Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

My Hawaiian Airlines flight experience

Looking down at Kihei on my Honolulu-Kahului flight yesterday afternoon


I just returned from visiting family in Texas with Hawaiian Airlines. This was my first US mainland trip since pre-Covid and it was wonderful to reconnect with family and meet my new niece!

We collect Hawaiian Airlines miles, so I opted to fly into Austin so I could redeem my miles. I will admit, I really like Hawaiian Airlines, and this post may seem a bit like an airline commercial, lol.

Did you know?

Federal regulations require mask wearing within airports and also while in flight, unless actively eating or drinking. Unfortunately my seat neighbor on the way home chose to have a drink in front of him for the entire 8 hour return flight from Austin to Honolulu. He figured this allowed him to leave his mask off most of the flight. Yes, due to Hawaii’s stringent travel rules I know he was either tested or vaccinated, but still…. not cool, man.

A few of the perks of flying Hawaiian Airlines

  • you still get fed. That’s right – the airline still offers a complimentary meal service on trans-Pacific flights. This is something that many other airlines have apparently stopped. We were served two hot entrees on our 7 1/2 hour (Honolulu-Austin) and 8 hour (Austin-Honolulu) flights. There didn’t seem to be an option to choose between different meals, however I didn’t pay attention if you could request special meals during booking or check-in.
  • they also offer a complimentary alcoholic beverage with your meal
  • get in the spirit of flying to Hawaii in island-themed surroundings


Hawaiian’s current Airbus 330 configuration

I don’t know about you, but I love premium-economy seats. I am tall and I tend to get a little claustrophobic so I am always willing to pay extra for more legroom. Hawaiian flies Airbus 330 planes on many of its trans-Pacific flights. However they also have Airbus 321neos which are single-aisle. I haven’t been on one of those yet.

Have a look at the seat configuration on the right. Typically you enter the plane just in front of the wing between rows 12-14. I prefer seats around row 15 and preferably the left side of the plane for quicker exit. Row 14 you have the toilet wall in front of you and have to place your carry-on in the bin above you during take-off and landing. Rows 11-12 tend to be a little dark and claustrophobic as it’s a small area tucked between first class and the galley.

Premium economy gives you 36 inches pitch (5 inches more than regular economy).

On my flight home I splurged and spent all our remaining miles on a first class ticket. My flight had lay-flat seats – my first experience ever! No I didn’t sleep, but I did enjoy laying flat on my side reading my e-book. Wonderful.

Safe Travels

As I have mentioned many times both on my blog and in the inquiry/booking process, Hawaii still has a mandatory 10 day quarantine period for everyone arriving. If you are fully vaccinated within the US or have a pre-travel Covid test, you can avoid the quarantine. Please check the official Hawaii Travel Covid website for all the details.

On last month’s trip to Canada I had difficulties getting my Safe Travels QR code and had to resort to phoning in (customer service was great). I was expecting to need to do the same again, but this time it went smoothly and I had my QR code within a minute.

Note: I had set up my trip and uploaded my vaccination card a week ago. Then the night before my trip I remembered I had to do the health screening (I did not get a reminder email or anything, so remember to do this). I logged in, it had my upload my vax card again and log my health screening info.

How strict is Hawaii with Covid rules?

My seat mate on my flight back to Hawaii was returning from a Europe trip, so I was quizzing him on Covid rules and procedures. In his words, Hawaii is the strictest with mask wearing etc that he had seen on his current travels. Coming from Texas where mask-wearers were in the distinct minority, Hawaii will be a little different.

  • In Hawaii it is mandatory to wear masks when indoors.
  • On Maui you still need to show proof of full vaccination at all sit-down restaurants.

A little Hawaii for you

Missing Hawaii? I enjoyed the scenery in-flight safety video and thought you might too.