Review: Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport (HNL)

Review: Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport (HNL)

NAME: Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu
Airport: HNL
DATE: March 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Hawaiian Airlines' Plumeria Lounge in Honolulu might just be the most underwhelming "flagship" lounge of any airline. Expect a crowded space and a very limited food selection.
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Prior to our flight from Honolulu to Kona we had the chance to check out the Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge, might just be the saddest “flagship” hub lounge of an airline anywhere? I can’t really complain since we accessed with Priority Pass, but it’s sad that this is also Hawaiian Airlines’ lounge for international business class passengers.

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu location

The Plumeria Lounge is located in Terminal 1 at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Once you’ve cleared security, just followed the signage toward the Wiki-Wiki Shuttle, as the lounge is located in the same area, near gate A18.

Honolulu Airport terminal

You should also eventually see signage explicitly for the Plumeria Lounge.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport signage

Just take the escalator up a level (to the third floor), and then the entrance to the lounge is right there.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport escalator
Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport escalator
Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport exterior

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu hours & entry requirements

The Plumeria Lounge is open daily from 7AM until 6PM, so it covers a majority of the departures from the airport. As far as Plumeria Lounge access goes:

  • The lounge is open to those flying Hawaiian Airlines business class to international destinations, plus those flying Hawaiian Airlines first class to the mainland East Coast (others flying to the mainland don’t get access to this lounge)
  • The lounge is also open to HawaiianMiles Pulani Platinum members traveling same day on an international flight
  • The lounge is open to Priority Pass members, and of course there are lots of great cards offering Priority Pass memberships
  • The lounge sells day passes at the door for $40

As you may have guessed, a vast majority of passengers visiting this lounge do so via Priority Pass.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport reception

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu seating & layout

The Plumeria Lounge is just over 3,000 square feet, so while it’s not tiny, it’s not exactly huge given how many passengers potentially use the lounge. Hawaiian Airlines describes this lounge as “a special place for guests to relax and share memories of the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Islands.” That might be a bit of a stretch.

The lounge primarily consists of one big room, and when we arrived there were barely any empty seats. Roughly half of the lounge has seats in various arrangements intended for relaxing, along with a communal table along the windows.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport seating

The other side of the lounge has a bunch of dining tables.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport seating

There was also a sitting area near the entrance. When we arrived it was roped off, but there weren’t any open seats in the lounge. Just at that moment they opened this space, as I guess this is typically reserved for Hawaiian Airlines international business class passengers, and such a flight had just left.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport seating

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu food & drinks

The Plumeria Lounge has one of the most basic food spreads I’ve seen at any Priority Pass lounge, and that’s saying quite a bit.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport buffet

The lounge had small saran-wrapped mini-sandwiches and whole fruit, packaged chips, and packaged gummies.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport food

For those expecting hot meals, you’re in luck — there are instant noodles with hot water!

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport food

By comparison the drink selection was impressive, with a soda fountain, a coffee machine, and an ice machine.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport drinks

There was also some self-serve wine.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport drinks

Water was available in little rationed cups, as was POG juice. You’ve gotta love hydrating four ounces at a time…

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport drinks

Credit to the lounge, they did have some Hawaiian POG hard seltzer, which seems like a cute touch. There was also one beer from Maui, plus Heineken.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport drinks

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu bathrooms

The lounge had pretty standard bathrooms, which were well maintained, but seemed quite small given how many guests there were in the lounge. There weren’t any shower facilities.

Plumeria Lounge Honolulu Airport bathroom

Bottom line

If you’re passing through Honolulu Airport as a Priority Pass member, the Plumeria Lounge could be worth dropping into, if you really want a beverage, or… well, actually that’s the only reason I can think of. But purely in terms of sitting in comfort, you’ll find a lot more space and better views in the terminal.

What’s perhaps more noteworthy is that I’d still consider this to be the better of the two Priority Pass lounges at the airport, as the IASS Lounge is even worse. Lastly, I find this lounge to be particularly disappointing as Hawaiian Airlines’ primary space for international business class passengers.

If you’ve visited the Plumeria Lounge, what was your experience like?

Conversations (34)
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  1. Ikaika Guest

    The beer selection is great though. I'd raid those bikini blondes to reap max value and be happy.

  2. Alan Guest

    I agree. A complete waste of space and Hawaiian Airlines should have done much better in their “home” airport.

  3. Greg Guest

    Why even have a lounge when you can’t even provide anything for international business class customers … it’s such a dilution of the product and an embarrassment to Hawaiian airlines…waste of time and money for the airline
    Who is the head of there product department for lounges ?…I think they will be finding a new job.
    To be honest you get more outside the lounge to eat… don’t bother or waste your time ;(

  4. Jason Guest

    I’ve peeked into the Hawaiian Airlines lounge back in 2018 and compared it with Delta’s Sky Club lounges at HNL, SEATAC and DTW, there’s no comparison after all, Delta Sky Clubs does have hot food, pastries, snacks, beverages for all ages, better seating arangements.

  5. Jay. D Guest

    Typical for Hawai’i in general. They rise to the height of mediocrity in so many ways. They do so because they can. It’s Hawai’i. It’s gorgeous and wonderful and healing. So, people are gonna come anyway. The lounge is half a.., the infrastructure is broke, the hotels are awful and expensive and the service around the islands is passive/aggressive.

  6. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This lounge was pathetic before covid and remains pathetic. Doesn't Priority Pass have standards? $6 wine, btw. Barefoot would be better.

  7. DaninMCI Guest

    Looks about like the JAL lounge at HNL. I guess tourist don't know any better.

  8. John Guest

    It's a sad excuse for a flagship lounge, even by low North American standards. But that said, it really is a HNL Airport 'thing' as one or two others point out. Hawaii has benefited so much from overseas and domestic tourism for the decades (literally billions upon billions of dollars! and yen!!), and it's a scandal that money was never set aside for proper airport maintenance, to say nothing of complete re-builds. Sure you've got...

    It's a sad excuse for a flagship lounge, even by low North American standards. But that said, it really is a HNL Airport 'thing' as one or two others point out. Hawaii has benefited so much from overseas and domestic tourism for the decades (literally billions upon billions of dollars! and yen!!), and it's a scandal that money was never set aside for proper airport maintenance, to say nothing of complete re-builds. Sure you've got the Mauka Concourse, but what HNL desperately needed was the whole ugly concrete pile to be blown up and a new terminal(s) built. I've been to 6 out of 7 continents and HNL is one of the worst airports out of dozens I've passed through. So it's no shock that a lounge there would be....disappointing to say the least.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      If only HNL is part of a continent.
      I guess when you learn about "know your continents" the book said 4-6 years. And you're happy because it only took you 2 years to understand (which sadly you don't).

  9. CP Guest

    Ha Ha airlines is a LCC with an Ohana twist. You should be thankful there is a lounge at all ;)

  10. Vic Guest

    It’s kind of embarrassing, that company had kind of a closed market I’m so pleased they have competition, maybe they’ll step it up and act like they appreciate their customers, and Hawaii.

  11. Justin Guest

    Yikes, this is disappointing, especially when considering that the Plumeria Lounge is/was supposed to be their premium lounge with premium offerings relative to their standard "Premier Club". I recall they rolled the Plumeria Lounge out a few years back when they were making a big push to expand their international routes and wanted something more competitive befitting an international trans-pacific carrier. This is looking even sadder when you consider the efforts domestic US carriers have...

    Yikes, this is disappointing, especially when considering that the Plumeria Lounge is/was supposed to be their premium lounge with premium offerings relative to their standard "Premier Club". I recall they rolled the Plumeria Lounge out a few years back when they were making a big push to expand their international routes and wanted something more competitive befitting an international trans-pacific carrier. This is looking even sadder when you consider the efforts domestic US carriers have been making to bolster their lounge offerings with renovations (notably Delta Skyclub and Alaska).

    I get that Hawaii is a principally lower yield holiday market, but when you compare this with what ANA did with their honu A380s and updated HNL lounge, this makes Hawaiian look very uncompetitive for premium passengers to/from the key Japan market.

  12. James fedoruk Guest

    Have you used the sakura lounge it used to be run by Japan airlines and had decent food pre COVID now run by aa so you know how that would be also restaurants are still restricted

  13. DLPTATL Guest

    Delta has a great, albeit small, lounge at HNL with excellent staff, food, and drinks. Unfortunately it has no views.

  14. jane blogs Guest

    Ha, I think its a Honolulu Airport thing. The Qantas lounge is equally (if not more so) sad and bad. Worse, its been like that since the 80's! Only problem is that plans have quadrupled in size and the number of people in that tiny little room is ridiculous. And its in a corner that you have to really really want to go there as it takes some good exploratory skills to even find the thing!

  15. AVGeekHNL New Member

    Yup, the Hawaiian Airlines lounges are the saddest lounges. I have to use it often and its pretty laughable. The lounges in Kona, Hilo, and Lihue have been closed for two years, with no announcement that they will open soon. The only redeeming factor is that the beer is usually cold. It's impossible to eat the sandwiches - its a dry dinner roll with a piece of ham and turkey. You're lucky if they have...

    Yup, the Hawaiian Airlines lounges are the saddest lounges. I have to use it often and its pretty laughable. The lounges in Kona, Hilo, and Lihue have been closed for two years, with no announcement that they will open soon. The only redeeming factor is that the beer is usually cold. It's impossible to eat the sandwiches - its a dry dinner roll with a piece of ham and turkey. You're lucky if they have packets of mayo and mustard.

    I've watched people try to make the instant cup ramen - not really possible because the hot water in the urn is not hot enough. People put the lukewarm water into the cup and wait, wait, wait, ..... the noodles never softens, so they just throw it away. It seems that Hawaiian Airlines doesn't care.

  16. DSK Member

    This looks amazing compared with the Hawaiian lounge on Maui on February 28, which had coffee, pug juice, crackers, a soda machine and perhaps something else (but not much else).

  17. uldguy Diamond

    I’d be less upset if they didn’t have a lounge to begin with and more upset had I visited this dungheap. In comparison, it makes the average Admirals Club look luxurious.

    Hawaiian really should be ashamed of this facility.

  18. Disappointed Guest

    Although clean. Terrible and beyond basic for a lounge of this type. Many times they run out of the tiny chex mix leaving nothing to eat. In addition, you’re not allowed to bring outside food into the facility. Just last week we entered the lounge. To our surprise, the receptionist handed us a package of two small cookies each. Shame!!!

  19. LLNH Guest

    HNL seems like a 3rd world neglected airport, decaying over the 30 years I’ve traveled through it.

  20. KYLE Guest

    The problem with Hawaiian Airlines lounge is, they almost let in anybody. As long as your a Gold member and if they have someone else that is traveling with you, they’ll let them in also.
    To me, the lounge should be reserved for First Class passengers. Especially if you are paying all that money for First Class.
    The same thing happens when checking in at Las Vegas. The First Class line is combined...

    The problem with Hawaiian Airlines lounge is, they almost let in anybody. As long as your a Gold member and if they have someone else that is traveling with you, they’ll let them in also.
    To me, the lounge should be reserved for First Class passengers. Especially if you are paying all that money for First Class.
    The same thing happens when checking in at Las Vegas. The First Class line is combined with Gold members. Took me over an hour to check in my bags, and I got there 2 hours early. The people that are traveling main cabin are checking in before me. I was ready to go to the main cabin check in line. Like I said.. You pay all that money to travel First Class, they should give more priority to the person who is over $2000 to $3000 a ticket, then the person who is paying $300 or no charge cause the are using Hawaiian Miles.
    I like Hawaiian Airlines, but sorry to say they are doing thing ass backwards.

    1. Grey Member

      Have you never flown on an airline with frequent flyer programmes? Virtually any programme that has status levels gives status holders access to business class airport facilities. If they are in an alliance, it is mandatory. Because why should they give priority to you who only flies them one time, compared to the person who flies with them every single month?

  21. Waters Guest

    The furniture is also a little care worn. Plus the later you go, the less there is in the way of food and beverage.

  22. philwupdx New Member

    I guess it's "reassuring" that nothing has changed since early 2020 when the pandemic was just getting started. My partner and I flew Hawaiian first class to Auckland, NZ and spent a few uncomfortable hours in the Plumeria Lounge. We had "access" to the small roped off area just inside the front door that was reserved for international first class passengers. That was arguably worse than the main section of the lounge, which was already overcrowded.

  23. Tennen Gold

    The sad thing is that this is *better* than their regular club lounge, which, AFAIK, only has POG juice, water, and Pau Hana snack mix (which the Plumeria Lounge should have as well).

    When I visited, they had TWO types of instant noodles and TWO types of mini-sandwiches! Yay! /s

    Oh, it was also very entertaining to see the reactions of people getting redirected to the other lounge: "But I paid for First...

    The sad thing is that this is *better* than their regular club lounge, which, AFAIK, only has POG juice, water, and Pau Hana snack mix (which the Plumeria Lounge should have as well).

    When I visited, they had TWO types of instant noodles and TWO types of mini-sandwiches! Yay! /s

    Oh, it was also very entertaining to see the reactions of people getting redirected to the other lounge: "But I paid for First Class!!" "I'm a super loyal Platinum member!" "I can't believe you treat club members so poorly! (when being told that they could pay if they really wanted to get in)"

  24. TPH Guest

    Sadly this is how the lounge was Pre-Covid. On the bright side it is better than the HA Premier Clubs which literally only have a soda machine, drip coffee dispenser and snack mix.

  25. Andrew Gold

    Experience was the same as yours. Kicked myself for walking to get there.

  26. ZC Guest

    The lounge has been like this since at least 2018

    1. Looks like they change the furniture from comfortable to cheap and uncomfortable. So sad! Guest

      That is the original premier lounge that was from the 90s.Looks like they change the furniture from comfortable to cheap and uncomfortable. So sad

  27. echino Gold

    Not just the lounges, all Hawaii airport experience is pretty disappointing.

  28. Sel, D. Guest

    Any possibility things are dismal because of Covid still? While it’s a crap reasoning, perhaps they used to better and are planning to get back to that. Seems like an even sadder version of “The Club”.

    1. WrightHI Guest

      Nope, HA just has zero interest in providing a competitive lounge. They’re a “destination carrier,” not like all those boring airlines that focus on flying people to places that aren’t Hawaii, so they don’t need to worry about any of the ways they fall short.

    2. Mark P Member

      No, this was pretty much the exact same spread as when I visited it in March 2018.

    3. Charles J. Guest

      Totally agree with all the negative, disappointing comments about Hawaiian's plumeria lounge. For a premier lounge, it is nothing special, just a place to sit before boarding.
      At the other end of the spectrum, premier lounge at Haneda/Japan was simply amazing. Luxurious setting, individual booths and tables. And the food, OMG, it was a restaurant quality buffet, hot entrees, make your own ramen-no instant packaging, fresh sushi selections, lots of arare snacks, wine, beer,...

      Totally agree with all the negative, disappointing comments about Hawaiian's plumeria lounge. For a premier lounge, it is nothing special, just a place to sit before boarding.
      At the other end of the spectrum, premier lounge at Haneda/Japan was simply amazing. Luxurious setting, individual booths and tables. And the food, OMG, it was a restaurant quality buffet, hot entrees, make your own ramen-no instant packaging, fresh sushi selections, lots of arare snacks, wine, beer, sake, coffee, tea, soft drinls. Lounge staff pleasant and professional, constantly replenishing the hot foods. It was like a fine dining restaurant. Staff even removed your empty plates.
      Always go there extra early, to enjoy and stay in premier lounge.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Ikaika Guest

The beer selection is great though. I'd raid those bikini blondes to reap max value and be happy.

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Alan Guest

I agree. A complete waste of space and Hawaiian Airlines should have done much better in their “home” airport.

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Charles J. Guest

Totally agree with all the negative, disappointing comments about Hawaiian's plumeria lounge. For a premier lounge, it is nothing special, just a place to sit before boarding. At the other end of the spectrum, premier lounge at Haneda/Japan was simply amazing. Luxurious setting, individual booths and tables. And the food, OMG, it was a restaurant quality buffet, hot entrees, make your own ramen-no instant packaging, fresh sushi selections, lots of arare snacks, wine, beer, sake, coffee, tea, soft drinls. Lounge staff pleasant and professional, constantly replenishing the hot foods. It was like a fine dining restaurant. Staff even removed your empty plates. Always go there extra early, to enjoy and stay in premier lounge.

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