Flying from Honolulu to Seattle on board Hawaiian Airlines

Graham Bell flies from Honolulu to Seattle on board Hawaiian Airlines.

The plane:

Airbus A330-200. Modern with good facilities. Not too worn.

Class: Economy. We paid an extra $100 each for the “extra leg room” option. Money well spent for tall people like me. The extra sum also includes a small pack of toiletries and a set of earphones; plus early “priority” boarding and free movies.

Price: $420 one way — plus that $100 for the leg room.

Flight time: 5hr 40m.

On time: Yes.

Luggage: A generous allwance of one free checked bag each limited to 35kg per bag. Plus the usual carry-on permissions.

How full: 100 per cent. The crew were kept busy.

Fellow passengers: Mostly Hawaiian residents going out and mainland US people going home from their holidays. There was also a smattering of Kiwis on the second leg of a trip from Auckland to Seattle. Mercifully, no screaming babies or difficult travellers in our orbit.

My seat: 16G and 16H for us, next to the starboard window. Nice spot with a good view and reasonably handy to the toilets.

Entertainment: Full access to movies, TV shows, music, etc. This all gets turned off about half an hour prior to landing on HA flights.

Service: Adequate. Its all “aloha” and “mahalo” and smiles — but you get the feeling they are going through the motions.

Food and drink: Adequate but uninspiring. No meal on what is a pretty long flight. There was a snack but it comprised a small sandwich and a cookie, which left us wanting more. The drinks were fine but not plentiful. Alcoholic drinks were on offer twice from the trolley — otherwise passengers could buy them from a mid-plane galley. Plenty of water offered, plus a hot drink with the snack.

Toilets: Standard aircraft toilets are quite adequate. On our other three flights with Hawaiian this trip the toilets were serviced and cleaned regularly; but not on this one and they got dirtier and wetter as time went by. Paper towels and tissues were being left on the floor once the receptacles started filling up. Not acceptable.

Airport experience: In transit for two hours at Honolulu airport was unpleasant. We had to clear customs and immigration into Hawaii before being sent on foot to another part of the airport for our next flight out to Seattle. This meant a long queue waiting for admission to security x-ray and screening for baggage and personnel for all flights out of Honolulu. Seattle airport (SeaTac) was a much more efficient and welcoming experience with a quick exit. No doubt made easier because we were on what is considered a domestic flight.

Would I fly again? We took this option because Hawaiian offered a cost-effective fare that fitted our other plans. However, I think I would opt for Air NZ on a direct flight in future for a better experience and a shorter trip to mainland USA.

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