luggage storage space and I had to put my backpack in a couple of overhead containers behind us and I absolutely hate getting up to take things out of the overhead container.
I also tried really hard but unfortunately couldn’t find the one spot in which I feel comfortable to knock out a few hours of sleep. This made the 12-hour flight go even slower. The TV in exit row seats are usually to the side and on American based carriers it is a tad hard to get them out to work properly. I managed to get mine out and watch, but somehow I just couldn’t shake off the feeling that the passenger sitting next to me was staring at my screen. It didn’t help that I was watching 2 Broke Girls and there were some interesting scenes going on, on my screen. Let’s just leave it at that.
Let me dedicate a paragraph to the passenger seated next to me. You know the great luck that I have when it comes to people sitting in close vicinity to me on the plane. In case you haven’t read my other anecdote about this, you can read this here (link to blog). So the lady sitting next to me, I don’t know her name or her story, all I know is the time we shared together on the plane. She was on her way to Vegas. She was flying to Honolulu and then going over to a friend’s house for that day. Taking a 6am flight the next day and going to Vegas to try her luck for I can’t remember the how manyeth time. She looked like she was ready for the casino right on that flight. Got her hair and make-up did. The entire time it felt like she was staring at my screen, until she finally pulled her screen and started watching whatever it was that she was watching. Here’s a fun fact, she always flies with Hawaiian Airlines and this was her 9th flight with them.
Now back to the good stuff. One of the biggest things that I love about Hawaiian Airlines is their luggage allowance. You can carry 2 bags each weighing 32kgs. That’s amazing! This was definitely one of the things that attracted us towards them, but in our case we couldn’t use this to our advantage. We had several domestic flights and that followed plus our cruise. The domestic flights would not allow for this amount. In case you weren’t aware, flights in America charge for checked-in luggage. If we’d used this allowance that would have become a rather expensive trip for us. However in saying so, Hawaii is rather beautiful and you can do a family trip to Hawaii and visit all the islands and in doing so you can make use of this allowance.
To conclude, this is an airline I’d use if I was making my way back to Hawaii again. I’d also look at options if I’m travelling within the States to try and see what my options are if I’d want to make use of the reasonably priced tickets as well as the luggage allowances that comes with the price. I wouldn’t however recommend this airline if the plane journey is an important aspect for your trip. If you don’t get to fly much and absolutely love flying I would recommend the likes of Air New Zealand or Qantas or so on, but remember their tickets come with a hefty tag.
Have you ever flown with Hawaiian Airlines? What was your experience like? Leave them in the comments below!
Until next time,