Best flights to Hawaii

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Old Feb 2, 08, 9:03 pm
  #1  
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Best flights to Hawaii

I'm very flexible on plans for an upcoming vacation to Hawaii. I am flying from ORF, RIC, or even WAS. I would likely pay for first class, or possibly upgrade. Definitely FIRST class, maybe Business. NOT Y.

Anyone have a preference as to which airline has the best service to the islands? I definitely would want to keep it in the sky team, but could stray if I were convinced the service was that much better.

Open to opinions...
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Old Feb 3, 08, 12:21 am
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CO, NW and DL all fly to Hawaii (KE too, but that won't help you get from WAS to HNL)

Of the three, all are configured for domestic first class, not international, so don't expect anything too spiffy.

If you really want a good experience, probably the best thing to do would be to take NW from WAS to MSP, then fly first on the Airbus 330 to HNL. The seats are the same as those used on NW's world business class (very comfy, in my humble opinion) and the food is apparently a slight notch above typical domestic first class. there should be more info in the NW forum
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Old Feb 3, 08, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by DCA-John View Post
CO, NW and DL all fly to Hawaii (KE too, but that won't help you get from WAS to HNL)

Of the three, all are configured for domestic first class, not international, so don't expect anything too spiffy.

If you really want a good experience, probably the best thing to do would be to take NW from WAS to MSP, then fly first on the Airbus 330 to HNL. The seats are the same as those used on NW's world business class (very comfy, in my humble opinion) and the food is apparently a slight notch above typical domestic first class. there should be more info in the NW forum
Actually CO EWR-HNL and IAH-HNL is on an international BusinessFirst configured 767. It's definitely NOT a domestic first aircraft. It's modified BF service (no amenity kit or cheese cart, also some slight meal mods) but still better than the NW cabin service which provides only a slightly enhanced domestic first cabin service. The NW A330 MSP-HNL seats are very nice though. I definitely slept very comfortably in them.

Continental R fares to HNL are relatively affordable depending on the season that you're travelling in.
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Old Feb 3, 08, 7:16 am
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Your options for F are the three domestic ST partners, CO/NW/DL. DL only flies domestic F configured planes. It is better than Y, but miles behind the BF and WBC options made available from CO and NW, respectively.

To get the WBC service you need to be on the A330 from MSP-HNL. They also have an A330 flying the early flight from SEA right now but that goes away in April when they start LHR-SEA service with that plane instead.

To get CO's BF service you can fly from EWR, IAH or LAX. The LAX flight is being down-sized to a 757-200 from a 767 in the near future (if not already done), but it still has the BF seats. The down side of the LAX option is flying half way (ORF-IAH-LAX) in an ERJ and/or domestic F.

I think that ORF/RIC/WAS-EWR-HNL is the best overall option from a service and comfort perspective. And as Lurker1999 mentions, CO occasionally offers R fares (sale fares of their BF cabin) to HNL, making it particularly attractive. You don't mention which carrier you have miles in, but you should know that upgrades are notoriously difficult to get, and you can only use NW/CO miles to upgrade on NW/CO and only DL miles to upgrade on DL. And if you're going the CO route there is likely going to be a co-pay involved as well.

If you're trying to get to a destination other than HNL you'll need to fly NW or DL as CO doesn't fly anywhere else in the islands. Or you can fly to HNL and then connect onwards on a second ticket.
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Old Feb 3, 08, 7:26 am
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I agree: CO from EWR or IAH or NW from MSP is the way to go ... avoid the 757s
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Old Feb 3, 08, 12:03 pm
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Great advice... I'm inclined to the lie flat on the Airbus with NW. But I'll keep checking and make a call. I'm not too concerned about the cost, as much as comfort.

(No, I'm not going to hire a jet, so save the replies ).

Thanks again for the advice. I'll let you know what I decide.
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Old Feb 3, 08, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by paterwdb View Post
Great advice... I'm inclined to the lie flat on the Airbus with NW. But I'll keep checking and make a call. I'm not too concerned about the cost, as much as comfort.
Let us know what you decide upon. One thing, the NW A330 WBC is "near flat" which means it's slightly inclined. It's not a totally horizontal surface if that matters to you but it is very comfortable and depending on how big you are you can easily sleep comfortably on your side (I did).
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Old Feb 3, 08, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by paterwdb View Post
Great advice... I'm inclined to the lie flat on the Airbus with NW. But I'll keep checking and make a call. I'm not too concerned about the cost, as much as comfort.

(No, I'm not going to hire a jet, so save the replies ).

Thanks again for the advice. I'll let you know what I decide.
You can also go out on one and back on the other if you really want to compare the service for yourself

The total travel time from either RIC or ORF is ~13 hours on either the EWR or MSP routings. The only down side is the RJ for the initial flight segment. Also, CO allows Presidents Club access since it is a BF seat; I do not believe that NW allows WC access.

Last edited by sbm12; Feb 19, 08 at 6:17 pm Reason: Fixed NW WC name at the end
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Old Feb 19, 08, 5:16 am
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my 2c

I just returned from my last vacation to Hawaii and I tried to use my miles (AF/KL) for an award in first but no luck, in the past I even had a fly to HNL via NRT with NW !!! Great service in this case (747 UD)

I ended up with AA and the LAX-HNL and OGG-LAX legs where in nice 767 with the new layout, let us call International business even if with no VOD and no amenity kit. Problem with the connection feeder flight but if you are on a paid ticket it could be different.

My very personal suggestion could be to avoid HNL so you save the connection time.
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