For my September Hawaii Trip I planned to visit the 2 major islands I haven’t been to yet, Maui and the Island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island. So, I booked Hawaiian Airlines to fly into Kona, the major airport of the Big Island. They are the only airline to operate a wide body jet to Kona International Airport. Hawaiian uses the Airbus A330 on this route. It is a seasonal route, and this nonstop isn’t on Hawaiian’s schedule anymore.

At the Airport:

Check-In was quick at LAX, with practically no line. Hawaiian operates from Terminal 2, which serves mainly international airlines. The nice thing is that the terminal was renovated recently and has a nice selection of food. I opted for some fish and chips at Slapfish (which were a bit too pricey for my liking, as the Slapfish near home is much cheaper). An order of a fish and chips was $20! And Slapfish is like fast food. The fish was decent tho at least.


But one thing about terminal 2 at LAX is that it isn’t connected to any of the other terminals after security sadly. 🙁

Flight Details:

Hawaiian Airlines 61
Los Angeles (LAX) to Kona (KOA)
Cabin: Economy
Seat: 29J and 26J
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200

Scheduled Departure: 11:15 AM On Time

Scheduled Arrival: 1:55 PM On Time

The Flight:

Short Review (score out of 5, 5 being the best)

Plane Atmosphere 4/5
Food 5/5
Service In- Flight 5/5
In- Flight Technology 3/5
Seat Comfort 4/5


The plane boarded from back to front (after first class and elite passengers) which is quite interesting. There were 5 zones, and I was in zone 4 as I was in the middle of the plane. Personally, I think boarding from back to front is smart so that people sitting in the back aren’t blocked by passengers in aisle the front stowing luggage. A more efficient boarding process.

On the Plane:

The Airbus A330 was configured a 2-4-2 and I had the window seat 29J originally. The plane was quite empty (about 60% occupancy) so I eventually moved up to 26J because the person in front of me reclined so much… I have to say that I think the amount of recline Hawaiian has is too much and bothers the passenger behind you!!! Most of the other airlines I have been on do not let the seats recline so much….


Plane Atmosphere: 4/5

The plane is pretty new, about 5 years old. I do have to say the seats are showing some wear and tear sadly, but the cabin still feels fresh and smells nice. There is mood lighting on this plane lol. And, I love their bathrooms as there is a lot for econ passengers to use (6!) and they are clean and roomy.

Food: 5/5

My my, the food is amazing on Hawaiian. First, Hawaiian is the ONLY airline to serve complimentary meals for domestic Hawaii flights in economy (and US domestic in general). And it’s pretty darn good! The main meal for lunch was a duo of a egg salad sandwich and turkey sandwich paired with coleslaw and a guava cookie. Taste was great.

Also they provided many refreshment breaks. One before the meal (with snacks), one during the meal, tea after the meal and two water services in addition. I had never seen so many beverage services on a short 5 hour hop in economy! Good job Hawaiian! Oh and before I forget there is complimentary wine in economy. Mum said the red wine was pretty good.


Service: 5/5

The service was just amazing. From all the beverage services to the constant checking on passengers, the crew really worked hard for the 5 hour flight. I especially appreciate how many times they came through the cabin to collect trash. They came over 10 times, which some might find a bit excessive but it really just showcased their service trying to make you comfortable for the flight.

In Flight Technology: 3/5

Okay this is the low point of the flight. They have personal TV’s but pretty much everything is a charge ($8 per movie). The only things free are some travel guide shows, music and the map. TV shows and Movies have to be purchased. I had free movies on my last Delta flight to Hawaii AND could do free movie streaming to my device when I flew United to Hawaii. Not impressed on this aspect Hawaiian….

No wifi access on the flight btw, but many airlines do struggle with this service over the Pacific so not blaming Hawaiian for not having it. Flew Virgin America home and they said their wifi would kick in at the end of the year.

Seat Comfort: 4/5

I really didn’t like how much the other seats could recline as it really encroaches on your space. And, the seats weren’t the cleanest sadly. Despite that, the legroom was decent, and the seat was comfortable once I moved, but on a full flight with everyone reclining, you could get pretty claustrophobic.


The Verdict:

Overall, I would definitely fly Hawaiian Airlines from the mainland to Hawaii again. The service is amazing, and the wide body jet is a very comfortable to fly on for a 5 hour flight. Plus, they serve you food in economy! On a funny note: It was really interesting getting off an A330 at Kona with the stairs and walking on the runway haha!