Hawaiian Airlines First Class Review: Honolulu to Seattle

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After “relaxing” in the Hawaiian Airlines lounge, it was time to head to my gate, where boarding commenced about 10 minutes prior to arrival. On the walk over, there was a really cool look of the gates and surrounding planes. Honolulu’s airport is built on a mixture of outdoor and indoor areas, which make for a really uniques experience.

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Boarding commenced starting with the First Class cabin. It’s interesting to note that Hawaiian refers to international routes as Business Class and domestic routes with First Class, but the only noticeable difference I could see was with the provision of an amenity kit and slippers which were not offered on the Seattle leg.

Sitting down, I found the same 2x2x2 layout as on the trip over to Honolulu. As I wrote about before, the best seats are the center two on the bulkhead, since you’re left with unlimited legroom and no one reclining into you. Unfortunately, those were unavailable for this flight, so I selected a seat in the center section of row two.

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Pre-departure beverages were offered as a choice of guava juice, champagne (well, sparkling wine) or a mixture of both. I had a few of these to try to counter-balance the screaming baby in row 1… Menus were distributed, and we were offered a selection of one appetizer (I had the chicken salad), an entree (I had the moussaka), and one dessert (of only one choice).

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Boarding took only a short amount of time, and we pushed back from the gate early. As the safety video played, the parents of the screaming child in row 1 proceeded to whip out a DVD player of their own to play some sort of kid’s song, loudly throughout the entire cabin. To be honest, I’m surprised the flight attendant didn’t say anything, as it was overpowering the safety video demonstration. About 5 minutes after the safety video finished playing, so did the annoying song (now on repeat), and the baby quickly fell into a lull…

After take-off, drink serviced commenced, along with a plated snack mix, which was really tasty. I actually asked for more of this, and was told they only had enough for what they passed out.

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Soon after, my chicken salad was presented, which was actually really delicious; I almost wish I could have had it as a sandwich for my main meal. The portion was plentiful, too.

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Then, the moussaka, which, like the chicken salad was very good. It didn’t have a rubbery texture at all which was nice.

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The mousse cake wasn’t bad, but wasn’t memorable either.

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After the dishes had been cleared, I watched two movies on the inflight entertainment screen, which popped up from the center console. For whatever reason, this screen was much more modern than my previous flight, despite the seat looking exactly the same, so at some point, it looks like they had installed new systems. Prior to decent into Seattle, drink refills were offered, as well as a small pretzel packet for munching.

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Service on this flight was very good, and very attentive. There was a consistent level of “watching” from the flight attendants, so when your drink ran low, they were quickly in-line to get you a new one. I find Hawaiian’s crew to be some of the best in the US — perhaps it’s all that sunshine in Hawaii!

As we arrived in Seattle and pulled to the gate, First Class was allowed to deplane first, with two flight attendants blocking the rear of the aircraft from exiting. A nice touch, which sometimes isn’t enforced on either airlines.

My Take

This is a good way to get from Hawaii to the mainland, and because it is not a night flight, you’ll be able to relax comfortably in the over-reclining seats. Meal service is above average, but don’t come incredibly hungry, as the portions are just average for what’s on offer.

I’d fly Hawaiian again for sure.

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Comments

  1. Presley says

    Hi. Just curious what one you arrived in Seattle. I’ve been told that tehir mainland flights are rarely on time

  2. says

    AS (3x) and DL (2x) also have direct flights between Seattle and Honolulu. It would be great to see a direct comparison between their soft and hard products. Given it’s a 6 hour flight, in flight comfort would be more important.

    • says

      True. Alaska’s hard product is the same for continental flights so as far as a comparison between Alaska and Hawaiian, Hawaiian takes the lead. Can’t speak on Delta’s front since I don’t fly them regularly.

  3. Pam Huskinson says

    Just flew Delta first class last month SEA-HNL. The plane, as expected, was an old 757 with no in seat IFE. However, the legroom was phenomenal and the breakfast served was actually pretty good. We had the omelette with fried potatoes and fresh fruit on the side. The service was great and the flight attendants came through frequently with snack baskets. We had two movie choices on the overhead screens; the flight went by quite quickly. On our return the meal choices were not that good. It was chicken or pasta. We were in row 3 and the chicken was already gone by the time the flight attendant reached us. My sister was able to get the chicken so we split our meals. The entrees were unimpressive but the salads and cookies and cream ice cream were good. Once again the flight attendants were frequently coming through with bottled water and the snack baskets. I was glad we had iPads with us because they showed the same movies shown going over to Hawaii; I had assumed they would be different. Would I fly them again? Sure…just show different movies on the return! Hope this helps.

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