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Best First Class experience from mainland to Hawaii

Best First Class experience from mainland to Hawaii

Old Jul 29, 19, 8:13 pm
  #1  
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Best First Class experience from mainland to Hawaii

Hi,

What are your thoughts on the best UA First Class experience from mainland to Hawaii?

Routing is flexible.

Thank you
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Old Jul 29, 19, 8:19 pm
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Welcome to FT!, thill

Originally Posted by thill View Post
"the best UA First Class experience from mainland to Hawaii?" ...
What are your criteria for "best?"

Depending on routing, some flights have lie-flat seats and some don't. Other than that there isn't much difference (including catering), individual crews (not predictable) can make a difference.

While routing may be open, it is helpful to know where you are starting from. Routing via EWR does not make much sense for someone on the West Coast.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 11:22 pm
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Lie-flats. So, the best lie-flats and routing.

I'll be coming from MEM this time, but plan to connect to the best lie-flat option wherever that might be. IAH and ORD seem to be good possibilities. I've also seen routings that use 2 777s with lie-flats; any particular advantage to breaking up the flight on the west coast (SFO or LAX).

If the price were right and the FC experience recommended by the experts here, I wouldn't be opposed to connecting at EWR.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 11:37 pm
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They're all mediocre.

From MEM, lie-flats will mostly mean a 772G to HNL via ORD, IAH, DEN, SFO, or LAX. That's eight-across in F. Comfortable seat, but narrow and zero personal space. IAH would be my first choice to maximize time in lie-flats and minimize risk of weather delays.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:09 am
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It also depends on where in Hawaii you want to be. When I need to get to KOA from EWR, the route through DEN is best for me because its lie flats end to end on the 752. If im going from HNL to New York, the 767 EWR-HNL is cleary the best. When flying in from the west coast to the islands, Ill look for 752s or better again dependent on where I need to be.

Beyond lieflats, the service/food is pretty barebones on all routee. Other than a limiter number of mai tais and an occaisional plastic/silk lei a FA or two may wear, F to the islands isn't any different from domestic F.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 7:46 am
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AA has better hard product to HNL, with all aisle access lie-flats, but only on limited flights from DFW.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:05 am
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I think the best flight in the US to Hawaii is the Hawaiian A330 redeye from Vegas to HNL. Lie flat seats for a ~5.5 hour night flight? Yes please.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:08 am
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MEM is half the story. Where in Hawaii? Details really matter here as two connections is worse than one. Would you fly 4 hours out of the way in order to get an hour of extra time in a mediocre seat?
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:24 am
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To me the "best" flights to/from Hawaii are ones that avoid the overnight hours. The red eyes can be avoided with overnight layovers in LAX or SFO, going eastbound. I'd trade a lie flat for a layover in a real bed at an airport hotel when going between the islands and eastern cities like MEM any chance I get.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
To me the "best" flights to/from Hawaii are ones that avoid the overnight hours. The red eyes can be avoided with overnight layovers in LAX or SFO, going eastbound. I'd trade a lie flat for a layover in a real bed at an airport hotel when going between the islands and eastern cities like MEM any chance I get.
I got a surprisingly good night of sleep on a 10pm OGG-DEN (just enough wheels time for 6 hours asleep), but agree that seeking out an overnight flight westbound seems crazy.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:29 am
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Out of COS, its DEN or COS as my starting point and my main goal is to get to Hawaii as quickly as possible, so DEN-Hawaii, or SFO/LAX-Hawaii. Lie flats on the way are IMO not a priority I try to avoid arriving into HNL and then switching to an interisland flight. On the way home I tend to prefer red eyes and sleep, but I'm not going to fly to ORD for example, only to fly ORD-COS. Waste of time. If HNL is the required departure point back to mainland I try to spend a couple of days in Waikiki at the end of the trip. Gives the family some convenient shopping, and do another visit to Pearl Harbor. West coast red eyes are brutal IMO, so I try to avoid those. DEN isn't too bad though.

Being MEM based for OP, I would focus on ORD, DEN, LAX, SFO, and IAH. But agree it would be helpful if OP identified which island is the goal.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 9:33 am
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Another definition of "best" is best price and here Canada usually wins out.
Routing through YYZ or YVR could cut the cost of front cabin paid seats by a third or more, though you'd probably have to break the fare in Canada, and perhaps buy separate tickets.

Last edited by transportprof; Jul 30, 19 at 9:55 am
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Old Jul 30, 19, 12:27 pm
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As others point out there are lots of answers depending on your preferences, which island and day of departure. I fly out of TYS and my wife is from Maui so we go often. I prefer not to have to deal with interlining so I tend to go with DEN and ORD as connectors with non-stops and lie-flats to OGG. If I am having to interline or just going to HNL then I am a great fan of IAD-HNL. It is a long flight but IAD is a short hop for me from the other side of TN.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:25 pm
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Fly in economy to the west coast in the afternoon/evening and then in economy the next day to the islands. You will get a real nights sleep in a real bed which is far better than any airline seat and save $$$ to boot.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Fly in economy to the west coast in the afternoon/evening and then in economy the next day to the islands. You will get a real nights sleep in a real bed which is far better than any airline seat and save $$$ to boot.
Makes sense, the F product from the west coast to Islands is pretty basic (read poor) and not really worth the up-charge.
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