BOSTON – Last week I flew the inaugural Hawaiian Airlines flight out of Boston aboard a widebody A330-200.
Of note, this was the longest domestic flight in US history. Before boarding for this special occasion each passenger was given a traditional Hawaiian Lei. For my 11 hour journey to Hawaii, I was sitting in the premium class cabin, my Seat 3J located in the last row.
I prefer window seats typically though most of the flight, flight attendants asked them to be closed.
The cabin interior incorporates flowing curves evocative of Hawaii’s winds and ocean. Each seat is decked out in very attractive dark leather, with a small pillow attached to the headrest, as well as a large pillow and pink blanket. Hawaii-inspired amenity kits with Lolii natural skincare products compliment the package.
Hawaiian’s bespoke premium class cabin has 18 lie-flat seats, spread across three rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. Though not every seat is direct aisle access, this configuration is ideal for couples traveling together to a leisure destination. The seats are also configured in a way that if you are sitting in the window seat and need to get up you will not disturb the aisle passenger. Of note, Hawaiian’s newly announced 787-9 premium cabin will be 1-2-1 when it debuts in 2021.
Each seat has 76 inches of pitch and is 21 inches wide. An attractive divider screen between two adjoining seats can be raised for privacy in case you are traveling on your own and seated next to a stranger. It’s aesthetic, inspired by a constellation echoes the rest of the cabin’s flair.
A reclining wheel in the arm rest gives you full control of the amount of recline you like.
The seats do seem a little smaller compared to others I’ve flown but I was able to move around with ease and able to feel comfortable in the full lie-flat position.
I’ve flown long-haul premium cabins a handful of times now and know what to expect and what to look for when it comes to service.
Shortly before takeoff the flight attendants came around, introduced themselves and offered a pre-departure drink.
Mind you I am not a big alcohol drinker but of course, I jumped at the chance at the signature Mai Tai cocktail, definitely a good way to start the morning.
Other signature drinks on the menu include the Lychee Vodka Martini and the Li Hing Vodka Gimlet. Also profferred to us was a menu to pre-select our midflight lunch.
Once airborne, the flight attendants reappeared to offer another beverage and Macadamia Nuts as well to distribute iPads for our entertainment.
These particular seats don’t feature an in-seat IFE system, so in-flight entertainment is provided via iPad Pros.
The airline installed a device holder for the iPads, which consisted of a metal arm that pops out of the centre counsel and has a slot designed for the iPads to sit in as well as other tablet devices.
I found the setup to be very manageable. The iPad arm is far enough away to have full use of your tray table and also to use the touchscreen when needed.
As for power, there is one USB port at arm’s reach and AC power available. If you do need to get up, you are able to maneveur around the arm extension.
A very important fact about flying on Hawaiian, there is no Wi-Fi. Don’t freak out but you will disconnected from the world for about 11 hours.
Now the reason there is no Wi-fi as of yet according to Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram is that it’s just not reliable enough over the Pacific. He does not want to invest in something that does not work.
So when the time comes and hopefully soon the airline will look at all the options available to make an investment in a Wi-Fi product that best
Now back to the entertainment options. The Ipad pro comes loaded with several movie and TV options.
I was able to watch five movies during my flight however the selection is not as vast as I’ve seen on other carriers, but it’s sufficient to get you through your flight.
Movies range from a few new releases to blockbuster
Hawaiian Airlines executive chef Lee Anne Wong along with featured chef Eric Oto put together a menu that shares a taste of Hawai’i while onboard by showcasing some of the island’s best offerings.
After departure, a light breakfast is served consisting of your beverage of choice, fresh fruits and croissant.
An army travels on its stomach, and an airplane on an eleven hour flight is no different. A few hours it was time for lunch. A couple of different options are offered; meat and a vegetable option for all you vegetarians out there.
In my case, the first course choice was Frisee Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese and Macadamia But Basil Dressing or a Smoked Salmon.
The Main Course selection was between Rice Cracker Chicken with Shoyu Honey sauce, roasted Brussels Sprouts and Jasmine rice or seasonal vegetables with Miso Beurre Blanc and Truffle Taro Puree.
Dessert was a delightful chocolate hazelnut cheesecake. The presentation of all the meals was flawless and the taste was delicious.
My only issue was there is only one lavatory allocated for the 18 premium class passengers aboard this A330. The lavatory is also shared with the flight crew.
In conclusion the 11 hour flight to Hawaii went off without a hitch. A very smooth flight. No bumps. The flight attendants were very friendly and offered great and efficient service.
It was a senior crew and this was not by accident. Senior crews specifically bid these longer routes.
If you’re traveling from the mainland to Hawaii and want exceptional service, Hawaiian Airlines is definitely one of your better options. A domestic premium cabin product more like International First.