The plane: The A330 seats 294. That's 30 more than the Boeing B767, which translates, over the course of a year to 11,000 additional seats per route. The plane is adorned with the pualani (Flower of the Sky), icon of Hawaii, on the tail of the aircraft; beneath her, a silver maile lei with woven pakalana flowers wraps around the fuselage in a larger-than-life expression of the aloha spirit. Sort of gets you excited about going to the warmer shores of Waikiki.
Class: Economy Extra Comfort, which effectively provides you with five or more inches of legroom, an in-seat A/C power plug, priority services and amenities
Price: Economy Class return tickets are on sale until January 30 from $909, for travel until June 30.
Flight time: No delays — we left on time and 8hrs, 30min later we landed in Hawaii
My seat: We sat in seats 17E and 17G. The seating configuration in the main cabin is 2-4-2.
Fellow passengers: A variety, from young to old, families and couples. I ended up talking to a lovely elderly couple who were going on their annual trip to Hawaii and who gave me great tips on what to do, what to see and where to eat.
How full: Not a spare seat in sight.
Entertainment: From movies, music, games, to magazines, there's something for everyone. Everyone gets a personal LCD touch-screen monitor.
The service: It came with a smile and the cabin crew were always willing to help.
Food and drink: We certainly got into the Hawaiian spirit by firstly being served a choice of drinks accompanied by a Pau Hana Snack mix. During the flight we had a peri peri chicken sandwich, fresh apple slices, a piece of coconut raspberry cake and a choice of beverages.
Prior to landing we had breakfast of scrambled eggs, grilled chicken, roasted tomato and hashbrown potato. There was a muffin and seasonal fruit for dessert.
The toilets: Clean.
Luggage: You could check in two bags up to 32kg each and onboard luggage of 7kg each.
The airport experience: On arrival we had to
queue to check in at the airport self-service kiosks. It's pretty easy and you'll find a Hawaiian Airlines representative ready to assist you. It takes your finger prints and a photo . . . security is quite tight. You identify yourself by entering your confirmation code on your E-Ticket or Hawaiian Miles number, or by swiping a credit or debit card to search by name, then you just follow the user-friendly instructions.
The bottom line: Who wouldn't fly to Hawaii? Because of the flight departure time (12.30am), it enables you to at least try to get some sleep, keeping in the same sleep pattern for when you land. You also gain a day, which means you are ready to shop, shop, shop or surf, surf, surf. The service and flight were great but I was surprised to see they haven't revamped the airport at all — it sort of put me back into a 1980s timezone.