Flight Review: Hawaiian Airlines 717 Maui-Honolulu

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After my stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea, it was time to leave Maui and head over to Honolulu.

For inter island flights, we decided to try out Hawaiian Airlines, which operates Boeing 717’s for their inter-island service.

The planes are equipped with 115 coach seats and 8 first class seats. For this short of flight, I decided on coach, which was under $60 for the one-way flight.

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Our afternoon flight to Honolulu was right on time and boarding began about 25 minutes before departure. Both Maui and Honoulu feature outdoor airports so once you clear security, parts of the concourse are open air.

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First class on the Boeing 717-200 featured 8 seats in a 2×2 configuration. For the short flight, I figured it wasn’t worth it to upgrade but they were selling upgrades when I checked-in online.

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Interior of the Boeing 717-200

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Overview of the cabin

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Seats felt a little cramped but for 25 minutes wasn’t too bad.

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In the economy cabin, the choices for drinks were either a plastic container of water or passion-orange guava juice

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View of Maui after take off

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View of our plane in Honolulu after arrival

Bottom Line

When heading to Hawaii, it’s great to be able to island hop. Hawaiian Airlines offers dozens of flights a day between Maui and Honolulu so I’d encourage you to spend time on more than one island. During boarding, they did play Hawaiian boarding music.

Since the flight was only about 25 minutes, I was surprised there was any sort of drink service at all.

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If you’re looking to redeem miles, Coach SuperSaver awards are 7,500 Hawaiian Miles each way. You can also redeem partner miles such as Delta SkyMiles or transfer miles from American Express Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.

However for such a cheap flight, I’d rather save my miles and just pay for the inter island flights. Have you flown on Hawaiian Airlines inter-island before? What was your experience?

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  1. I flew both Maui to Kauai and a short 20-min Kauai-HNL flight. The most amusing thing was walking past the cockpit and seeing both pilots quickly downing a sandwich right on their seats before taking off again. It was like riding a bus. I did like their product for being so cheap and even the quick drink service.

  2. How much was the upgrade. I will need to do this in May and my family will have checked bags. I figure why not upgrade if I have to eat that cost.

    PS if I book an econ award on say, United, I still have to pay bag fees correct?

  3. Did the flight last october. was $25/bag to check bags…. we had three between the two of us. was $50 each to upgrade.

    A no brainer…. only $25 net cost/board first/off first/priority bags AND a chance to visit with Guy Hagi…. a local newsman who’s been on tv in Hawaii for years!

  4. I’ve flown the slightly longer and more expensive KOA-HNL route twice, and have used 5k AA or UA miles each time. I enjoyed the flights, they’re quick and utilitarian, but very friendly. The flights themselves seem heavy on standby passengers, and both times they’ve made announcements at the gate in Kona asking if people would like to switch to an earlier flight.

    Baggage fees are a relatively-reasonable $17 each for the first two bags, and $25 each up to a seventh bag. I do believe you’d have to pay a separate HA bag fee unless your bags were checked through in a true connecting flight. Also know you don’t have to go through agricultural inspection for interisland flights.

  5. No doubt Hawaiian’s flights themselves are great. But, the airline’s customer service is absolutely horrible. In particular, the phone reservations number will only connect to an off-shore site in the Philippines where these people have limited training, terrible service skills, and almost no authority to resolve problems. Instead, they are almost singularly focused on collecting fees. But the worst part about the Philippines call center is that they are completely disconnected from the airline’s operations in Hawaii. The call center personnel can do little more than read information off monitors: they have no ability to contact to anyone in Hawaii for real-time support.

    Keep all of this in mind if you ever encounter problems on Hawaiian’s inter-island hops or especially their transpacific flights. At least with other U.S. airlines such as United, Delta, American, and U.S. Airways, there is always a way to get through to a direct employee of the airline who is able to handle problems.

    It is sad that Aloha Airlines went bankrupt. After that airline folded, so did the customer service in the airline industry in Hawaii.

  6. Do not buy a ticket from this airline! Hawaiian Airlines is very sneaky about their change policy. They will charge you $200 per flight to make a change. If you cancel the flight you get a credit but they will charge you a $200 change fee anytime you try to use your credit in the future. Why would there be a $200 change fee for a future flight when you already have a credit? This is a very unscrupulous airline who does not deserve your business. Instead of saying Mahalo all of the time they should say Aihue which means thief.

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