Hawaiian Airlines is retrofitting its Airbus A330 aircraft with lie flat business class seats. They’ll have three rows of six seats, so only the middle seats have direct aisle access, but it’s generally a good product for Hawaii flying.
The product launched in June, and they’ve been adding US West Coast flights. New international routes will be getting the seats before the end of the year.
We’ll see them on Tokyo, Brisbane, and Auckland (December 5) as well as Sydney (December 13).
There’s reasonable business class availability between Honolulu and Tokyo and also Honolulu and Brisbane especially.
Here’s 2 passengers in business class to Tokyo:
And to Brisbane:
American Express points transfer to Hawaiian. And you can redeem miles with American AAdvantage, Korean, and Virgin America among others for travel on Hawaiian. (JetBlue is a partner but redemptions are revenue-based and not a great value for premium cabin travel.)
What’s more, there are no fuel surcharges on Hawaiian Airlines.
The problem is that these awards are expensive through many programs:
- Hawaiian charges 105,000 miles one-way for business class between the USmainland and Australia or New Zealand.
- American won’t let you fly Hawaiian between the US mainland and Hawaii, and onward flights between Hawaii and Asia or the South Pacific price as a separate award. That makes these flights expensive.
- Virgin America charges separately for awards between the mainland and Hawaii and then from Hawaii to points beyond.
- Korean charges for each segment separately as well, so it’s an award from the US to Hawaii, and from Hawaii beyond. That makes Australia 200,000 miles roundtrip.
- ANA only allows redemption for inter-island Hawaii flights
So these new seats, and this availability, is fantastic for residents of Hawaii and for folks in Australia, New Zealand and Japan looking to go to Hawaii.
They can be used by mainland US residents, but the awards are expensive.
(HT: Traveling for Miles)