Hawaiian Airlines is offering a new option for travelers to skip the line and move through Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) with a bit more comfort. And the service includes access to an exclusive new lounge.
The airline recently unveiled its Premium Airport Service in Honolulu. To tap into the benefits, you don’t have to have HawaiianMiles elite status, carry a credit card that includes lounge access or travel on a business- or first-class ticket.
You just have to be flying with Hawaiian and be willing to pay for the service.
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Hawaiian’s new concierge-esque program includes a host of paid perks, which shift in scope (and cost) depending on whether you’re arriving, departing or connecting in Honolulu.
The array of services includes priority baggage handling, an escort through the terminals and, contingent on your plans, a private chauffeur between terminals, or to and from the airport’s rental car facility.
Plus, departing and connecting passengers get access to Hawaiian’s new, exclusive lounge in Terminal 1: Apartment 1929, named for the year the airline was founded. The lounge soft-launched in December but is now fully open to travelers who want to buy their way in.
Now, these perks certainly don’t come cheap: Departure services, which include access to Apartment 1929, start at $750 for a party of two. Arrival services start at $500 for a party of two.
It’s worth noting that in a lot of cases, you’d pay less for a travel credit card that carries a year’s worth of lounge access at airports across the country (among other perks).
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But, if you’d prefer a one-time expense to make your experience at the airport a bit less stressful, the new service could certainly make for a more enjoyable trip through the terminals.
Hawaiian unveils Apartment 1929 lounge
The centerpiece of Hawaiian’s new, premium airport service is its Apartment 1929 lounge, which is located right near The Plumeria Lounge in Honolulu’s Terminal 1.
Featuring an array of tables and sofas for eating, drinking or relaxing, the airline bills Apartment 1929 as a private lounge, which is available to paying travelers departing from the airport or on a connection.
Visitors to Apartment 1929 will have access to a full food and drink menu, which includes a cocktail list curated by Bar Leather Apron, a James Beard award-winning bar in downtown Honolulu. Guests will place a food order before arriving at the airport, as part of the check-in process with the Apartment 1929 concierge.
If you’ve grown tired of airport lounge overcrowding, you certainly won’t find it here. Apartment 1929 can accommodate up to 24 guests at one time, but even that likely makes it sound less tranquil than it is.
The lounge offers a “quiet and relaxing setting brimming with the soft sounds of Hawaiian music,” the airline says.
The space includes a private room that can hold up to eight guests.
Beyond that, there’s just a handful of tables — both indoor and outdoor — that can each seat no more than four visitors.
Apartment 1929 also includes shower facilities in case you want to freshen up during a layover or before a long flight to the U.S. mainland or Asia.
Other departure services
As part of the premium airport departure services, a Hawaiian representative will greet you at the curb in front of the terminal, or at the rental car facility if you’re returning a car.
The service includes priority baggage handling, an expedited Transportation Security Administration checkpoint lane, an escort through the airport (who will assist you with any carry-on bags) and priority boarding once you’re at the aircraft.
If your gate is in Terminal 2, you’ll get a private driver to the terminal.
And, once at the gate, you’ll have priority boarding.
For those wanting to use the service after an arrival in Honolulu, the service includes a greeting from a Hawaiian representative at the aircraft door, who will assist with any luggage.
Then, you’ll get a private escort to your transportation — including a private driver from Terminal 2, and to the rental car facility if you’re picking up a car.
Don’t worry about stopping by baggage claim: As long as you’re staying on the island of Oahu, the airline will transfer your bag right to your hotel.
Hawaiian also offers a combination of these services to travelers making a connection in Honolulu, from driver assistance from Terminal 2 to priority boarding, an escort through the airport and access to Apartment 1929.
Is Hawaiian Airlines’ new premium service worth it?
For infrequent travelers with some nerves about navigating the airport, there certainly are some benefits to this service.
For arriving passengers, there’s convenience in handing off your carry-on bags at the aircraft door and getting an escort through the terminal — perhaps even to your car rental pickup, not to mention having your luggage dropped off at your hotel.
Travelers will also likely enjoy the quieter, more seamless experience of relaxing in Apartment 1929 before a flight as opposed to the louder, more crowded airport concourses.
After all, the departure services start at $750 for a party of two.
For $695(see rates and fees) annually, The Platinum Card® from American Express, for instance, gets you a full year’s worth of access to Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Select lounges globally, including a couple of Priority Pass options in Honolulu. Enrollment is required.
Other cards, like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card ($395 annual fee (see rates and fees) and Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee), also include a year’s worth of lounge access around the world — including lounges in Honolulu.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here