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Posted on Oct 15, 2013 | 6 comments

Airlines Review: Hawaiian Airlines

Airlines Review: Hawaiian Airlines

On our last trip to Hawaii, we flew Hawaiian Airlines. Actually, we fly Hawaiian Airlines every time. Our first experience went so well and we’d heard some pretty bad horror stories about other airlines that fly to the Hawaiian Islands, that we never saw any reason to fly another airline. Hawaiian Airlines has won our commitment to fly with them and rightfully so.

On Time Record

Many times Hawaiian Airlines has been rated #1 for being on time for flights to Hawaii. There is no being on Island Time when it comes to Hawaiian Airlines. Most of the time this has been true for us. However, we’ve had two times that our fight has been delayed. Both times were due to a plane malfunction that needed to be addressed before take-off.

The first time we got delayed, something needed to be fixed on the plane. When they realized it was going to take a while to repair, they found another plane for us. The second time, a sensor went off that the brakes needed to be checked right before we were going to take off. The pilot thought it was a malfunctioning sensor since the brakes had just checked fine, but he said it was important to make sure the breaks would work before we took off.

Yes, we had to wait, but they constantly gave us updates with what was going on and no one missed their connecting flights. I would much rather have to wait a bit to make sure everything was in proper order before taking off then to find out once we were in the air that something really was wrong.

Baggage Fees

One thing we don’t like about Hawaiian Airlines is their baggage fees. It’s $25 to check your first bag and $35 for the second bag. There are a few ways around these fees such as flying first class or having one of their rewards cards. Of course, those all take a bit of funds to get and it’s cheaper to pay the baggage fees.


Like other airlines, they board first class first followed by award card holders, and then those who need extra time to board. After that they start to board flights from the back of the plane forward for all flights to Hawaii. If you are taking an inter-island flight, all seat rows 4 and up board at the same time.


Once on board, Drew and I are happy for their wide body planes that allow us to share a two seat row. This way I get my favorite window seat, he gets his aisle seat, and we get to sit next to each other. No compromising on who has to give up their preferred seat. These planes also offer more leg room, a roomier, cleaner cabin, and more comfortable seats. The seats on Hawaiian Airlines are wider than seats on many other airlines and each seat back comes with its own shapeable head rest for additional comfort.  As far as I know, Hawaiian Airlines is the only one who offers wide body planes to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines

Brunch on Hawaiian Airlines. The pineapple was perfect.

Food and Drink

Hawaiian Airlines offers complimentary meals, snacks, and drinks on all of their Trans-Pacific, South Pacific, and Asia flights. While flying with them we’ve enjoyed their brunch, lunch, and dinner. All of them hit the spot and provided more than enough to satisfy us while flying.

On our most recent flight to Hawaii, we received a fresh fruit tray with cheese, crackers, Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolates, water, and a can of Hawaiian POG (Passionfruit, orange, and guava juice). We loved that instead of plastic utensils, they provided us with a metal fork. Later in the flight, they served us Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion chips and a Koloa Breeze rum punch cocktail. The cocktail was strong and free.

Hawaiian Airlines

Having a free cocktail hour about 90 minutes before landing sure does help the time fly!

On our way home, we were first served a drink and Pau Hana Snack Mix. Later for dinner, we received a large Hawaiian sweet roll filled with kalua pork, a side salad with dressing, Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolates, water, and a complementary glass of wine. Hawaiian Airlines is great with the complementary drinks that they offer and readily available water throughout the flight.

If that doesn’t meet your fancy, you can opt to purchase an upgraded meal at the gate or purchase additional items at their in-flight snack bar. They have many different items at their snack bar from cups of soup to gourmet popcorn to all kinds of Hawaiian treats. They even have leis and souvenir items for purchase, if needed.


Their flights offer state-of-the-art interactive entertainment systems at every seat with a variety of audio and video options.  There’s a USB port in case you need to charge your phone or tablet in flight. Even better, they offer the award-winning magazine, Hana Hou in the back of every seat pocket that you are welcome to take with you. This magazine is full of insightful views on the people, places, and cultures that make up the Hawaiian Islands. It’s my favorite out of all of their in-flight entertainment.

Hawaiian Airlines

This coconut scented soap makes you want to use the lavatories on Hawaiian Airlines.


The lavatories on Hawaiian Airlines are bigger than any others we have ever been in. There’s actually room to turn around and change your clothes, if need be. The best part is their incredible smelling coconut soap. We’d buy a bottle to bring home with us if they sold it.

Credit Card

As of February 2014, we are happy to say Hawaiian Airlines has a new and improved credit card. With a 35,000 miles sign-up bonus, complementary first checked bag to the cardholder, dozens of ways to earn extra miles, and so much more, the new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard is a great mileage credit card to have. Especially, if you love taking trips to Hawaii as much as we do.
We put all of our purchases through our Hawaiian Airlines cards and to date have earned 5 round trip tickets.

All in all, we love Hawaiian Airlines. It’s one of our favorite airlines to fly and we recommend it to anyone flying between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands. Right now, they have a special offer of Up to 40% OFF Hawaiian Getaway Vacation Packages! Limited time offer. Book today! Until then, we are going to sit back to enjoy our Koloa Breeze rum punches and chocolate covered macadamia nuts while reading our copies of Hana Hou with plenty of room for our legs.

Have you ever flown Hawaiian Airlines? How was your experience?

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


  1. I love hearing about other airlines. After flying A LOT this last year we are starting to really know what we want and what we hate. I love that they serve brunch, never heard of that. Hawaii here we come with Hawaiian Airlines :D
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  2. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was
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  3. I cant agree more with EVERYTHING mentioned in this write up. We recently flew Hawaiian Airlines and LOVED it. Our son and daughter flew another airlines and had both flights cancelled, rescheduled and lost a day of our family vacation.

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