Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2132
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:30 am

Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018
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Hawaiian Airlines announced in January that Long Beach would be their next Californian destination, and their newly purchased A321NEOs are designed to fly into these markets – secondary airports in major cities and smaller regional cities that might not support an A330 but fit perfectly with these A321Ns. Long Beach Airport is becoming one of my favorite airports, as LAX is getting more difficult to navigate especially traffic within the airport itself. Long Beach is equal distance from my home, so I targeted this inaugural. Unfortunately, I did not manage to buy one of those discounted first-class fares, but eventually used the upgrade bid system to try. My upgrade was clear about a week before the flight. Hawaiian Airlines definitely knew how to incorporate the Hawaiian cultural elements that tourists like into these inaugural parties. This inaugural turned out to be pretty nice and I manage to take many pictures of these Hawaiian Airlines’ A321NEO, so hope it will help out future travelers. While there were no space flex gallery and bathrooms, HA really crammed the planes with seats. I will prefer the larger A330-200s, but for fliers from these smaller markets, these A321Ns are still an acceptable alternative.

June 1, 2018
HA 69 LGB-HNL Lv0830 Arr1140 Airbus A321NEO N204HA “‘Ōhi‘a Lehua”

Full album link for those who are no interested in read the report!
http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/Carfi ... BInaugural

Since it was an inaugural flight and found out that there would indeed be some celebration the day before, I arrived fairly early at Long Beach Airport.

I immediately spotted these check-in kiosks curbside and you can even tag your bags. There are staffs to assist.
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Once you walked in, you understand why HA need those curbside check-in counters. Hawaiian basically has three counters – one for first and elite fliers, one for regular check-in and one for drop off. JetBlue was the ground agents for Hawaiian, but the service was only lukewarm, as most agents were more focused on learning the system. However, I was able to use the first-class line and the agent was at least familiar with entering the TrueBlue number (as you can’t do it online when booking now). There was still no queue as things were still quiet this early.

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Then I headed towards TSA security lane because there was really nothing much anymore in the public area. The only full-service restaurant in the original building was closed.

Press check-in
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Long Beach Airport
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TSA Check
I generally had no issue going through TSA in Long Beach because the queues were usually not too long. However, the conductor this morning was very rude. He was rushing people even though there was no queue at all. His attitude was poor and thankfully the rest of the TSA staffs were friendly as always.

Priority line has already updated with Hawaiian Airlines’ information.
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I originally thought that Hawaiian would use the less busy South concourse (Gate 1-4) but since JetBlue was its agent and codeshare partner, it used the busier and honestly a bit over-crowded North Concourse.

With this permanent sign, HA seems to be using gate 11 in LGB every morning.
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When I arrived at the gate, there was already a three-man band playing Hawaiian music and two Hawaiian dancers.
I was surprised some passengers were already at the gate.

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There was also a continental breakfast buffet featuring pastries, croissants, guava juice, and coffee.
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There was soon a press conference featuring the usual range of speakers, including LGB airport director, Jess Romo, Vice Mayor of Long Beach, Rex Richardson, and Hawaiian Airlines’ President & CEO, Peter Ingram (who was not on the flight though, and I presume he will stay in LA area for more promo matters).

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Then there was a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony by Kahu Richard Kamanu of Kaumakapili Church in Honolulu, assisted by Hawaiian Airlines’ employees. Hawaiian Airlines also has a blessing ceremony for inaugural and special flights.

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Boarding then began at 7:36am, and the first passengers to board the flight was Fred and Kim Pēna, who just retired from his job of Operations and Facilities Bureau manager at the Long Beach Airport. I was curious on why this elderly couple received so many attention and eventually read about at local Long Beach Airport.
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Staffs were placing lei at each departing passenger, and also passing out gift bags.
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Gift bag
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Beauty in boarding at Long Beach Airport – got a close look at this new A321Neo – not the latest delivery but pretty new.
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Since boarding was running a bit slow today and me sitting at 4J, last row of first class, I took the opportunity to snap some pictures in the economy cabin, and the crews were more than happy for me to do so.

First Class cabin – four rows of recliner chairs
1AB
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Legroom
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My seat 4J
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Pillow and blanket at each seat
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Economy cabin:
Right after first class – mostly economy extra seat but include perhaps the worst row of economy seats
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Best economy comfort row – Row 11 and there is under seat storage, as you notice the little cutoff under the divider. But this row is blocked.
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Row 14GHJ
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Row 16ABC – economy extra seat right at door 2 and I won’t recommend the window seat – no armrest and window
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Row 16EF – next to jump seat – I am still not sure how evacuation will take place.
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Row 15 – bad row and avoid at ALL costs – no recline & no window
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Main economy section right behind door 2
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17A – last row of economy extra in forward economy section
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Row with misaligned window – Row 21
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Mid-cabin lavatory
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Cute bathroom sign pointed out by the F/A
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Row 27 – right before mid-cabin lavatory – no recline
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The aft economy sections
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Row 33-35
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Best economy comfort seat – 34A and 34F – good legroom & some freedom of movement along with a real window
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New overhead bins
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Economy seat – iPad/other similar devices holder & USB port at each seat
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Economy class legroom compared to economy comfort (grey – regular seats & blue – economy comfort seats)
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For first class, the seats are fairly typical of a recliner that you will find at narrow-body planes, but there are couple additional features including an interesting tray table design to help with iPad and other similar devices, leg rest in front of the seats, and two power ports – one USB and one universal power outlet, along with a side storage bin. The recline was not too great, and I hope Hawaiian Airlines charges less for this recliner seat. It is very different from the lie flat seats on A330-200s.

iPad holder – similar to economy seat
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Literature pocket
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USB port in front
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Individual power outlet on the side with additional storage for small items
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Water bottles holder
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Tray table
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You have to push this button
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Leg rest
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Two excellent (but junior) F/As were in charge of first class – Matt and Malya (sic). Both of them were excellent, given then they just arrived from Honolulu the night before. Their layover was barely twelve hours.

Pre-takeoff beverage was offered and you got a choice of Guava juice or Mai Tai, which was served in glassware. I had the Mai Tai, which was very strong.
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My neighbor had guava juice.
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Menu – it was pretty shameful that they only changed their menu twice a year. This new menu will last till November 2018. Given there is no choice for breakfast, it will be nice to at least change three times a year. I know HA is a low yield carrier but their first class is not cheap.
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New chef – Chef Lee Ann Wong, contestant of Top Chef Season One
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Long Beach is JetBlue’s land
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Door was finally closed at 8:20am. It was not bad given the amount of non-rev and entertainers that they need to bring back to Honolulu. The flight was pretty full to begin with, so the entertainers mostly got the economy extra seats. They had to play a bunch of musical chairs over the economy extra seats especially with this strange configuration.

Good sign when you see this truck
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Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2132
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:32 am

To my surprise, we got a water canon salute, which was always nice.
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A short taxi here and we took off from R/W30 at 8:41am.
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Passing LAX
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Flying time was five hours and nineteen minutes with a cruising altitude of 31,000 feet and the routing was pretty much all over water after passing Catalina Islands.
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Passing Catalina Islands
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Inflight entertainment
First class passengers received iPad-mini (A330s got the larger iPads) and noise-cancelling headsets.
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Streaming entertainment is also available, but you have to download the Hawaiian Airlines’ entertainment app in advance (please note not the same as Hawaiian Airlines app). The contents are better than the IPad, at least in terms of TV selections. There are more episodes and more programs.
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But I like the air map the best.
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However, some passengers had issues logging onto the app. I had no issue but pretty much logged in the moment I settled down.

Here is the menu and wine list transcript.

Beverage service
Beverage of choice and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
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Beverages & Wine
Flor Prosecco
Los Padres Red Wine
Los Padres White Wine

Ocean Vodka
Tanqueray Gin
Kōloa Kauai White Hawaiian Rum
Johnnie Walker Red Label
Jack Daniels
Crown Royal
Amaretto Disaronno
Grand Marnier
Courvoisier Cognac
Bailey’s Irish Cream

Heineken
Miller Lite
Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde

Assorted soft drinks and Hawaiian juices
Coffee and assorted teas

Signature Beverage by OTR
(On the Rocks Beverages)
Li Hing Vodka Gimlet
Lychee Vodka Martini
Mai Tai

Wine pairings are by Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya, Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar in Honolulu

Hawaiian airlines’ porcelain
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Brunch was served at 10:13am. There was no choice, but if you are vegetarian, you can request the sausages to be removed. But if you

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First Course
Seasonal Fresh Fruit
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Warm Croissant with Butter and Jam
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Main Course
Potato Crusted Quiche with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Cheese served with Portuguese Style Sausage
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There was no choice of main course, but the quiche was delicious. It was better than many typical airline breakfast.

Dessert Course
Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake
Coffee, Tea and liqueurs
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The bathroom shot – just to tell you that it was a regular bathroom, not Space Flex bathroom
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Full-sized sink – who will know that having a full sized sink be considered a luxury just a few years ago?
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I pretty slept for the next few hours. Despite hitting a few pockets, I was mostly comfortable and tired enough. The F/As were pretty good in refilling beverages and water cups.

About an hour and fifteen minutes prior to landing, there was a formal beverage service with a bag of Sweet Maui Onion-flavored Potato chips. Just a head up, they pretty much only allocated one bag per first class passengers, and honestly, Hawaiian can afford a few more bag or gave us a larger bag of chips.

iPad minis were re-collected an hour prior to arrival, and then the Hawaiian agricultural forms and surveys were passed out. They must be filled out prior to our arrival. Then they passed out pocket maps for Oahu, and then the annoying promos for the Hawaiian Airlines’ credit card.

Descent soon began at 10:41am, Hawaiian standard time, three hours behind Long Beach.
It was a cloudy day.
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Passing the reef runway
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We landed on R/W8L at 11:10am.
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Busy apron
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We parked at gate E4 five minutes later. Yes, June 1 is the first day of the re-numeration of all the gates, baggage claims, and terminals in HNL. Instead of calling the concourse with cute names like Diamond Head Concourse or EWA Concourse, they are known as Concourse A/B/C/D/E/F/G, interisland terminal is now called Terminal One, the main terminal is Terminal Two, and then the commuter terminal with one single gate is called Terminal Three.

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Some plane-spotting at Honolulu
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I flew back to LA on an afternoon flight and stopped by at the Plumeria Lounge in HNL.

The lounge was a step above the Premier Club, which was really basic. But this Plumeria Lounge was just barely better than Premier Club. For entry, you need to be HA’s international business class passengers or a priority pass holder. If you flying domestic J class, you can pay $40 per person for an upgrade. I will not pay for that upgrade. I used my priority pass to gain entry.

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There is some additional “real” food, rather than just snacks. But that is limited to sandwiches, soup, cup noodles, fruits and crudités. The soda machine is still there, along with coffee machine.
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It was supposedly less crowded but during my visit, it was the prime time for the late afternoon Australia/Asia bank, so it was fairly busy, too. Plus, they were blasting Fox News and I just need to leave eventually. I know we all have different political opinions especially at this hyper partisan era, and while I don’t mind MSNBC, I am sure some of the conservative passengers will not like it too. I think first, there should not be any TV in a lounge because it meant to be a quiet place, and if they want to show something, I will stick with a local channel. The Admiral Club is much better in terms of food and seating.

In conclusion, this Long Beach inaugural flight was pretty great and it had all the elements that I like, including some festivities, an interesting gift bag (although I missed a first flight certificate or sticker or pin), and great crews. The service was excellent, despite the offering was a bit weak especially compared to my return flight on the A330. The smaller galley really hinders the crew and my concern is that limited storage room. There are no closets for crew bags, so they took up some of the overhead bins. While they did not use the space flex lavatory and galley (but their flights are much longer on average as they are used on a flight that are 5-6 hours long), they really cramp in many seats. Row 15 is so bad that that space should be used for a closet for crew bags. However, 6 seats are more important. These A321Ns serve a certain purpose and I think Hawaiian has great opportunities to open up secondary markets. With JetBlue reducing their presence at LGB, I can even think HA can start a Long Beach to Maui or second HNL frequency. I look forward to the next Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight.

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Carfield
 
debonair
Posts: 3182
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:44 am

Row 16EF – next to jump seat – I am still not sure how evacuation will take place.


In my own opinion(!!), these seats are illegal and should have never been approved by AIRBUS nor the FAA - this is a document from AIRBUS:
https://www.cockpitseeker.com/wp-conten ... -SEQ12.pdf

Use of the Assist Space
Each aircraft has a dedicated assist space located on either side of the door. The cabin
crew must firmly grasp the frame assist handle :alert: and position themselves correctly in
the assist space.
This will:
• Prevent the cabin crewmember from being pushed out of the exit
• Prevent the cabin crewmember from interfering with evacuating passengers.
 
bgboiflyer
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:11 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:53 pm

Love the rainbow from that cannon salute. I guess the upside at LGB is that you get up close to those planes, the downside is when it rains
 
atsiang
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:40 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:01 am

very wonderful trip report! appreciated the details! I can't believe that HA can get away with having those seats in 16, especially the window! That would be awfully uncomfortable.
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1669
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:06 pm

Carfield, firstly you are truly the King of Inaugural flights. Another very detailed report from you. Thanks. Looking forward to many more from you.

On a side note there is something truly magical about the liveries of these Pacific carriers. Hawaiian, Fiji Airways, Aircalin and the absolutely brilliant new Air Tahiti Nui. So calming and serene!
 
ozark1
Posts: 774
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:38 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:10 pm

A couple of thoughts after reading your great report. I am really shocked about those seats being in front of the exit door. And i mean right in front. The 321s I have been on on AA have an aisle and a center seat by the exit door but no window seat so the flight attendant has somewhere to move and direct in an evacuation. How that got FAA approved to have a window seat there is beyond me. Plus, all of those seats with either no window or a misaligned window are terrible.
I'm not impressed, at all, with their lounge. After seeing that I'm wondering why people would even spend the money. It looked like a bus depot.
No entree choice in F/C? Seriously? I guess maybe they assume people are very happy to be going to Hawaii so they don't care about all the things, but overall, i'm not impressed.
 
richierich
Posts: 3518
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:28 pm

Flightsimboy wrote:
Carfield, firstly you are truly the King of Inaugural flights. Another very detailed report from you. Thanks!


I agree - and I've been lucky enough to share at least a couple of inaugurals with Carfield (although he might not have known it!)

Great photos and descriptions of a wonderful flight to Hawaii. I'm definitely very interested to see how HA's niche markets, which I think LGB is, works out for them. I do think, for the record, that it is only correct to fly to HI on Hawaiian and AK on Alaska.
None shall pass!!!!
 
evank516
Posts: 1306
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:15 pm

Great report! By the way, I flew on one of those jetBlue Vacations planes (unless there's only one, then that's the plane I was on) on Memorial Day from DAB-JFK. Guess it made it's way out west if if was the same one.
 
DDR
Posts: 1412
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:44 pm

Great photos carfield, probably the best of the HA A321 on the web! I agree with some of the posters about row 16 and the number of misaligned seats/windows on the plane. F looks fine, nice actually. Very surprising that F passengers have no meal choice. Is this just because of a catering issue out of LGB? Again, great pics and a very nice TR.
 
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chepos
Posts: 6335
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 9:40 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:31 pm

Great trip report, HA is on my bucket list of airlines to fly. That FC meal does look very weak though, for a 5 hour flight.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2132
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:00 am

DDR wrote:
Great photos carfield, probably the best of the HA A321 on the web! I agree with some of the posters about row 16 and the number of misaligned seats/windows on the plane. F looks fine, nice actually. Very surprising that F passengers have no meal choice. Is this just because of a catering issue out of LGB? Again, great pics and a very nice TR.


For some reasons, Hawaiian Airlines never offers a choice for breakfast in first class, since they change to the current menu setup. When I flew them two years ago, there was no choice for breakfast too.

Carfield
 
RushmoreAir
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:29 am

Re: Hawaiian Airlines Long Beach Inaugural June 1, 2018

Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:33 pm

Carfield wrote:
DDR wrote:
Great photos carfield, probably the best of the HA A321 on the web! I agree with some of the posters about row 16 and the number of misaligned seats/windows on the plane. F looks fine, nice actually. Very surprising that F passengers have no meal choice. Is this just because of a catering issue out of LGB? Again, great pics and a very nice TR.


For some reasons, Hawaiian Airlines never offers a choice for breakfast in first class, since they change to the current menu setup. When I flew them two years ago, there was no choice for breakfast too.

Carfield


Great report!

For west coast routes there are two choices up front on lunch/dinner flights (anything departing 10am or later). Breakfast is just the one set meal. International flights (and JFK) have more comprehensive menus, usually with multiple choices for the main meal then a simple continental vs. full breakfast before landing (for red-eyes).
NW UA DL F9 CO WN LO QF FI AC MU CA EU LH LX DY B6 AA HA NZ MW HU U2 SK AF EK IB HX WS

The views and opinions as expressed in this post are entirely my own and are not those of my employer, Hawaiian Airlines, Inc

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