Deciding Whether to Buy First for Inter-Island Travel on Hawaiian Airlines

My trip to Hawaii was for my honeymoon, so I was being a bit less focused on cost-savings than I usually am (aside from the free hotel stay, of course). 

When I purchased our tickets from OGG-LIH (and back), I had the option of booking first-class for each direction for $100 more per person on Hawaiian airlines.  I considered it briefly, since it was our honeymoon, but after reading about what that gets you, I decided against it.  This flight is literally an up-and-down flight.  People in coach get POG (passion fruit, orange, and guava juice) or coffee.  People in first can get those options in addition to mai tai, wine, or beer.  The seats are larger, you board first, you get two bags free, and if your connection has a club, you get club access.

I didn’t really think about the first class option again.  However, as my trip got closer, my luggage amount got larger and larger.  Since I’m a Chairman with US Airways, it didn’t really matter for our flights to and from the mainland.  But I started worrying about the inter-island baggage fees.  See, in addition to going on my honeymoon, I was also going directly to a work trip for a week.  I had all my vacation outfits for two weeks, but then a week’s worth of work dresses and sports coats.  Not to mention, my new husband had to have some room in the luggage.  (I also packed about $200 worth of sunblock).

We dragged all of the bags to check into our flight to LIH from OGG.  While checking in, we were given the option to upgrade to first for $50 per person.  I was about to decline, then remembered the baggage allowance.  I did quick math and realized this made first class only a few dollars more than our baggage costs would have been.  Cha-ching!

First-class was mostly empty, so I figured we’d have the same option on the way back.  We did, and took advantage of it.  A word of warning, if there are high winds, they do not do beverage service.  Even for first.  That’s what happened on our flight back, but really, getting to board first spared out Hawaiian’s wild-wild-west seeming boarding process.  It was well worth it.

Had we been sans baggage, I don’t think I would have considered it.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

Check Also

flight cancellations

How to Handle Sudden Flight Cancellations

How do you handle sudden flight cancellations? A few years back when I regularly flew …

One comment

  1. That’s silly, why would your new husband need room in the luggage??? I thought you would have been able to get him a seat in coach at least. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.