The best airline to fly to Hawaii in domestic First Class with lie-flat seats include United, American Airlines, Hawaiian, Air Canada and Delta. I review all of these airlines below. They all travel from North American to Hawaii and all offer different levels of First Class cabins, from reclining seats to lie-flat seats, depending on the aircraft you are booked on. Virgin America and Alaskan Airlines also fly from North American to Hawaii and Japan Airlines offers direct flights from Tokyo to the Hawaiian Islands with a decent Business Class product.
Unfortunately, because most passengers travelling to Hawaii are leisure travellers rather than business travellers, airlines seem to route their oldest aircraft to Hawaii. As a result, it is crucial to select the right airline, aircraft and route to snag the best First Class lie-flat seats to Hawaii on these airlines.
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Review: American Airlines First Class To Hawaii
American Airlines flies to Hawaii from Dallas-Ft. Worth, Los Angeles and Phoenix. All planes offer seats which are similar to Domestic First except for the flights from Dallas. This means no amenity kits, no lie-flat seats and very average experience.
A recent update to AA’s fleet was the retirement of the last 767-300ER which flew the last remaining old angle-flat Business Class (the product was retired to Roswell on October 30th 20-17), which means all flights from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG) on the 767 fleet is 100% lie-flat! (Thanks to our reader Matthew for his input on this update).
On flights from Los Angeles, AA usually operates Airbus A321s with domestic First Class seats with large-screen seat-back entertainment. However, American’s latest schedule update also puts international long haul widebody aircraft on two Hawaii routes from LAX, giving customers lie-flat cabin seats with direct aisle access. 1 of 6 daily flights operated by the AA can be booked with this excellent First offering on their 777-200ER;
AA143 LAX1500 – 1900HNL 772 D &
AA144 HNL2330 – 0706+1LAX 772
The other AA flights with an upgrade are those from Phoenix to Honolulu with 1 of 2 daily flights operated by A330-300l:
- AA692 PHX1205 – 1555HNL 333 D
- AA693 HNL2215 – 0709+1PHX 333 D
The remaining aircraft currently operating on this route are Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a terrible First Class cabin with televisions on the ceiling.
American already flies excellent lie-flat seats out of DFW (Dallas) to either HNL or OGG (Maui).
Review: Delta Airlines First Class To Hawaii
Delta flys to Hawaii from Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York-JFK, Portland, Salt Lake, San Francisco and Seattle. Delta First Class lie-flat seats to Hawaii are consistently flown from ATL (Atlanta), Minneapolis and Salt Lake City to HNL (Honolulu) using its Airbus A330-300 with international Business Class configuration. Unfortunately, they fly their old Boeing 737-900ERs, 767s and 757s from the West Coast. These aircraft are tired and tatty and do not offer lie flat seats. Occasionally, Delta may fly their Delta One lie-flat product between LAX and HNL but this cannot be relied on.
Review: Hawaiian Airlines First Class To Hawaii
Hawaiian Airlines offers flights to the islands on their Boeing 767 (which is being phased out) or their next-gen A321 or A330 planes from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.
Hawaiian has retrofitted its A330s so First-Class now incorporates fully lie-flat seating and direct aisle access on both the A330 and A321 much like other airlines long-haul Business Class making it a good choice for decent First Class lie-flat and cabin when flying to Hawaii. This is a really nice product and I reviewed my latest First Class Flight on Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu. I think you will agree that the cabin looks super smart!
Review: United Airlines First Class To Hawaii
Expect United First Class lie-flat seats to Hawaii from Newark (EWR) and WashingtonD.C. (IAD) to Honolulu (HNL). These flights are usually in on the Boeing 767-400ER wide-body with the airline’s newer BusinessFirst international cabin with fully lie-flat seats.
From LAX and San Francisco you will usually fly on Boeing 737 aircraft with a standard domestic first-class experience- usually you don’t even get seat-back entertainment. On a few select flights, United also operates lie-flat seats to Hawaii from San Francisco but be sure to check the seat map just to be sure.
The United flights from Chicago and Houston typically uses a Boeing 777, with recliner-style old fashioned business-class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Which Airline Has Lie-Flat Seats To Hawaii?
The best airline to travel Hawaii in First Class from the East Coast; New York or Washington has to be United in its BusinessFirst with fully lie-flat seats as long as it’s on their 767-400ER.
Hawaiian Airlines offer excellent new cabins and fly lie-flat bed seats between Japan and Hawaii, NYC and Hawaii, and certain flights between the West Coast (including San Francisco) and Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines are also worth considering on routes from New Oakland, Phoenix or Portland as they offer lie-flat seats in their new and retrofitted aircraft (avoid their Boing 767s). Eventually, with the introduction of their new aircraft and retrofits, Hawaiian airlines will probably offer the most consistent lie-flat service to Hawaii.
The best airline to fly to Hawaii in First Class from the West Coast; Los Angeles LAX, San Fransisco or even Las Vegas, San Jose, Sacramento and Seattle would have to be Hawaiian Airlines on their retrofitted its A330s with first-class seats incorporating fully lie-flat seating and direct aisle access. Again remember to avoid their Boeing 767s.
American also flies excellent lie-flat seats out of DFW (Dallas) to either HNL or OGG (Maui) so is the top choice out of Dallas and also has some lie-flat flights out of Phonix and LAX if you pick the right flights.
United also operates lie-flat seats to Hawaii on some routes from San Francisco, but be sure to check the seat map before you book.
Delta consistently flies lie-flat seats from ATL (Atlanta), Minneapolis and Salt Lake City to HNL (Honolulu) using its Airbus A330-300 with international Business Class configuration. So is a good choice if these are your nearest airport, otherwise, I would advise avoiding Delta.
Unfortunately, the lie-flat picture is mixed and ever-changing as new planes are introduced on each route, so check the aircraft type carefully before booking. I hope this article helps to point you towards better choices but always doublecheck the aircraft before booking.
Below you will find my reviews of recent experiences I have had on Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air Canada and Delta.
Last Summer, I flew aboard the premium class cabin of a Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 from Honolulu (in Hawaii) to San Francisco (in California). Hawaiian Airlines calls this premium cabin ‘First Class’ on domestic flights from Hawaii to the mainland… Read More.
I have flown with American Airlines a number of times and have reviewed their long haul Business Class and First Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have flown with United Airlines a number of times and have reviewed their long haul Business Class and First Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have reviewed Delta One which is Delta’s new long haul Business Class product which can be found below. Read More.
I have flown on Japan Airlines (JAL) many times and have reviewed their long haul First and Business Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have flown on Air Canada many times and have reviewed their long haul Business Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
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