Ever since I got my Alaska Airlines credit card, I’ve been a die-hard Alaska Airlines flyer. I like their snack packs, service and in flight entertainment, but I have to admit, their prices have begun to get a little disheartening. I was recently shopping for a flight from Honolulu to San Jose, California, when I stumbled across a round trip flight for under $400. Yep, that’s right. $368. Round trip. Hawaii to Cali. But unfortunately it wasn’t through Alaska Airlines. (No miles for me this trip). It was Hawaiian that caught me by surprise.
I felt like I was in a predicament. Fly Alaska and pay the price, but gain the miles, or fly Hawaiian and spend (considerably) less than I would with Alaska. I think most people would agree with me when I say that money, and particularly saving money, it a big persuader in these types of situations. So I chose Hawaiian, naturally. And I’m glad I did.
My recent experience with Hawaiian Airlines makes me feel a sort of allegiance toward them that I never felt before. But there seems to be so many reasons why this particular airline trumps the others! Although I’ve only recently come to realize this, I think for inbound travelers coming to Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines is a premiere choice as an airline carrier. It’s important to know your options and hear the reviews, right? So here’s my personal one.
First off, the service at Hawaiian Airlines is uncommonly friendly. Yep, I said it. Many airlines don’t employ the nice flight attendants anymore. But with Hawaiian, it’s almost as if they are compelled to give aloha spirited type service. The old school service that Hawaiian Airlines was founded on, because it was part of the local people’s cultural roots. Aloha. E komo mai. Hawaiian hospitality.
From the flowers in their hair to the tropical printed uniforms to the warm smile, these are local people working and enjoying their job. Obviously a lot of local Hawaii people fly Hawaiian Airlines, and there seems to be a friendly exchange between the flight attendants and passengers that isn’t matched elsewhere. Pleasantries are traded, pidgin is playfully tossed around and everyone is a little more relaxed. It’s nice. And it’s decidedly the Hawaiian way. Did I mention they have coconut soap in the restrooms onboard the planes? That’s another small touch that goes a long way.
By far the best selling point of Hawaiian Airlines is the fact that they are the only airline that still offers a free meal. There’s nothing better than warm Hawaiian sweet bread to make your flight a little more comfortable. I also enjoyed a Cesar salad and a guava shortbread cookie with the meal. And much to my surprise, I was also offered a free glass of red or white wine. This seemed so foreign to me! And so gracious!
The only freebie I’ve received on an Alaska Airline flight is a snack mix pack the size of my palm! So to enjoy free red wine was icing on the cake. The only other airline I’ve experienced free wine (unlimited at that too), is Air France. Obviously the French know how to fly. But this is the US. Yet Hawaiian does it right.
Another thing about this airline is the passengers themselves seem like friendlier folk. I don’t know if it’s the vibe that is emitted or if it’s the fact that most people traveling on Hawaiian Airlines are about to embark on an epic vacation, but the people seem more eager to chat, smile and help one another out. It’s a friendly, aloha-spirited experienced that can’t be explained other than the fact that Hawaiian Airlines feels (and is) Hawaiian.
Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, Hawaiian Airlines is offering pretty unbeatable prices on flights these days. The fact that my flight to California was half the price of Alaska Airlines is case in point alone. But I feel that Hawaiian Airlines is already pretty consistent with beating the competition. Now you know that it’s obviously in more ways than one.