Review: Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge Honolulu Airport

Filed Under: Hawaiian

Spoiler alert: it’s terrible.

Virtually everywhere I went in Hawaii, I found amazing hospitality, and everything had a local feel to it. After I returned, it took me a week to stop instinctively saying “aloha” and “mahalo” to people. The one place in Hawaii that didn’t feel like Hawaii was the Premier Club at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Keep in mind that Hawaiian grants Premier Club access to all its First and Business Class passengers (including those who just paid for an upgrade from Economy), and to all of its elite members. So I wouldn’t expect the amenities of the the Al Safwa First Class Lounge. But even so, I was disappointed and would hardly call this even remotely one of the best lounges.

Upon entering the lounge, there’s a sign at the desk saying to scan your boarding pass, so I did that. Then, without making eye contact with me, the agent behind the desk gestured for me to give her my boarding pass, and I complied. She looked at it, handed it back to me, and motioned for me to enter the lounge. I’ve received warmer welcomes at the DMV.

Aside from the Hawaiian coffee and the signs that said “mahalo” instead of “thank you,” there was nothing about this lounge that felt remotely local. It could have just as easily been a lounge in Detroit.

Basically it’s just a smallish room with some seats. The most compelling reason to spend any time here is because the airport itself doesn’t seem to have free Wi-Fi, while the lounge does.

There is also coffee, as well as soda and water.

They have a sad little bowl of packaged snack mix as well, the same kind they serve aboard their inter-island flights.

One important note: Hawaiian Airlines has a more exclusive lounge at HNL, the Plumeria Lounge. In addition to being open to Hawaiian Airlines’ international business class passengers, it’s also a Priority Pass lounge. It definitely looks more substantial than the Premier Club, so at least there are some options.

The other Priority Pass offering at HNL is the IASS Hawaii Lounge, which I understand is not much better than its counterpart at Narita.

Bottom Line

Skip this lounge, unless you need Wi-Fi and aren’t able to make it to the Plumeria Lounge.

  1. @Andrew B–Couldn’t you have gone to the Plumeria Lounge? Or is that in a separate terminal? And is this lounge Priority Pass also?

  2. The pictures suggest they have actually spruced the place up a bit since I was there in 2014. They had some rather worn rattan furniture, and the snack offering has “expanded”. I had to go get the snack bags at the front desk.

  3. I guess we can say that life in Hawaii is slow and laid back. HA is definitely taking it’s time on improvements.

  4. It’s pretty representative of Honolulu airport, ghastly; fly Sydney to Honolulu and you get to experience 2 of the world’s most awful airports in one journey.

  5. If this was the Premier Lounge in interisland, it really is pretty crap, but most people spend very little time waiting for those flights. The Plumeria Lounge looks nice, and it is a welcome add since PP holders lost access to the Sakura/AAdmirals a couple years ago, but is also a hike from anyone other than Hawaiian. That IASS lounge is absolutely awful and the location is a pain to get to as well. A big problem, however, is the fact that HNL is a REALLY spread out airport and getting between sectors within security is always a hike. Just getting from the Sakura/AAdmirals to the Diamond Head Concourse, which is where United’s flights leave from, is a long walk, and they are on the same side.

  6. It is entirely true that the usual attendant in that lounge does not set any records for friendly service. OTOH, the lounge itself serves its purpose just fine, but you’re not the target audience. It’s perfectly adequate for a quick cup of coffee and a glance at email in the few minutes between clearing security and heading to the gate for an interisland flight.

  7. Wow, and just to ensure you stay miserable, they add the dreaded “no outside food or beverage” sign.

  8. I was in both of the lounges a couple of months ago and your spoiler alert describes both of them, terrible. The flight to Brisbane in Hawaiian first/business(?) was not much better than the lounge.

  9. I live in Hawaii…Yup, you are right! And the comments about the airport in general are also right on. They have been working on construction for years with no end in sight.

  10. The United Lounge is also a step below their mainland lounges. I know. Doesn’t seem possible, but it is. Just awful.

  11. The Priority Pass lounge in HNL was probably the worst lounge I have ever seen – a pain to find, small and depressing, and offers nearly nothing in terms of food or drinks. It was a complete waste of time

  12. YEAH!!!





  13. And as bad as this one is, it is a step up from the HA lounge on Maui. Both are awful, the one on Maui even worse….

  14. Yea I live in HNL and been to those lounges. The Premier lounge is just a more comfortable holding room then the gate area. The only plus side of the Plumeria lounge is that it is near the Wikiwiki shuttles to take you to the overseas terminals much easier

  15. I was shocked how lackluster HA’s lounge facilities at HNL were. As a midpoint back to SF from PPT, it was a letdown to spend 3.5 hours in there!

  16. at least wifi was 25/25 mbs – really useful since I still shoot with a semi-professional camera and my pics are about 16mbs a piece. fast internet, clean, spacious, plenty of outlets – pretty much everything you need.

  17. I have to agree that with the exception of having free wifi, there is no other reason to visit any of the Hawaiian Airline Lounges. Kona’s lounge seats about 10 people and with the exception that it has air conditioning and wifi, it is only on par with the waiting area at a Jiffy Lube. Honolulu’s lounge is larger and slightly nicer in furnishings, but other than that, my Dentist has a better waiting area.

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