As a travel consultant, one of the perks of the job is not only helping people craft their dream holiday and be paid for it, but to experience the trips first hand by going on ‘familiarization’ trips otherwise known as ‘famils’. This means that as Flight Centre consultants not only are we able to visit incredible locations as research for our clients (tough gig huh), but we’re also able to test out all sorts of different airlines that fly our clients there too. So many people forget that a holiday is not just about the destination, but a large chunk of it is the journey that gets you there, and that starts as soon as you step foot on the plane.
Recently I was fortunate enough to fly to Hawaii to film an episode for Season Two of Flight Centre’s 48 Hour Destination TV show and this gave me a chance to try out Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort Premium Seating.
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What I wanted to find out for my customers on flight HA444 from Brisbane to Honolulu was whether it was really worth the upgrade from Economy. So many of my customers have asked me about the difference between Economy and Premium Economy seating for various airlines and so I thought why not answer some of those questions here?
First of all is the cost factor, for a little extra mulah I was able to move closer to the pointy end of the plane in Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort Premium Seating. Stepping foot onboard I was greeted by a warm smile and genuine ‘Aloha, welcome!’ by one of Hawaiian Airlines’ cabin crew.
After finding my seat, I was able to prop the complementary pillow behind my back, cover up with the warm fleece blanket and stretch my legs out with the absolutely-and-completely-worth-it extra leg room. The cherry on top (of the Hawaiian Mai Tai) was that I was swiftly gifted a handy mini travel amenities kit.
The kit included a pair of socks and an eye mask with the message, ‘e hiamoe maika’i,’ Hawaiian for ‘Sleep Well’, and after dinner, sleep well is certainly what I did. Other items included a comb, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, earphones, tissues and a mini Lōli’i brand hydrating mist facial spray, hand and body balm and lip balm from the Makiki Valley. You would think I’d already landed in paradise, but was instead still 7,881 kilometers away and sitting high above the clouds at an altitude of 35,996 ft. Mmmm dreamy.
Despite floating high up with the expansive Pacific below, I already felt like I’d stepped onto island time, whether it was the fresh Frangipani’s tucked behind the flight attendant’s ear or the yummy pineapple shaped and flavoured shortbread, I’m not sure. However, the one thing that will see me coming back on board Hawaiian Airlines is the friendliness and hospitality of its staff whom, mind you, didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked for a few (dozen) extra pineapple cookies.
I think it’s safe to say I was not disappointed with how far an upgrade to Premium Economy gets you and how much of a difference it makes to how you arrive in your final destination. A small price to pay for a little piece of the Aloha Spirit and feeling fresh on arrival.