Last minute travel really is the worst. I’m paying double what I’d normally pay and seating options are typically sparse. Today I had to fly to Hawaii on 24 hours notice for a work project. The only nonstop option from Phoenix to Honolulu was Hawaiian Airlines. Wonderful, a $1,000 flight and I’ll only earn a few JetBlue points for my trouble. Hawaiian doesn’t offer any meaningful miles to credit to American or United; which I’d prefer. Off I wen’t on a Hawaiian Airlines 767, and boy was it ugly.
Hawaiian Airlines 767 PHX-HON – No Bueno
Upon boarding I could immediately tell this was an old plane. My standard carry on bag didn’t even fit in the overhead bins properly. That’s when you know it’s old. Anyway, I proceeded to my seat in row 30-something and was shocked at how dirty it was. Here’s a picture of what appears to be spilled soda all over the wall:
Having such a dirty cabin was odd since Hawaiian parks this plane in Phoenix overnight. You’d think a cleaning crew would have plenty of time to take care of that.
Ok, things happen, I get it. After the flight took off, I was hoping to catch a movie. First a round of promotional material played on the cabin TV’s. Then, absolutely nothing. A brief (mediocre) meal service came and went, and still nothing. There would be no movies. At least I could use the WiFi and get some work done. Oh wait, no WiFi either.
Bathroom Problems: A Hawaiian Story
After a few hours in the air, I needed to use the restroom. The lavatory door didn’t clearly indicate whether it was occupied or not. I went ahead and opened it, shocked to find somebody in there. Embarrassed, I waited until they were done. I then went in, locked the door and started to use the bathroom. Our of nowhere, the door swings open with a passenger quickly apologizing in the same fashion I did. Great, the doors aren’t working.
With 45 minutes to go, we could all sense the end of this misery. Out of nowhere the flight attendants make an announcement that they would be collecting any loaned out tablets. My business partner and I looked at each other incredulous. Neither of us were ever offered these tablets. Perhaps we missed an announcement, who knows.
After 6+ hours of terrible flight, we finally arrived in Honolulu right on time. Things could be worse, right? Well, despite being right on time, we have no gate available. Our full 767 is waiting on an inter-island flight to depart. 20 minutes later, we were finally off the plane.
I know this is definitely a first world problem, but that flight was abysmal. The highlight for me was Hawaiian’s promotional video patting themselves on the back for being the only domestic airline to offer in-flight meals. Despite this claim not being true, is that even noteworthy? Outside of inter-island travel, Hawaiian’s average flight must be at least 6 hours. How generous of them to offer a small, mediocre breakfast!
I’ve got a flight back tomorrow and the seat map is completely full. I’m preparing myself for the worst – a likely middle seat and some heavy drinking.