This past February I decided to take the wife to Maui for the Presidents Day/Valentines Day weekend. I had Hyatt Gold Passport Visa certificates to burn and the Andaz had space, so why not? Of course this meant yet another trip on Hawaiian Air to the Valley Isle, but this time in Hawaiian Extra Space.
Though I’ve reviewed Hawaiian Air’s inter-island service before, I thought it worthwhile to revisit because of the new product. Like American’s Main Cabin Extra, Hawaiian Extra Space provides more legroom and priority boarding. Unlike American’s product, however, Hawaiian Extra Space seats are not all clustered together. Rather, Extra Space seats are located in the front of the economy cabin and by the emergency exits.
Not having the option available at booking, I upgraded our seats at check-in. In fact, the first two rows of Extra Space seating are only available for upgrade at check-in. No matter which route you go, though, Extra Space costs just $20 more per segment. While that might seem like a lot for a little extra room on a 30 minute flight it’s worth it to me. Why? Because Hawaiian’s flights are usually very full, so the Group 2 boarding makes the process MUCH less stressful. Having Group 2 boarding all but guarantees you’ll have overhead bin space. Unfortunately, there are no mileage earning benefits for upgrading. Mileage for Extra Space flights are earned at the normal rate.
Unfortunately the convenience of priority boarding was offset somewhat by a delay. In what’s become incredibly common for me flying Hawaiian, our flight was delayed by 45 minutes. That’s not a terribly long delay, but it can make a big difference during inter-island flight rush hour. This time around it meant that our rental car agency barely had any cars left. We ended up being stuck with a dented up, falling apart, somewhat smelly Dodge Dart for our weekend. But I digress.
A happy result of our delay was being able to snap a photo of this lovely bird!
Alaska Air has outstanding special liveries, and this one designed by a local student is no exception. It looks especially good with those split-scimitar winglets!
The glare on my window was awful on the climb out, so no photos this time. I also skipped the beverage service because I had to pee! But I did pull the tray table out just for you guys ?
Unlike normal economy seats in which the tray table folds down from the seat in front of you, the Hawaiian Extra Space seats feature pullout tray tables. This also means, however, that the armrests are not movable.
Soon enough we were descending into Kahului Airport. During our final approach I made it a point to snap some photos of the sugar cane fields. Unfortunately this would be the last time we got to see the massive expanses of green. Later on this year the Pu’unene Sugar Mill will cease operations ending the centuries long sugar industry in Hawaii.
In no time at all we were on the ground. Thanks to the diminutive size of Kahului International Airport, we parked at the gate just a few minutes after touchdown. Being at the very front of the economy cabin meant that we were able to deplane equally quick. Once off the plane I sprinted to the restroom and then to the rental car shuttle. From there we headed straight to our hotel.
Valley Isle Love
- Hawaiian Extra Space HNL-OGG
Nice review. I am heading to Maui in November and have a slightly off topic question. I was able to find a couple low level first class skymiles tickets from ORD-MSP-HNL. My final destination is OGG. My plan is to use skymiles to buy a HNL-OGG flight the same day (hoping having both tickets on Delta stock will get them to check all the way through). My question is, how much time is needed to go from Delta gates to Hawaiian gates? My flight lands HNL at 4pm and was thinking of taking the 7pm HA flight. I’m leaving enough time to hopefully give me a buffer in case of delays or that they wont check my bags thru at O’Hare. Thanks for any thoughts
Island Miler says
Thanks, Shaun! A 3 hour layover in HNL should be more than sufficient. Luckily, HNL isn’t all that large, and that Delta usually uses gates in the Central Concourse, which are fairly close to Hawaiian’s terminal in the Ewa Concourse, especially the gates in the former Aloha Airline terminal (49-53). If you have the misfortune of you flight arriving into gate 10 at the Diamond Head Concourse, however, you’ll have a good 15 to 20 minute walk. Probably longer if your HA flight is departing from gates 54 thru 60. Hopefully your luggage will be interlined all the way through to OGG too, as having to retrieve and re-check them will add even more time and more walking. That and Honolulu’s Pre-Check hours, especially at the Hawaiian Air terminal aren’t so great (e.g. they open at 7am, when 7am flights are among Hawaiian’s busiest of the day). But I’m confident you’ll encounter little issues, if any. ORD & MSP would definitely be the pain points, as you’ve pointed out, thanks to weather that time of year.
If you’re ticketing your HNL-OGG flight separately from your ORD-HNL flights, I’d suggest considering economy. First class is a lot less stressful thanks to priority boarding, etc. but the premium is rarely worth it in my opinion, especially on a flight that lasts under 30 minutes. To me the Extra Space seating (if you can get it) is the real sweet spot in inter-island travel. After all, there’s only so many beverages and bags of Pau Hana Snack Mix you can down in 15-ish minutes! Hah!
Anyway, if I can help you in any way, let me know! Always happy to help.