The Hawaiian Airlines Surprise

    The Hawaiian Airlines Surprise

           It’s hard to sing praises to the airline industry in an era when flying economy became a miserable experience. Let’s be honest, if you don’t count yourself among the privileged ones who can fly first or business class, the mere thought of getting on a plane is a nightmare. Starting with the endless check-in lines and the obnoxious TSA personnel at the airport and continuing with the uncomfortable in-flight conditions, you know you can’t expect anything good from the time you reach the airport until you land. And if it’s not enough that you get stuck into a small uncomfortable seat that barely reclines, the carriers rush to add more seats to coach cabins reducing even further the space between your knees and the seat in front.  

    Hawaiian Airlines
    Hawaiian Airlines

           Domestic flights are probably the worst: small planes, rude service, no food and poor cabin cleanliness. If you are lucky to be in the air for less than a couple of hours you can pretend the conditions are not so bad, but if your flight is longer than 4 hours you are doomed. You’ll end up with cramps in your legs, lower back pain and a neck strain.

            Last week we booked a flight to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines. I wasn’t looking forward to it because the trip to Hawaii is long –over 5 hours in the air– but at least we had a direct flight. Although we didn’t fly Hawaiian Airlines before, we didn’t expect this flight to be any different from the other domestic ones. However, to our pleasant surprise, it was.  

          The main cabin was not necessarily very spacious, but it wasn’t too cramped either. We didn’t have to hold the seat in front in our lap when it reclined and even more shocking, our knees weren’t touching it. The flight attendants were actually nice, relaxed and genuinely interested in making the passengers feel good. But wait, the good surprises didn’t stop here. 

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          Fifteen minutes into the flight, the pilot announced that a complimentary hot lunch will be served in the main cabin. And not only that: complimentary wine and champagne would also be served. Wow! We had to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming. Free lunch and free wine on a domestic flight? Hawaiian Air must have hit the jackpot … or who knows, maybe they are just trying to get a competitive advantage over their bigger and snootier sisters.

          Whatever the reason, we had an incredible flight, so I want to give them credit for it. They won us over … with a free lunch and a smile! If this was the 80’s we wouldn’t even have noticed it, but it’s the 21st century and the world is going forward, or is it? Isn’t it amazing how well the airline industry has trained us to accept less for more? 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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