01. Introduction: San Diego to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines
02. Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 first class San Diego to Honolulu
03. Hanging out in Waikiki for the weekend
04. Hilton Waikiki Beach
05. Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club, Honolulu
06. Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 first class Honolulu to San Diego
Ahhh, Hawaii. Without a doubt my favorite place on earth. My introduction to the islands came way back in May of 1998, and it was love at first sight despite the mild case of food poisoning I ended up bringing home with me. I fell in love with the place so deeply (and so fast) that I’ve been going back on a semi-frequent basis ever since. I say “semi” though because it’s been almost three long years since I’ve last been there. Wow, has it really been that long? Yeah…I’ve been feeling the itch to go back.
Things have been getting busy at work again, so before booking the reservations I knew that it wouldn’t be possible to get away for more than a few days. And that’s ok – Hawaii is relatively easy to get to from San Diego, with a slew of nonstop flights from both Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines. But as far as I was concerned, Alaska Airlines wasn’t even an option for this trip. Don’t get me wrong – I like AS a lot. As a matter of fact, they are one of my favorite airlines! But when going to Hawaii, how could anyone choose anything but the flag carrier? To make the argument more compelling, those HA A330’s are much more interesting to this aviation nerd than any AS 737 could ever be. I know, I know. Most people don’t care one way or another about the airline or aircraft type and all they just want the cheapest fare no matter who may be offering it. I’m not like that – I’d rather go for the “complete” experience.
To make things even better, I found a pretty good deal on first class fares by simply experimenting with different departure and return dates. I was semi-flexible in that regard, so it was nice to be able to try different options to see how low I could get the price.
Here’s the itinerary I ended up with:
11/6/15 HA15 first class San Diego to Honolulu – A330-200
11/8/15 HA16 first class Honolulu to San Diego – A330-200
I should point out that this is not my first time on Hawaiian Airlines. I’ve flown with them to Hawaii on two occasions in the past from San Diego, but all segments have been on the 767-300. I actually booked my last trip with them when it was scheduled to be the A330 (January 2013), but they changed things a bit a few weeks before departure and the flights were downgauged to 767’s several days a week. Unfortunately, my travel dates were affected. A total bummer, but really – how bummed could one possibly be when going to Hawaii? Yeah, I got over that one real quick.
This would be my first time on Hawaiian Airlines’ A330’s, as well as the first time I’ve tried their first class product. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much simply because I knew that Hawaiian’s first class seats are pretty much like what you would find on any other domestic US airline (though they have just announced the details of a new lie-flat first class seat). The service was something to look forward to, however – those trips I’ve done in HA economy class in the past were pretty good, and I like the way that the flight attendants make you feel like your Hawaiian vacation has already started the moment you step onboard the plane.
So let’s have a look at the Hawaiian Airlines first class experience, shall we?