Getting to the Hawaiian Islands won’t be any faster, but for passengers on Hawaiian Airlines the time on board will be more enjoyable. The airline has announced a major revamp to their in-flight catering for flights between the US mainland and the islands. Chief Commercial Officer Peter Ingram said, “Our onboard service has been completely redesigned to provide more of what our guests say they value most: delicious complimentary meals, local products, and our friendly, attentive service.”
Hawaiian Airlines is the only carrier flying between the mainland and the Islands to provide complimentary meals in the economy cabin. With the new service updates, which started at the beginning of the month, these meals are seeing a menu update to focus on the foods and flavors of the Islands. The airline is also upping the ante on drinks, offering a complimentary glass of wine to passengers with lunch or dinner service. During the final drink service, roughly two hours prior to arrival, the airline will also now be offering a complimentary signature cocktail featuring Koala Rum from Kaua’i with a snack for all passengers.
The carrier will continue to offer a paid premium meal option in-flight as well. That menu has also been updated to reflect island flavors. Options like Kalua pork sandwich or prawns with cold noodles will replace the cheeseburger or similar previously offered meals.
Blaine Miyasato, Hawaiian’s vice president of product development is looking at the whole in-flight experience as an opportunity to extend the aloha spirit off the Islands and to make passengers feel more comfortable.
“We’re bringing back the ‘good old days of flying’ by making inflight dining a pleasant part of the travel experience, while showcasing the products and promoting the ambiance that makes Hawai’i so special.
The spirit of pau hana—of leaving work for play, or leaving work to go home—is one of transformation. Our new ‘Mea Ho’okipa Service’ is meant to transform rushed or anxious travelers into relaxed guests as they travel to and from Hawai’i. We’ve redesigned our onboard experience to maximize our opportunities to transform our guests and share our aloha.”
The free drink during the late service matches a comparable offering of Mai Tais from Alaska Airlines on their flights to the Islands. The premium meals are similar to those offered by other airlines flying to the islands but Hawaiian has chosen local flavors and sources to keep the island feeling alive throughout the flight. And with their free meals, Hawaiian Airlines has surpassed the offerings of other carriers in the market.
Yes, these updates also introduce opportunities for new and improved ancillary revenue options. But they also make the flight experience better for the folks who aren’t paying more. That’s a win for everyone.