Fewer First Class Seats Coming to Hawaii Soon

In a move that’s not going to fare well with elites looking for complimentary upgrades to Hawaii, American is reducing capacity on two daily LAX to Honolulu flights, currently operated by a 757 with 24 First Class seats.

Via JonNYCAmerican will transition two of these flights to A321 aircraft, certified for ETOPS (the certification that allows a two engine plane to fly over extended bodies of water) operations. With this change comes the reduction in seats, as capacity moves from 24 First Class seats to 16.

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Here are the two affected flights: American Flight 31 departs LAX at 8:00AM, arriving into Honolulu at 10:55AM. American Flight 297 departs LAX at 4:45PM and arrives into Honolulu at 7:39PM.

Here’s a look at the new A321 layout:

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 9.36.52 PM


How will this effect my upgrade chances?

The good news is that Hawaii flights are generally leisure routes, which means less elite travelers. That said, with less seats available, and fares being competitive, several things will happen:

  • More people will purchase discounted premium fares, reducing available seats.
  • More people will use miles to confirm into First Class from the start.
  • Award availability via LAX to Hawaii will be reduced, since the amount of seats have reduced.

If you want a larger aircraft, try routing through Dallas – for now, the DFW-HNL route is still operated by a 767.

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