Hawaiian Airlines Launching Longest Domestic US Flight

Hawaiian Airlines has announced today that they’ll soon fly to Boston, making it the longest scheduled domestic US flight.

Hawaiian Airlines plans to offer 5x weekly flights between Honolulu and Boston as of April 4, 2019. The new flight will cover a distance of ~5,100 miles in each direction, making it about 100 miles longer than their flight to New York JFK, which is currently the longest domestic flight.

The new flight will be operated with the following schedule:

HA90 Honolulu to Boston departing 1:45PM arriving 6:00AM (+1 day) [Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat]
HA89 Boston to Honolulu departing 8:55AM arriving 2:35PM [Sun, Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat]

The flight is blocked at 10hr15min eastbound and 11hr40min westbound.

Hawaiian Airlines will use an A330-200 for the route, featuring 18 first class seats and 258 economy seats. Hawaiian’s A330 first class seats are fully flat, and in a 2-2-2 configuration. They’re much better than what most US airlines offer to Hawaii, though they’re still in a rather odd configuration, and not the most comfortable out there.

However, I do enjoy Hawaiian’s service, which is a cut above other US airlines. Here’s my review flying them last year in first class from Los Angeles to Honolulu, and then back to Los Angeles.

Hawaiian Airlines says that Boston is the largest US market without nonstop service to Hawaii, and that nearly 500 people fly between eastern New England and the islands on any given day. The market between Boston and Honolulu apparently generated about $76 million in ticket sales last year.

Furthermore, Hawaiian has a partnership with JetBlue, and JetBlue has a big hub in Boston, so presumably they’ll be providing some feed for this flight from smaller markets in the Northeast.

To celebrate the new route, Hawaiian Airlines has roundtrip fares of $617 in economy or $1,776 in first class. Tickets must be purchased by Sunday and are good for travel April 4-30, 2019, with blackout dates of April 12-14 to Hawaii, and April 19-21 to Boston.

While fares after April are higher as of now, I imagine we’ll see similarly low fares in the future during sale periods.

What do you make of Hawaiian’s new flight to Boston?

(Tip of the hat to @JonPark)

Comments

  1. “Hawaiian Airlines says that Boston is the largest US market without nonstop service to Hawaii”

    This is interesting. I live in Philly so fly out of PHL regularly and there are zero non stops to Hawaii from here. I would think PHL has to be larger than BOS so this statement confuses me somewhat.

    Lucky: Your thoughts?

    -Stan

  2. I’m in Philly – I would bet that PHL would be a bigger market to Hawaii if not for the significant leakage to EWR and BWI. BOS doesn’t have a leakage issue to other major airports.

  3. @Ben @StanD I’m PHL-based, too. No non-stop from BWI to Hawaii either so can’t imagine too many PHL flyers drive/train to BWI for a 1-stop when they can do that just fine from PHL. The EWR leakage could be real.

  4. Great news but this would be tough flight unlecdoss you are in first. In some respects, I almost rather take the AA flight to DFW for stopover and then onto Hawaii on AA lie flat seats. At least BOS has more options which is great. Hoping this does well and they will start flying to other islands. Time to look into Hawaiian miles now!

  5. It doesnt matter what Lucky thinks – DOT statistics show that Boston Logan Airport has more pax to/ from Hawaii than Philadelphia does on an annual basis. Boston is a larger market than PHL, the numbers prove it, and it doesnt matter what Lucky thinks.

    @ah- look at the schedule times for these Hawaii flights. They in NO WAY make feasible connections to / from London at Logan.

  6. The leakage from PHL to Newark is sooooo real, I travel to Hawaii no less than twice a year, I live in PHL but a one way from PHL to HNL on Alaska in First class is 900+ one way, a first class for Newark is as low as 700+ one way and the LAX to HNL portion is in a Hawaiian Airline lie flay

  7. @PHLy – it’s not just the nonstop from EWR that gets traffic, it would also include people in the Philadelphia metro area who happen to also go to Newark/BWI as the distance gap isn’t as much as it would be in downtown Philadelphia, such as those who are in Trenton, NJ or Newark, DE.

  8. Seeing these flight times reminds me how blessed we are on the west coast with our shorter direct flights to Hawaii. I have never taken a red eye back from the islands and am happy flying economy for the 5 hour flight.

  9. Gabe, good catch on 617.

    RE; Philly. Remember that United offers codeshare with Amtrak leaving Philly, connecting in Newark.

  10. @Julian:

    It’s a double-edged sword, though, as we Left Coasters don’t have the quick access to Europe that East Coasters have. And that’s more valuable in my opinion. But you can’t beat the weather here in SoCal. You win some, you lose some.

  11. I flew Hawaiian SFO-OGG on their A330 in economy+. Seat comfort and pitch were very decent and I’m 6’3”. The 2-4-2 configuration can’t be beat either. Service was really nice, felt like we were already on vacation in Maui. We had taken Mint Suites BOS-SFO and yet it wasn’t that big a letdown.

    the flight was much better than AA back to LAX on their A321.

  12. Longest?

    I recall Braniff flew LAX-GUM nonstop. Thats about 1000 miles longer.

    I’d say Guam is still domestic.

  13. The distance of that flight is nearly the same as the distance from SFO – LHR.
    For “F” domestic lie flat seats tickets at these prices for a 10+ hour flight are excellent even accounting for the UK’s exhorbitant Air Departure taxes.
    SFO-LHR (or LHR-SFO) is hardly ever less than $2.5K, more often 4K+

  14. @AdamR
    @Julian

    Yes, EU beats HI any given day.

    @PHLy @Ben @StanD

    I don’t think PHL market is bigger than BOS. Don’t forget, BOS also have people like you who are willing to go a bit further for nonstop to EWR or BWI (hence smaller market for PHL and bigger for BOS). Probably the reason we call a team New England Patriots rather than Boston Patriots.

  15. As a Hawaiian Airlines regular (JFK-HNL), let me share my personal secret for flying this long route, especially if you are 2 people.

    I fly Extra Comfort instead of First Class, specifically to get seats 11A,B or 11H, J. The configuration of their long haul flights is 2-4-2. There is a first class compartment with a curtain separating it from 2 rows of extra comfort seats. Then there is the galley/bathrooms and entrance door. Behind that are more extra comfort seats followed by regular economy.

    The 11A, B and 11H,J seats are window/aisle and essentially their own private area. There are no seats behind it, and first class curtain just in front of it. It’s quiet in the front cabin, and you can recline your seat without bothering anyone. The only drawback is that the tray is in the armrest. Hawaiian serves free meals on these flights.

    Now the real bonus. On many flights, you can get an economy seat for only 17,500 miles. Once you get the seat, you can upgrade to extra comfort for only $150 per person. That has to be one of the best deals on a domestic flight, especially of this distance.

    Not sure how much longer they can continue this deal, but I’m enjoying it for now.

  16. Hawaiian is such an overrated airline. It’s a low-cost carrier, period. Neither the first-class product nor the international business-class products are competitive, in particular the seating configuration and the food-and-beverage. Moreover, the lounges are horrible. Even the flagship international lounge at Honolulu. Oh yeah, the check-in experience, even in first-class or business-class, at HNL is super low-cost carrier.

  17. The flight times kind of suck, too. You won’t really be sleeping because you’ll be wide-awake on the departure and the return.

  18. Boston also has a higher average income level than Philadelphia.

    Still curious how much demand there could be to Hawaii, though, since for a sun destination Caribbean destinations are much closer.

    @Eskimo said: “Yes, EU beats HI any given day.”

    Depends on what you want. If you want a nice island holiday with lots of sun, then Hawaii beats most of the EU hands-down. The EU does have other attractions, though – lots of historical destinations, great foodie options, and artistic and cultural experiences. You can even sit and watch the monthly migration of the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg and back, it’s majestically meaningless.

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