They had damn well better install plugs between the seats if they're serious about these Hawaii flights. Hell, they should've installed them in the first place when they announced in-flight wifi!
My laptop, iPad Mini, and iPhone 7 all will power themselves for five hours. Whenever you board an airplane, you should have all your devices charged. That's not an unrealistic expectation. There are also portable power banks. There is no reason you need in-seat power on a 6 hour flight other than opportunity charging. In 2017 most devices need to be charged once per day under normal use and twice per day under heavy use. If you're adult enough to buy a ticket to Hawaii, you can charge your devices if needed.
WN offers BoB options for food on longer flights, or you can just bring a sandwich. Or you can go six hours without eating, which most adults do between the lunch and dinner hours on a daily basis.
I would happily fly WN to Hawaii if I were going to fly in Y class. WN may not offer the most revolutionary onboard product, but they have friendly staff, they take care of their customers when IRROPS happen, and they are honest and open in communications to customers when those irregularities do happen. To me, that's more important than onboard gimmicks.
As for the 737, it's my least favorite narrowbody as a passenger, but the cabin cross-section is the same as the 757 to within 1mm. But it's liveable.
See here's the thing - what works for you doesn't work for everyone. Sure, as a single adult, or better yet a pair - its easy to deal with keeping devices powered, being entertained/distracted, finding food. But look around on your next WN flight - who do you see? Families. Kids.
When you travel with 1, 2, 3 or more kids you cannot so easily solve these problems are you casually comment on. I have 2 kids, both too young to leave alone - the shear amount of planning, effort and (sometimes) stress it takes to fly with them is very high. A 3 hour flight is not just a 3 hour flight, and certainly an all day one stop to Hawaii isn't just a simple connection; its its hours ahead at home dealing with provisions, transport, tantrums - then its terminal with baggage, car seats, checkin lines, **security lines**, unexpected (and unannounced) "potty emergencies". Then its trying to corral restless (and maybe very tired/cranky because of early flight time) kids at the gate. Then its the boarding nightmare (*****especially WN*****) , now we're on board, how many devices/power packs, etc do you suppose I need to try to keep them happy (and not bother other people)? I often don't even have the space and/or carrying capacity to bring enough "stuff".
It isn't about the lack of a single amenity (IFE, power, food) , or whether is "free" or paid - its the aggregate lack thereof.
If I take a good non-LCC flight, I can count on a helpful pre-board, IFE that heavily engages the kids, food that can sustain them and I, or even a premium class that make life even easier (I sometimes do this when traveling with just 1 kid).
I cannot count on having time to feed them or myself in the terminal (originating or connection point!). I cannot count on a kid not discharging a device after its use is called for at home/in transport to airport/in terminal... that can be a long time. When we land, the trip is not even close to over when there's little kids in play.
I see no evidence that WN has any "real" food for purchase on longer flights as you claim, beyond "additional snacks for purchase on longer flights". We all know they don't have traditional catering and certainly not sandwich service, much less ovens. I'm not being elitist, but I cannot feed a hungry child during long haul (maybe all-day) travel on mini-cans of Pringles. Even a banana would be superior.
Hopefully I've illustrated my perspective a little - just to add to it - I travel as a solo adult, no spouse. When I have 2 children with, neither of which can be fully trusted to go to the bathroom themselves (meaning the other may or may not be left alone) , its a challenge, and every little benefit an airline can offer is most appreciated (I too, have to go to the bathroom at times, ya?). WN's bare bones operations is simply less, less, less, less.
I'm no travel wimp. I've hauled my kids TPAC, transcon, Caribbean (w/turboprop hops), Mexico. TATL and HI is around the corner, South America is when, not if. I've done all those things I described as "hard" above, like pack-muling all the gear for kids because of WN/LCC , and its completely doable, with enough planning going out - its coming home that can be much harder
as I am departing from a non-home setting with all new challenges. You're in LA, no? You know what a nightmare the car hire places are around LAX at night, with a couple of kids?
For those of you with the attitude: "then don't fly WN, fly something else
" - I don't
. I don't fly WN with kids (I sometimes do without, though it doesn't impress me). I'm simply pointing out that some people like me will eliminate them from consideration on long Hawaii operations.
For those of you with the attitude: "people flew with kids for decades before IFE, tablets, computers - you're being a baby
" - not really. I flew long-haul from birth on DC-8, B707 and such; my parents hauled me around the world; I am aware of what the past was like. While electronic distractions and roller bags(!) did not exist, Airports were smaller, less congested, security was non-existent, attitudes towards kids was more lax, meals served on nearly any and every flight (terminal food operations weren't a massive profit center) ; this made travel with kids a fair bit easier.
WN doesn't need to install power/IFE/cater just to find success in the Hawaii market. But they put themselves at a disadvantage. I fly alot on my own dime, and while I'll acceptably torture myself on EasyJet or Spirit when it works best for me, I won't do so with my kids, and in the end, that does have a lasting impact on my attitude.