Upgrades to in-flight dining on Hawaiian Airlines

Folks flying between Hawaii and the mainland can look forward to new meal choices on Hawaiian Airlines, including more island flavors and free drinks. The airline announced a revised Mea Ho’okipa’ (translation: I am host) inflight service philosophy. The current focus is mostly on the dining options.

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.

Apparently one of the key factors in the the "good old days of flying" was free drinks. Passengers will now receive a complimentary glass of wine to go with their lunch or dinner meals. There will also be a free rum-based signature cocktail offered during the snack/beverage service 2 hours out from landing in both directions. This is comparable to the mai tais offered by Alaska Airlines on their Island service. Hawaiian was already the only carrier offering free food in economy on all flights to Hawaii; now they’ve got free drinks, too. Not too shabby.

The updates will also see flight attendants assigned to specific zones, allowing for more personal interactions with passengers and changes to the buy-on-board menus to feature more island flavors in the selections. The cheeseburger will be disappearing in favor of a Kalua pork sandwich, for example.

I rather enjoyed the service on the JFK-HNL flight I took back in June. The food was decent and the flight was reasonably comfortable. Upgrading the meals and adding free drinks certainly isn’t going to hurt that opinion.

Read more about the new service announcements at Fodors.com, too.

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Aloha NYC: On board the inaugural flight JFK-HNL

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Wow, that’s cool! I hope helps their bottom line and that it encourages the rest of the industry to elevate the service experience in the back of the plane.

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