Hawaiian Airlines Review Economy Class Honolulu (HNL) to Papeete (PPT)
I had a bunch of Hawaiian Airlines miles expiring and Hawaiian flies to Pa'peete, French Polynesia every Saturday. For 27,500 & $5.60 Hawaiian miles you can 'beam you' to French Polynesia. The Round Trip and One-way cash fares from Honolulu to Pa'peete were $700 so this is a decent deal deal to redeem for 3 cents.
I frankly had never flown Hawaiian before - their fleet of A330's recently got recommissioned to Asia as Alaska Airlines has stolen so much market share from the West Coast markets from Hawaiian Airlines.
The boarding gate was number 32 - which is like on another island - it's that far! It's easily 30 minutes walk even for fit walkers from the Garden area with most lounges. I did not see that coming!
Also to my surprise most passengers were Hawaiian residents and Tahiti residents - just a few vacationers from the US mainland were aboard this flight which was only about 60% full.
Now flying Hawaiian Airlines in Economy is like flying used to be - there is still a meal (barely edible) with free alcohol on widebody plane. Everything look like fro a movie from the 80s. Teh IFE has movies but you have to pay for them (that did not happen in the 80s!).
The entire flight is over the Pacific Ocean, you take off passing Big Island and the next five hours are just ocean until you land on another tiny island. That's a little odd but a fun way to observe.
Immigration in Tahiti was a breeze since I could get into the residents/ EU line - there is not even a passport stamp. Done!
In sum this was a decent trip and a good redemption - the flight times from the West Coast in the morning and the Hawaii - Pa'peete flight in the afternoon kept adding up so after 12 hours in Economy I was happy it was over!