Tried & Tested: Hawaiian Airlines Sydney to Honolulu

Flight Number: HAL 452
Aircraft: A330
Class: Business
Seat: 1J
Duration: 9 hours, 50 minutes

The cabin

Business-class has a 2 x 2 x 2 seat configuration; seats are chocolate-coloured leather with splashes of bright pink colour in the bedding. 

The seat

Seats are two, side by side, in the one compartment. There is a privacy screen to raise for separation. Seats have three power ports to charge, including USB. There is an overhead light and an over-the-shoulder light for reading. The seat reclines to a fully flat position and is controlled by a single, circular dial on the console.


Passengers can watch TV, movies, games and listen to audio on the 13-inch tablet provided that you can affix to an unobtrusive, retractable stand. Over-the-ear quality headphones are provided. Movies included new releases and family selections, and a series of curated Hawaiian shows titled Hawaiian Skies. There is also an inflight magazine Hana Hou! available for reading.


Staff offered to set up the bedding for me before takeover. Dressed in blue floral Hawaiian shirts, staff were friendly and attentive but exuded a relaxed and calm Hawaiian vibe. Hawaiian music was playing as soon as we came on board. Signature mai tai cocktails were served pre-departure.

Food and drinks

The cuisine on board was a real stand-out of this flight. The food for Hawaiian Airlines is designed by executive chef, Lee Anne Wong – a leading figure in Hawaiian regional cuisine. 

Hawaiian Airlines review
Image: Rae Huo

For dinner, the starter salad of watermelon, avocado puree, goat’s cheese and lime vinaigrette was one of the freshest and tasty inflight salads I’ve ever had. For main, I chose the roasted chicken with mustard-makrut glaze, served with seasonal vegetables and basmati rice which was equally as packed with flavour and spice. The cuisine served incorporates many local Hawaiian ingredients and highlights suppliers from which they have sourced menu items. There are five wines on offer selected by master sommelier, Chuck Furuya, as well as a selection of spirits and Maui Brewing Company beers. Breakfast was served about 90 minutes prior to landing. The lemon ricotta cheese blintzes with berry sauce were incredibly light and fluffy, while the ricotta was smooth and creamy. I chose a mint mamaki tea from the tea selections by Tea Chest Hawaii.


Provided in a small canvas package was toothbrush and paste; a comb; earphones; eye mask; tissues; earplugs and Loli’i amenity products.


Business-class passengers flying between Australia or New Zealand to Hawaii may check in two bags at no cost, no more than 23kg per bag.

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This story first appeared in Vacations & Travel magazine, Summer 2019/2020, issue 113

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