No! The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club in Honolulu is *not* worth it.

No! The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club in Honolulu is *not* worth it.

Complaining about an airline lounge is a lot like being annoyed with the way in which a bowl of ice cream was prepared. It’s a petty thing to be miffed about, I know, but I’m going to say it anyway: the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club at the Honolulu Airport (HNL) straight up sucks.

There is nothing “premier” or “club-like” about this lounge. It’s incredibly small, seating options are limited, and there is no food. Coffee and soda / juice is available, but it doesn’t matter anyway since you probably won’t want to spend any time here.

And thus begins probably one of the most tone deaf reviews that I’ve ever written here on…

Where is the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club located at HNL?

The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club is located in Terminal 1 near the entrance Concourse A at the Honolulu International Airport. I find the location to be mostly convenient if you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines. I say “mostly” because it’ll be really far out of the way if you’re flying out of the far end Concourse A (gates A1-12).

Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Location Honolulu
The location of the Premier Club at the entrance of Concourse A is decent, but it probably would have behooved them to hide it a little better. They should feel embarrassed to have it so out in the open like this!
Hawaiian Airlines premier club entrance Honolulu Airport
The fact that there is a sectioned off area for guests waiting to get into this lounge completely blows my mind. I can think of a lot of things I’d stand in line for, but the HNL Premier Club ain’t it.

If you’re having a hard time finding the Premier Club, don’t worry. I don’t mean to sound like a Debbie Downer or anything, but…it’s not really worth visiting anyway.

The layout of the Honolulu Premier Club Lounge

There’s really not much to say about the layout of the HNL Premier Club. It consists of one small room broken up with several dividers. Technically, it consists of three rooms if you count the men’s and women’s bathrooms.

Hawaiian Airlines premier club layout Honolulu Airport
The saddest thing about this pic is that I could end the review right here and you’d still have a very clear idea of what this lounge is all about. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

The best way to describe the layout of this lounge to tell you that it feels exactly like the waiting room at any busy(ish) hospital here in the US. It’s just got that vibe to it – complete with the smell of stale coffee.

Hawaiian Airlines premier club lounge interior
Waiting for a colonoscopy? Or a flight to the mainland? It’s hard to tell really.
Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club lounge inside
Tell me this doesn’t look like the waiting room at your local doctors office!

FYI, despite what you just read, I don’t have a complete and total aversion to “waiting room” style airline lounges. For example, the Air France KLM Lounge at the Munich Airport is about the same size as this one (with a similar layout) – but I actually quite enjoyed it. The difference is the quality of the furniture – as well as the overall style and design.

Seating options

Not that it matters anyway (because I can promise that you won’t want to sit in here), but I’m actually sort of impressed by how many seats they crammed into this place. On the flip side, it represents everything I hate about airport lounges.

Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club seating
Maybe they are trying to encourage social interaction with the dense seating layout? I can tell you with absolute certainty that it encouraged me to leave.

The seating layout is extremely dense. Yes, I can appreciate the wide variety of seating types. You’ll find everything from cushy Barcaloungers to dining tables (that serve no real purpose because of the lack of food).

Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club seats
It’s worth noting that they seem to be changing up the seating layout on a somewhat regular basis. My most recent visit was not like my first visit way back in 2015 (but it still sucked).
Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club couches
For example, they used to have these circular couches which were a lot more comfortable than what they have now (compare with the pics at the top of this review).
Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club overview
Circular couches or not, the fact that you can see the entirety of this lounge in a single pic tells you all you need to know about how cozy it is. “Premier” my ***!

Yeah. The seating situation in the Premier Club is awkward. So awkward, as a matter of fact, that I didn’t even bother to sit down on my latest visit. I took some pics for this review, used the men’s room, and then wasted no time in getting the heck out of there.

Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club bathroom
If it’s available, the toilet will be just as comfortable as any seat you can find out in the main part of the lounge. And it’s private!
Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club men’s room
I think these are the showers? They’re not so private, but if you can deal with the nose pickers and teeth brushers at the adjacent sink, it’s not a bad place to freshen up I guess.

What kind of food do they serve?

You’re kidding, right? I first visited this lounge back in 2015, and back then, they were kind enough to offer little bags of pretzels to go with the slim selection of drinks. On my most recent visit, the snacks were nowhere to be found. It was a stingy selection of drinks only.

Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club food and drinks
Just imagine if you stood in line outside for 30 minutes for this. That better be some damn good coffee!
Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club coffee
At least there looks to be plenty of it. And why am I surprised that they don’t charge by the cup?

Remember when I complained (and make jokes) about the lack of food in my Air Canada Edmonton Lounge review? Thinking back on it, I didn’t know how good I had it.

Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines premier club snacks
How sad is it that I’m able to use this old pic from my first visit in 2015 to accurately represent what the food and drink selection is like in this lounge today? $20 says that WiFi password still works too…

I think it’s the lack of food (any food at all) that annoys me most about the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club. I could easily deal with the awkward seating situation if they at least made an attempt to offer decent snacks.

How to get into the Hawaiian Airlines Lounge at HNL

It’s important to note that the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club is for domestic first class passengers. Yes, you’ll have access to this lounge if you’re flying international first class on Hawaiian Airlines, but that would be stupid since there’s a dedicated lounge for that (it’s called the Plumeria Lounge).

The Premiere Club, on the other hand, is really easy to get into:

  • Hawaiian Airlines first class passengers headed to the US mainland (and neighboring islands) get complimentary access: BTW, flying Hawaiian Airlines A330-200 first class to Los Angeles is how I got in on my most recent visit.
  • Pualani Platinum and Gold members can get in no matter what class of service they are flying.
  • You can also purchase a Premier Club membership. But I don’t know why you would want to do that. 

If you want my opinion (and I assume you do since you’ve made it this deep into the review), don’t stress too much about trying to figure out how to get into this lounge. I really mean it. There is nothing that this lounge offers that you can’t get somewhere out in the main terminal instead.

SANspotter in the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Honolulu
Screw this place. I’m out!

Pros and cons

Writing a negative review of an airline lounge like this makes me feel like a privileged a*****e (to say the least). The Honolulu Premier Club is surprisingly bad in my opinion, but in the grand scheme of things, it might be a neat experience for anyone who has never been inside an airport lounge before. Here are the pros and cons to consider:


  • It’s extremely easy to get into. If you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines first class to the US mainland (or within Hawaii), they’ll welcome you with open arms. For the record, there aren’t any other US airlines that offer lounge access to domestic first class passengers.
  • At the very least, it’s a place to pop in and get a free cup of coffee. It’s probably decent Hawaiian coffee as well, so that’s a bonus.
  • The bathrooms are nicer than the ones out in the main terminal.
  • It’s lame enough to make you not feel so bad about having a short layover in Honolulu. Don’t worry about not having enough time for a visit. You’re not missing anything.


  • Holy **** is it ever awkward. The overall space is so small (and the seating so dense) that I find it to be an extremely uncomfortable place to wait for a flight.
  • The lack of food (even little bags of snacks) straight up ticks me off.
  • It’s noisy. As you might imagine with such a dense seating layout, it’s not a very relaxing place to get any work done.

Comments (9)

  1. Peter

    February 27, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      February 27, 2023
    • Sally

      March 23, 2024
      • Scott (SANspotter)

        March 23, 2024
  2. Daniel

    March 19, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 19, 2023
  3. Jim

    March 22, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 22, 2023
  4. Jim

    March 5, 2024

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