Airline review: Hawaiian Airlines, Airbus A330, Extra Comfort premium economy, Sydney to Honolulu

Airline review: Hawaiian Airlines, Airbus A330 Extra Comfort premium economy, Sydney to Honolulu


Airbus A330 Hawaiian Airlines has 24 in its 63 strong passenger fleet. The airline lately announced it will purchase 10 new 787-9 aircraft with rights to acquire an additional Ten and the 1st of these will join the fleet in 2021.

THE ROUTE


Sydney to Honolulu direct.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME


HawaiianMiles not affiliated with a major airline alliance but points can be earned for Virgin Australia's Velocity program.


CLASS


More Comfort is Hawaiian Airlines' premium economy class which launched in 2014. There are now 68 Extra Comfort seats on each of its A330s.

DURATION


9 hours and 32 minutes covering 8150 kilometers.

FREQUENCY


Daily

THE SEAT


Seat 21A on the window is part of a 2-4-2 configuration. Each Extra Comfort seat is 18 inches 45 centimeters wide with a pitch of 36 inches 91.5 centimeters as opposed to the standard economy seat pitch of 31 inches. My seat reclines six inches 15 centimeters though be careful a few Extra Comfort seats are in front of bulkheads. All economy passengers have a charging port while Extra Comfort passengers as well have an electric power outlet. I break one of my own rules of travel and work for hours on my computer before lying back and sleeping for a solid five or 6 hours.

BAGGAGE


An economy fare includes two checked pieces per person up to 32 kilograms and up to 158 linear centimeters and Two pieces of carry on up to 115 linear centimeters.

CHECKING IN


When I arrive about three hours before the flight the lines are minimal. Staff are relaxed and friendly and check in is an absolute breeze.

COMFORT


Extra Comfort is Zone Tow so you are called to board early. Before take off passengers travelling in those seats are given a small canvas bag containing useful things such as earplugs,  a comb, tissues, eyeshades ,earphones , toothpaste and moisturiser .

Yes many things that used to come standard on international flights but, to be fair flying internationally has never been really affordable than right now. The aircraft feels relatively new and is very clean. The cabin temperature is coolish but absolutely fine if unlike me you are smart enough to be carrying an extra layer. As we fly into the morning sun, crew are vigilant about keeping window shades down so passengers can sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT


Economy passengers have a 9 inch LCD touchscreen monitor. There is a reasonable range of movies like A Star is Born starring Lady Gaga and the 1954 version of the same film with Judy Garland though don't expect as broad a selection on the return flight. The short programs in the Hawaiian Skies section are well deserve watching especially those on Hawaiian food and culture.

SERVICE


Hawaiian Airlines won best Airline staff service in North America at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards and that high standard has been maintained. The service provided by our Ten Honolulu based flight attendants is warm and attentive. An extra blanket is found for me quickly even though it's a relatively full flight. Water is offered regularly there is a calm vibe on board throughout the flight.

FOOD


About an hour of taking off a plastic bag containing a chicken Caesar half wrap fresh apple slices and a shortbread biscuit is served along with the offer of complimentary ,wine, juice, spirits and Hawaii's own Maui Brewing craft beer.

Even though I ate a light meal at the airport as well as the meal on the plane I'm hungry again a few hours into the flight. Snacks are available for purchase and 11$US gets me a big bag of delicious salty little fried things and a massive chocolate bar. About 1.5 hours before we land a typical US airline style breakfast of omelette, roast potatoes, chicken sausage, fruit and a muffin is served.

ONE MORE THING


While landing cards are being handed out there is an announcement made to remind passengers what date we will be landing in Honolulu and the flight number. Seems like a small thing but it's a handy touch because I have almost always lost my ticket stub by then. Hawaiian Airlines has a comprehensive and easy to navigate website that offers information for passengers with a disability and those travelling with children.

THE VERDICT


For an extra 179$A per sector or $189 if you purchase at check in between Australia and Hawaii I think Extra Comfort with its generous legroom and increased recline is really good value. A bit more food preferably served in reusable or recyclable containers and it would be perfect.

OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE


4.5

Elspeth Callender traveled as a guest of Hawaiian Airlines and Outrigger Resorts. Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly state the price for Extra Comfort was 165$ per sector.


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