Being from Hawaii, I'm often asked “Which Airlines Offer Flat Bed Business Class Flights to Hawaii?” And the follow up question these days is often “How Much Are Flat Bed Award Seats to Hawaii in 2018?”
United, American Airlines, Delta and Hawaiian all offer flat bed seats to Hawaii on certain routes, but award seats can be hard to come by, expensive, or both. Here are the options:
1. Delta Airlines
Delta offers flat bed seats on some of its Boeing 767-300 and A330 aircraft, although only to Honolulu; routes to Maui OGG and Kona KOA only offer recliner seats, not lie flats. Here are the Delta routes with flat bed seating; be sure to look for the bed icon and click into the seating to be sure the scheduled aircraft offers flat bed seats (keeping in mind that there can be aircraft swaps):
- Los Angeles LAX to Honolulu HNL (767-300)
- Atlanta ATL to Honolulu HNL (A330)
- Salt Lake City SLC to HNL (A330)
- Minneapolis MSP to HNL (A330, seasonal)
Delta's 767-300 offers 26 seats in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, with a seat width of 21 inches. If flying solo, the most private seats are 3A, 3D, 5A and 5D, as these are closest to the window, with the armrest by the aisle. I recommend avoiding row 1, which is closest to the galley and lavatories, 6A and 6D, which are missing windows, and 7B/7C, which are the very last row before Premium Economy.
Delta's A330 has Delta One First Class, with 34 flat bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration across 8 rows for window seats and 9 rows for “honeymoon” center seats.
Award pricing is variable (Delta doesn't publish award charts), but expect to use anywhere from 55,000 from LAX to HNL when booking early or for low demand dates to 172,500 SkyMiles or more one way between Honolulu and Atlanta for high demand dates.
2. United Airlines
United Airlines flies these routes with flat bed seats in BusinessFirst to Hawaii:
- NYC EWR to Honolulu HNL (767-400ER)
- Washington DC IAD to HNL (767-300)
- Houston IAH to HNL (777-200)
- San Francisco SFO to HNL (777-200)
United's 767-400 has 39 flat bed seats in a 2-1-2 configuration, while the 767-300 has 30 flat bed seats in a similar 2-1-2 configuration. The 777-200, on the other hand, has its 28 flat bed seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.
Don't expect to find Business Class flat bed award seats for less than 95,000 MileagePlus miles one way from NYC, Houston or Washington DC, or less than 75,000 MileagePlus miles from San Francisco.
3. American Airlines
AA offers flat bed Business Class on its Dallas DFW to Honolulu HNL and DFW to Maui OGG nonstop flights, both of them about 8.5 hours. These are on Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which have 37 flat bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 21 of them in a forward cabin, and 16 in a second cabin separated from the first by galleys and lavatories. The seat width is 21.9 inches, and the IFE is in the seat back.
Don't count on finding saver award availability, however–about the best you can hope for is an AAnytime award for 67,500 AAdvantage miles one way per person, although some dates are more expensive, such as 90,000 or even 125,000 AAdvantage miles per person one way.
4. Hawaiian Airlines
In 2016 Hawaiian started rolling out its flat bed product on its A330 aircraft. The cabin has 18 seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration across three rows. This is obviously a much better configuration for couples than solo travelers, and if you are traveling solo, I'd recommend one of the two seats in the middle, because they have aisle access and you won't have a window passenger climbing over you to get to the aisle. Technically the design is supposed to avoid this problem, but in fact it's still an awkward hop to the aisle for window seat passengers if the aisle seatmate has reclined his/her seat.
Typically Hawaiian Airlines service is quite friendly, and these are relatively new first class cabins, but the tablet IFE (no seatback IFE) and usually poor quality catering means that many travelers prefer Delta where Delta is an option.
The following routes offer flat bed seats (which is helpfully marked with a bed icon, similar to Delta):
- Los Angeles LAX to Honolulu HNL
- Los Angeles LAX to Maui OGG
- San Diego SAN to HNL
- San Francisco SFO to HNL
- Las Vegas LAS to HNL
- New York JFK to HNL
- Seattle SEA to HNL
- Seattle SEA to OGG
- Beijing PEK to HNL
- Tokyo Haneda HND to HNL
- HND to Kona KOA
- Tokyo Narita NRT to HNL
- Osaka KIX to HNL
- Sapporo CTS to HNL
- Seoul ICN to HNL
- Pago Pago, American Samoa PPG to HNL
- Brisbane, Australia BNE to HNL
- Sydney SYD to HNL
- Auckland AKL to HNL
- Papeete PPT to HNL
In my recent searches, New York JFK to Hawaii first class, flat bed awards were 130,000 miles, while West Coast to Hawaii flights were 80,000 miles. That means you'd only be getting 1.1-1.35 cents per redeemed mile, not a great redemption value. Unless you have a stash of Hawaiian miles you want to get rid of, in general it's better to just pay the cash fare rather than waste AMEX Membership Rewards points or SPG Starpoints on transfers to Hawaiian Miles.
What is your favorite flat bed airline seat on flights to Hawaii?
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