Okay, here’s the back-story.
The night before our return flight back home to Sydney, we received a cancellation email from Jetstar Airlines informing us that our early flight has been cancelled due to engine problems. We had a choice of choosing an alternate flight in replacement of the cancelled flight. Dazed and confused we chose a later flight thinking that we would be on a Jetstar aircraft. Jetstar did not give us any further information other than that we had a later flight, but luckily I had an app called “Checkmytrip” an independent app no affiliations with Jetstar, Hawaiian Airlines or myself, it registered the flight was with Hawaiian Airlines.
With no further information, or access to a phone to contact either airline, we told our Uber to take us to Hawaiian Airlines entrance at their airport. Anxious that we have made a big mistake following an independent app, we were relieved when the elderly check-in lady ordered us to weight our pieces of luggage one at a time. The app was correct. Imagine if I had ignored my intuition and asked the Uber to take us to the Jetstar entrance instead. I am not sure with how large Honolulu airport is, but it looked like it would have been in another building altogether.
As a rule of thumb, I always try to fly to destinations with their nation’s national airline, but since there was a Jetstar promo, we decided to take advantage of it and see the difference. On average when I was researching Hawaiian Airlines it registered as $700AUD-$800AUD per adult person on the season of late February 2019 on “Skyscanner.com”, so we took advantage of the $600AUD promo fare with Jetstar all luggage included 25kg per person, with premium seat choices. I guess these additions added and smoothly transferred us to a premium economy seating on Hawaiian Airlines.
As we gauged our situation uncomfortably as we waited in line and played our Airline roulette game, we were relieved the queue moved quickly. The lady who served us should be aware of her resting bitch face (r.b.f) and the matching customer service voice that went hand in hand with it. Nonetheless, her accepting our passports and ordering our luggage to be weighed one by one, was a relief that we were at the right place. So the rudeness becomes a distant memory.
This is the first time I have flown with Hawaiian Airlines. If I had known it will only be $100AUD-$200AUD difference to experience Hawaiian hospitality and influence my trip to Hawaii, I would have considered it. You may have read me saying before that the nation’s airline, sets the tone for the country you are travelling to, and I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t choose Hawaiian Airlines to start off my Hawaiian trip.
The Cabin ambience from memory is clean, tidy and seasoned. The flight attendants are calm, warm and attentive to requests. Constantly hydrating their passengers with water or other beverages. I was pleasantly surprised that on a non-stop 10-hour flight back to Sydney, the toilets were kept tidy and smelling pleasant.
I am 5’5 tall, and I found the seat allowance more than enough. It may have been that we paid extra for our Jetstar seating, that we were seated in Premium Economy on Hawaiian Airlines. My husband midway through the flight walked all the way to the back to exercise his legs, telling me that the basic economy was left with limited seating room and the spaces looked cramped.
My seating was comfortable throughout the flight, as I was able to snooze here and there. It was a full flight on economy prices, I guess you really do get what you pay for.
On Jetstar Airlines, they do not provide food at all, unless you pre-order it online along with your luggage allowance and seating choice. So my partner and I were surprised to receive free food, twice. Dinner and breakfast, both only had one choice. You either ate or you didn’t. Coming from an expectation of not being fed, we were grateful this was included in the service Hawaiian Airlines provided.
Entertainment on Hawaiian Airlines was plenty. Latest movies, tv shows, music and games. I thoroughly enjoyed being schooled on Hawaiian culture in their lifestyle shows that catered mostly for the hordes of Japanese tourists that Hawaii attracts. The standard touch-screen was available for every economy seating, no lagging like in some other Airlines. The screen is fixed into the front seat and will not move in any direction.
For 2 adults return flight to Honolulu, it cost us $1,238.
• Cool, calm and attentive flight attendants
• Hawaiian Lifestyle shows covers places to visit and things to see
• Free Hawaiian vanity kits, remember those from the 1990s?
When there are Upsides, you would expect some negatives to balance the act, right? All I can remember was the lady that checked us in, and even mentioning her is probably not fair, because it was 9am in the morning and she’s probably had to deal with some real a**holes before us, and she hasn’t had her coffee, and she goes home to a thankless husband who orders her to cook Poke bowls every day, paying the mortgage, favourite dog died yesterday, kids don’t call home. You get the idea.
Though we didn’t anticipate this experience, I would have booked Hawaiian Airlines for our go-to Airline to Honolulu, if only I knew it was going to change the entire experience.
There is definitely a difference in flying Hawaiian Airlines, you feel the spirit and island of Hawaii. It may not be the latest shiny toy some people expect, but you’ll get it once you get there. Mahalo.
Disclaimer: Please note I have not been paid or sponsored to do this review. This write-up is based on my own opinions, research and experience. Pictures used are personally taken, unless stated otherwise. I hope you find it helpful.
Visited on: February 2019
Free Vanity Kit
Dinner, no choices
Breakfast, sandwich and Hawaiian chocolate