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Consolidated "Hawaiian Airlines A330" thread

Consolidated "Hawaiian Airlines A330" thread

Old Jan 10, 15, 12:20 am
  #406  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 921
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Given your parameters, I would suggest 1A. You are in a corner, away from coach class noise. The FAs will be on the other side of the cabin, and after meal service, they will probably close the galley's curtain. It is possible that they could be noisy, if you have a particularly caffeinated and sociable crew. Still, I'd rather be there than in the 3rd row or in the G seats. Hope this helps.
Absolutely. Changing it now. thanks very much!
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Old Jan 14, 15, 5:44 pm
  #407  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: AS MVPG, HA Plat 75k, CA Phoenix Gold
Posts: 119
Does HA Lie Flat Really Make Sense?

This is a highly personal opinion, but in my observations of the passenger dynamic I see on Hawaiian's A330, lie flat seats between most destinations and Hawaii are "nice to have", but not a "must." Except in very select markets where local income levels are really high and price sensitivity is low (say, HND, JFK, SFO where people have a lot of disposable income to splurge.) After all, very few people get employer funded flights to Hawaii, and many self funded travelers are far too cost conscious to go for the outrageous prices that the likes of Delta charge for lie flat business. It may not be worth all the space that these seats are taking away from the rest of the cabin, not sure.

For a rationally thinking traveler, what really is the benefit of lie flat if you are just going to the pool after arriving in Hawaii?

An alternative model could be to introduce a way to allow HA's Platinum customers access to the current non lie flat business seat block in exchange for loyalty on their long haul flights (Alaska is doing an end run around other airlines with this strategy in their MVP program.) If I am offered something for free that is also exclusive to my status, it tends to make me extremely loyal, and I tend to be far less picky in picking a less competitive fare.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Alex909; Jan 14, 15 at 6:14 pm
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Old Jan 15, 15, 7:24 am
  #408  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hawaii
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Posts: 2,572
The value of the lie-flat seat is when leaving Hawaii back to places like JFK. I've done this many times and sure wished the seats in F were lie-flat, or even wedgies. Would I pay more for it? Depends on the cost. But it would be nice to have the option.
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Old Jan 15, 15, 11:34 am
  #409  
azj
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Originally Posted by alex999 View Post
This is a highly personal opinion, but in my observations of the passenger dynamic I see on Hawaiian's A330, lie flat seats between most destinations and Hawaii are "nice to have", but not a "must." Except in very select markets where local income levels are really high and price sensitivity is low (say, HND, JFK, SFO where people have a lot of disposable income to splurge.) After all, very few people get employer funded flights to Hawaii, and many self funded travelers are far too cost conscious to go for the outrageous prices that the likes of Delta charge for lie flat business. It may not be worth all the space that these seats are taking away from the rest of the cabin, not sure.

For a rationally thinking traveler, what really is the benefit of lie flat if you are just going to the pool after arriving in Hawaii?

An alternative model could be to introduce a way to allow HA's Platinum customers access to the current non lie flat business seat block in exchange for loyalty on their long haul flights (Alaska is doing an end run around other airlines with this strategy in their MVP program.) If I am offered something for free that is also exclusive to my status, it tends to make me extremely loyal, and I tend to be far less picky in picking a less competitive fare.

Just my 2 cents.
This is the reason why there are only 18 seats. Most of the F seats are actually SOLD and not given away to employees, as some people around here believe. In order to stay competitive on the international flights, HAL has to launch a lie flat product. The domestic product (except for JFK) is competitive and sufficient, but would likely benefit from a lie flat product by default as all the 330s fly to all the destinations. In the end, HAL will be able to be more competitive in the international markets it serves, be able to likely command higher prices for the product and provide an unparalleled domestic product at the same time.
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Old Jan 15, 15, 4:32 pm
  #410  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by azj View Post
This is the reason why there are only 18 seats. Most of the F seats are actually SOLD and not given away to employees, as some people around here believe. In order to stay competitive on the international flights, HAL has to launch a lie flat product. The domestic product (except for JFK) is competitive and sufficient, but would likely benefit from a lie flat product by default as all the 330s fly to all the destinations. In the end, HAL will be able to be more competitive in the international markets it serves, be able to likely command higher prices for the product and provide an unparalleled domestic product at the same time.
Offering a lie-flat product is certainly a glamorous move and really useful for some (totally understand inlanikai's wish to get some sleep before returning to New York, but even he seems price sensitive in his comment)

I am not totally convinced that the only way to stay competitive is to launch lie-flat across the fleet. Even Delta is struggling with this -- they keep switching different 767s with larger and smaller lie flat sections around based on demand. There are other potential moves (I've suggested one )

How much more can you charge for lie-flat, how many customers will go for higher price in which of your markets, and how often will the same customer fly per year?

Some data points: 3x Delta 128/129 SEA to PEK in 2014. Prices: $800 (cheapest economy) to $3,500 (cheapest lie flat.) On that flight, a combination of cheap economy and expensive lie-flat makes sense because there are two customer segments: (1) Price sensitive Beijing families and (2) Caucasian business types from the Seattle economy (such as a local aircraft manufacturer's VP I met on board.) The second group definitely benefited from lie-flat.

I also had a chance to try HA 897/898 three times last year. Prices: $1,100 (cheapest economy, a little high compared to Delta.) The segments were: Business travelers were largely absent, while the price sensitive local Beijing family groups dominated. Lie-flat would be a waste of space here, unless you can somehow change the passenger mix. I think that some of HA's other international markets have similar characteristics. For example, travelers from Kansai (KIX) and Sendai/Sapporo (CTS) are both known to be very price sensitive within Japan.

On the other hand, Tokyoites (HND) like my wife like to splurge , so lie-flat might be welcome. I don't fly Seoul (ICN) that often, so not sure.

Other issues: Winter flying out SEA/PEK tends to be calm due to the northern route, while HNL/PEK, HNL/KIX, and HNL/FUK (on DL 598) has been turbulent and you wouldn't be able to sleep even if in lie-flat.

Last edited by Alex909; Jan 15, 15 at 5:53 pm
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Old Jan 15, 15, 5:58 pm
  #411  
azj
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
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HAL knows their market demographics, which yes, are primarily leisure would not make such a huge investment in product, if it wasn't projected to provide a good ROI Again, there's a huge reason why the vast majority of the plane is made up of Y class seats and a small (18) seat premium cabin. Having said that, they'll be able to determine exactly how the economics will unfold and what the market can command fare wise. It would be however, foolish to not keep up with the rest of the industry in providing a proper premium cabin, even for a leisure airline. Case in point... Fiji and Air Tahiti Nui. Both leisure carriers, with a proper premium product.

Last edited by azj; Jan 15, 15 at 8:30 pm
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Old Jan 26, 15, 5:32 pm
  #412  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I've sort of wondered like others at the choice of the 1 class seats on the A330's -- especially for the longest range flights -- JFK/HNL and the flights from HNL to Asia, NZ and Australia.

I've flown the older product on Fiji and that 747 1st class was, less than grand, but with their 330's they went with angle flat and 21 inch wide.

That Hawaiian's product doesn't match up to Fiji seems a bit odd to me.
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Old Jan 29, 15, 4:19 pm
  #413  
 
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HNL-AKL on HA445 + SYD-HNL on HA452 .. all in coach

Perhaps my impressions below might be helpful to someone considering the same choices for the same routes.

I just returned from HNL-AKL at roughly 10.5 hrs (including 45 min on tarmac) and SYD-HNL at about the same - all in coach on the A330.
Flying in on AlaskaAir from the US Pacific-NW-Coast and connecting in Honolulu.
Flying back from ZQN-via-SYD to HNL and onwards to the Pacific-NW mainland on Hawaiian's A330

Connecting outbound at HNL is a breeze, even arriving in and departing again from different terminals. However, you need sufficient time if your flights are on different airlines - apparently only when flying solely on HAL flights can one get a boarding pass in advance, not on the cocktail of airlines I flew on. I had to get my BP at the departure gate, all the way at the end of the HAL terminal, but my approx. two hour layover was just enough with carry-on only.

The cabin crew started with handing out a small amenity kit with earplugs, headphones and eye-mask, together with the menu. These small, but pleasant and welcoming gestures were followed by the beverage service and the normal routines of lunch and snack-before-landing. The crew was warm and efficient throughout my flights and came repeatedly with plenty of water refills. Meals were simple but tasty and well prepared.
Seats were comfortable enough with armrests going up all the way and a pitch that felt slightly larger than i.e. on other airlines on a similar route in coach.
The cabin also seemed somewhat roomier to negotiate than on comparable aircraft and felt passenger-friendly, while the flight was nearly full.
However, the available complimentary entertainment was absolutely pitifully minimal and very disappointing for this route.
Both ways the aircraft seemed to be still fairly new and the cabin was kept at a pleasantly cool temperature (no slow "frying" on the sunny side as on other airlines, in particular VA); seating was in 2-4-2 format with a very small F-cabin and no actual curtain separation. In the F-cabin the seats looked as if they were the standard biz-class seats, used on regular US domestic routes.
In both directions passengers were mostly leisure travelers and often complete families with aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents & children - outbound from HNL to AKL they seemed mostly pacific islanders and a few kiwi's, returning home from their family visit or their (X-mas) summer vacations respectively and on the inbound from SYD passengers were mostly grouped Aussie vacationers.
Upon landing in Auckland we sat at the gate for at least 15 minutes while the cabin was being sprayed for the so-called pre-embarkation disinfection. It was not a pungent spray like I sat through before to other destinations, this one was very subtle but nonetheless a chemical spraying.

At SYD the check-in process was somewhat chaotic. There was no way I could get a boarding pass ahead (see above), because I connected from a Qantas flight, departing from Queenstown, NZ with a 6-hour layover at SYD. The handling agent (I assume) arrived approx an hour and a half before scheduled departure and then immediately had to deal with too many issues it seemed.
Some twenty minutes before departure I received my boarding passes and seat assignments for the remaining HAL flights.
Luck was with me and I was rewarded with the whole center row of 4 seats all to myself in the front of the cabin - with armrests going all the way up - and since this is a night flight, I was overly happy with this arrangement and was able to sleep for most of the flight - an unexpected luxury since the flight was nearly full.

In comparing the HAL flights with other airlines and one-stop options to down-under, I must admit that the connections outbound were easy enough to deal with, however the inbound connection from SYD to HNL upon arrival at immigration was completely chaotic since about 6 more large aircraft were arriving all at the same time: Qantas, Hawaiian, Korean, 2 x JAL, ANA.
It took much longer than an hour to get processed as residents, but for the foreign tourists - arriving by the hundreds all at the same time, a see of people and completely occupying the arrivals hall - it took at least 2 hours to get through the immigration process because only about 6 immigration booths were staffed.
After exiting through customs I had to find my way to the separate HAL terminal and barely made my connection to the US mainland.
Service on my last leg, the HAL domestic route to the US mainland as compared with AS was superior and to my surprise even a simple but tasty dinner was served, complete with alcoholic beverages.

At last my verdict: To get to Australia or New Zealand there are various longhaul options and this route through HNL outbound is a great one IMHO, since you fly during daytime and arrive late at night the next day, ready to go to sleep. You only lose one day as compared to two on the other southbound routes. Hence the total absence of my usual jetlag.
All in all, it was a surprisingly pleasant experience.
For the return I would have to try the inbound route again to check whether immigration processing at HNL would take the same amount of time in order to get a good perspective.
I might probably do so in the next few months.
To add to the discussion in this thread: I felt very content that I hadn't been tempted to "splurge" on F-cabin and later having to deal with my own "buyers remorse"
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Old Mar 3, 15, 4:29 pm
  #414  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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is the F seat on A330 really only 18.5"?

Hi all

It sounds like ha F soft service is amazing, esp compared to other domestic USA airlines.

But on a330 for sfo/OGG, is the F seat really only 18.5" width? It feels narrow for hard product. I read that Y is 18" so I'm confused that F would only be a bit more wide.

Can someone confirm? I realize it's wider than ual Y (17-17.5") but rather more narrow than ual F (20.5-21")
I fear these extra inches really are meaningful for me...

Thanks
Michael
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Old Mar 3, 15, 8:25 pm
  #415  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Hi all

It sounds like ha F soft service is amazing, esp compared to other domestic USA airlines.

But on a330 for sfo/OGG, is the F seat really only 18.5" width? It feels narrow for hard product. I read that Y is 18" so I'm confused that F would only be a bit more wide.

Can someone confirm? I realize it's wider than ual Y (17-17.5") but rather more narrow than ual F (20.5-21")
I fear these extra inches really are meaningful for me...

Thanks
Michael
I've never measured the seat cushion width, but the seats are significantly wider (i.e., space between passengers) than the coach seats. There is a very wide arm rest between the seats, so you get sufficient personal space for a domestic F product.
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:07 pm
  #416  
 
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Consolidated "Hawaiian Airlines A330" thread

Thanks! I understand that there's more room between seats so pax have better personal space.

But is the seat itself wide enough to feel like a F seat or is it really "only" 0.5" wider than the Y seat (Accd to seatguru)? That's where I feel confused. I just fear the width isn't big enough but maybe I'm so wrong...

Thanks!
Michael
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Old Mar 3, 15, 10:18 pm
  #417  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Thanks! I understand that there's more room between seats so pax have better personal space.

But is the seat itself wide enough to feel like a F seat or is it really "only" 0.5" wider than the Y seat (Accd to seatguru)? That's where I feel confused. I just fear the width isn't big enough but maybe I'm so wrong...

Thanks!
Michael
Don't fret. It is a wider seat, and if you have money enough to afford it, take it.
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Old Mar 4, 15, 11:47 am
  #418  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Consolidated "Hawaiian Airlines A330" thread

Thanks - we last flew there in dec 2013 and after feb 2016, who knows when we will be back. So I want to treat my family (more wife than child) yet I'm obsessed about the seat :-). Now to see if availability works when flights open (are on sale)... Currently jan 2016 is latest date
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Old Mar 23, 15, 5:21 pm
  #419  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Originally Posted by BarryAZ View Post
I've sort of wondered like others at the choice of the 1 class seats on the A330's -- especially for the longest range flights -- JFK/HNL and the flights from HNL to Asia, NZ and Australia.

I've flown the older product on Fiji and that 747 1st class was, less than grand, but with their 330's they went with angle flat and 21 inch wide.

That Hawaiian's product doesn't match up to Fiji seems a bit odd to me.
Agreed, HA's 330 premium offering is well suited to NA routes but it isn't necessarily keeping up with the Joneses in terms of HI westwards. I've always selected QF or JL for heading farther across the Pacific specifically due to those carriers' hard product.

I suspect HA's statement about considering lie-flat premium cabins in its forthcoming a350 (now NEO) fleet is an effort to claw back some of us long-leg travelers that are choosing other metal. Tough to mix cabins within the fleet however without the inevitable confusion of passengers thinking they booked one premium seat type and receiving another (ie AA's mixed 777 fleet).

Last edited by sddjd; Mar 23, 15 at 5:37 pm
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Old Mar 23, 15, 6:26 pm
  #420  
azj
 
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Originally Posted by sddjd View Post
Agreed, HA's 330 premium offering is well suited to NA routes but it isn't necessarily keeping up with the Joneses in terms of HI westwards. I've always selected QF or JL for heading farther across the Pacific specifically due to those carriers' hard product.

I suspect HA's statement about considering lie-flat premium cabins in its forthcoming a350 (now NEO) fleet is an effort to claw back some of us long-leg travelers that are choosing other metal. Tough to mix cabins within the fleet however without the inevitable confusion of passengers thinking they booked one premium seat type and receiving another (ie AA's mixed 777 fleet).
I think if we see lie flats at HAL, it will be A330 fleet wide. A sub fleet may not make logistical sense for an airline like HAL.
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