Review of Hawaiian Airlines flight San Jose Honolulu in Economy

Airline Hawaiian Airlines
Flight HA43
Class Economy
Seat 14J
Aircraft Airbus A321neo
Flight time 05:00
Take-off 16 Sep 22, 08:00
Arrival at 16 Sep 22, 10:00
HA   #49 out of 81 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 47 reviews
Published on 28th October 2022

Hawaiian airlines paradise flight to honolulu from san jose SJC

Hello Everyone,

After nearly 3 years of not flying due to the pandemic, I finally got on the plane and took a trip to Sydney, Australia. Rather than flying the usual overnight direct from SFO to SYD on United, I ended up taking a day flight from SJC to SYD with a stopover in Honolulu as this was a much cheaper option. So this trip report is for the first leg from San Jose to Honolulu. I last flew this route back in 2007 on their 767's and how I miss the 767's!

Got up early to go to the San Jose Airport as the flight was scheduled to depart at 8am and thankfully it the airport is not far away from home. 

Still dark outside even when I arrived at the gate.

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Will be departing from Gate 4.

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As the sun came up, now can see the Airbus A321N which will take me to HNL. This was also the first time being on an A321 let alone on a NEO.

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Once on the plane took my seat 14J which is in Extra Comfort. Really like the extra legroom.

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Also really like the mood lighting in the cabin. Reminds me of the days of Virgin America! Also, the boarding music gives a nice welcoming relax feel. To experience the boarding music, you'll have to watch the Youtube video. 

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After pushback, headed towards Runway 12L. Typically takeoffs and landings occur on the 30's which occur about 90% of the time. However, on this particular day, the winds came from the south thus taking off on the 12's.

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After takeoff, plane looped around to clear above traffic going into SFO.

Here you can see Moffett Field and the Bay. 

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During meal time, we were served this bagel roll with cookies and a drink. The bagel roll was a huge disappointment. Not very good at all. While Hawaiian is the only airline that serves complementary meals, to be honest, this meal was very underwhelming. 

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For inflight entertainment, you had to access on your own personal device. I much prefer having an IFE in each seat rather than pulling out your own device. I did not watch any movies but just watched the flight tracker. 

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Soon enough land appears and we were on the right downwind leg. 

As you can see the view is just spectacular!  Can see Honolulu Airport, Hickam Air Force Base and Pearl Harbor.

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Beautiful approach. Can see the reef runway far into the distance and also Kalaeloa Airport.

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Hickam Air Force Base with F-22 Raptor!

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Landing on Runway 8L

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Parked at the Gate. The Hawaiian livery is simply beautiful!

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See more


Hawaiian Airlines

Cabin crew8.5

San Jose - SJC


Honolulu - HNL



Overall the flight was pleasant. Though I wish Hawaiian would change the food offerings. For the early departure, it would be best to serve some breakfast items, yogurt, fruit, croissant. The bagel roll simply doesn't cut it. Also, the experience would be better on a widebody with more space and room to move around.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 614486 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR with us! SJC-HNL-SYD on HA is definitely a unique way to get to Australia! Your point is valid though, I have often seen it cheaper to route through HNL to some Asian destinations than some other more traditional routings through NRT/ICN. And based on what UA offers in Y, the SFO-SYD would not be very appetizing in Y. Was ex-SJC significant cheaper than SFO? All else equal, the A330 would likely provide a better overall hard product (2-3-2 and IFE) although would likely not be as new. Overall, when compared to the major competitors out of Bay Area (AS/UA/WN), the HA's A321neo is probably the best hard product in Y (sans the rare UA B77W service out of SFO) and HA's catering while definitely heading downwards, is still better than nothing. Great aerial of HNL on arrival!

    • Comment 614545 by
      BayAreaTraveler AUTHOR 1 Comments

      Thanks for reading my review and for commenting. SJC wasn't much cheaper but it is much closer to my home, it's only a 15 mins rather than a 35 min drive. I agree HA has the best hard product out of the 3 airlines you mentioned and then closely followed by UA if you get on the 777.

  • Comment 614998 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6105 Comments

    Nice report! I really love HA's livery, it looks great on the 321neo! The interior looks pretty nice too, though it would've been nice to have PTVs like the widebodies flying the same routes. At least there's free streaming IFE and the free light meal is nice. What a fun way of getting to Australia via Hawaii!
    Thanks for sharing!

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