Flying Hawaiian Airlines Between the Islands

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On our recent anniversary trip to Hawaii, we “island hopped” from Oahu (Honolulu) to Maui.  Ideally our final, and only Hawaiian, destination would have been Maui, as Oahu wasn’t really an ideal stopping point for this trip.  However, due to the fare sale we got in on, having a little stop in Honolulu was necessary.  If you want to catch-up on our Hawaii adventure thus far, here are the other posts.

There are a few airlines that can get you from island to island, but my favorite is Hawaiian Airlines.  I like that they often fly Boeing 717s between the islands, and their customer service seems to be pretty good.  Of course, these flights are often in the 20-30 minute range, so as long as the flight is safe and relatively on-time everything else really is just a bonus.  If you book in advance, you can often get flights between the islands for $70 – $80 range each direction, so these flights aren’t a huge investment even if you are paying out of pocket, however you can also often use miles.  I have an entire post dedicated to miles and points options for these island hopping flights in this post.

On one of our flights, our desired time was not available on Hawaiian miles (that we got from getting the co-branded Hawaiian card from Bank of America that I can’t seem to find online right now), so we bought the ticket with cash.  For the other, we used 7,500 Hawaiian miles.  We were offered a chance to “buy up” to first at check-in for $50.  This is a common occurrence, and it will save you from the checked bag fee as well as provide you lounge access (and time for a drink or two on the flight).  If it were just me flying I would have passed, but my husband is bigger and likes having extra space whenever possible.  Also, this was a “special” trip, so I wasn’t going to protest spending a little extra.

Hawaiian Airlines Premier Lounges:

There are Hawaiian Airlines lounges available in the locations shown below (taken from this site).

HawaiianMiles Premier Club Locations

We visited the lounge in Honolulu before our flight to Maui, and thankfully I already knew to keep my expectations pretty low.  Getting into the lounge was as simple as showing our first class boarding pass.  Finding a chair took a bit of waiting until another party left.  In the meantime, we were able to help ourselves to soft drinks or juice.  There is complimentary internet, but you do need to get the password which was kept near the front desk on a small piece of paper.

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I’m glad we had a place with internet to get a little bit of work done while waiting for our flight, but this was absolutely the most bare-bones lounge I have ever visited…and that is saying a lot.  It wasn’t a bad place to visit by any stretch, it just didn’t have very much to offer beyond internet and a soda.  Still, that is all we needed, so it met our needs.

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Hawaiian Airlines Flight:

We chose seats 1A and 1B, and if given the choice I do highly recommend a window seat on these island flights.  We flew over Molokai and Lanai, and it was neat to get a peak at those islands that we have yet to visit.  The seats were clean and certainly comfortable enough for our very short flight.20130913-113405.jpg

I liked the reminder to not put your stinky feat on the bulkhead!

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They asked what in-flight beverages we wanted prior to departure, and it was served shortly after take-off along with a small snack package.

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We enjoyed our brief flights on Hawaiian and would absolutely use them again for our hops between Hawaiian islands.  What have your experiences been on Hawaiian Airlines?

Comments

  1. Between the islands, Hawaiian is the best. Google reviews or talk to travel agents about the other airlines and you will see why. We also recently flew HA between LAX and OGG in economy and I have to say they were better than the DL and AA flights running the same route. It was more of a relaxed vibe and we were surprised that they started serving a meal. One key point about the lounge: many of Hawaii’s airports (like Kona) are open air or have significant areas with no AC. On hot humid days you may appreciate the AC comfort of the lounge.

  2. We just returned from a similar trip Labor Day week…LAX-HNL-OGG RT on HA. We didn’t upgrade, but used our PriorityPass membership that comes with AMEX Platinum for access to Admiral’s Club. It was a bit spartan compared to others, but pretty decent.

  3. Have flown over 50 interisland segments on Hawaiian this year. How many of them delayed by more than 10 minutes? 0. That’s what’s great about Hawaiian.

  4. I also took HA from OGG to HNL last month and was pretty impressed that on the 18 min flight they actually went through the entire Y cabin and offered a water or juice cup! I think that on a comparable mainland flight on a legacy airline, they would use the short flight time as an excuse not to have any service.

  5. We LOVE HA! Living in Phoenix, we are fortunate to be able to fly them direct to HNL. We enjoy starting our vacation as soon as we board with the Hawaiian music being played and the overall theme of the cabin. We what we like most is the 2x3x2 configuration and being on a 767 so that our family of four can split up two and two – don’t mind coach at all when sitting either next to my hubby or one of our girls and no one else next to us. Also love being able to “walk the aisles” on the lengthly flight. The staff on the ground and in the air are very friendly. Other benefits are being able to use AA miles on HA — ideal for our family and miles/points goals.

  6. Hawaiian is by far the best inter-island carrier. We made the mistake of flying GO! airlines the last time we were there. What was planned to be a two and a half hour hop between three islands ended up being a nine hour day. All the flights were late we were even removed from flights we were seated on because nobody counted how many people were ticketed versus how many seats were on the plane. We were never offered anything to make our travel easier even though we asked. We learned from talking to people in Kona, Honolulu, and Lihue that the only decent airline for inter-island travel is Hawaiian.

  7. I was able to book a few island hopper flights for later this fall using United miles. We are “infrequent” flyers, so it was nice to find out that my husband had enough miles accumulated to cover our necessary flights.

    Thanks for the information about the first class upgrade value.

  8. I like the sticker about not putting feet on the bulkhead. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a Southwest flight and have seen a guy with his shoes off, feet up on the bulkhead. What is wrong with these people!!! It just drives me crazy, I can’t believe people think that’s appropriate. I’m not Miss Manners or anything, but even I know that’s wildly inappropriate.

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