Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hawaiian Airlines First Class, Honolulu-Oakland Round Trip

Trying to upgrade our flight to Oakland during online check-in 24 hours before our flight hasn't always been successful; we usually only get lucky on our return flight.

Honolulu to Oakland

But for some reason, there were six empty first-class seats when I checked into our most recent Honolulu to Oakland flight to visit our grandson. Grab grab, click click, and voila! We were in first class.

The two best things about flying first class are (1) the big, wide and comfy padded seats, and (2) the food. Ah yes, the food. On this trip, we were served another inflight meal created by Chef Chai Chaowasaree of the fine-dining Pacifica Restaurant in Honolulu.

Our meal began with an appetizer: (Right) Choice of a Cheese Plate (Brie and White Cheddar) with nuts and crackers, or (left) Curry Chicken Mango Salad with Crispy Won Ton.

The wife took the curry chicken; I took the cheese. Then we swapped halfway through. Both were great starters.

For the main course, they offered us a choice of (left) Miso Salmon with Steamed Rice and Choi Sum, or (right) Grilled Eggplant Moussaka with Marinara Sauce and Cheese toast. The wife took the miso salmon; I took the eggplant.

Unfortunately, the salmon was over cooked and a bit on the dry side, making it hard for the wife to swallow. So I gave her half of my eggplant plate and ate about half of her salmon. She loved the eggplant because it was like having eggplant parmigiana – soft and Italiano. It was very tasty and frankly, I hated to give it up. But what the heck – a happy wife means a happy life.

Dessert was excellent – Pineapple Mousse Cake with Shredded Coconut, with Coffee, Tea or Liqueur. We both had hot tea: Black English breakfast tea for me, green tea for her.

They passed out iPads loaded with movies, along with noise-canceling earphones, but we opted for sleep instead in our wide, reclining, foot-rest provided, first class seats.

Oakland to Honolulu

Normally, the Oakland to Honolulu return flight is easier to upgrade. Unfortunately, when I did a web check-in the morning before, there were no first-class seats available. So, somewhat disappointed, we settled for our booked economy class seats – in row 34, way the heck in the back of the plane.

Then, lo and behold, when we checked our bags in at Oakland Airport, I offhandedly and jokingly asked the ticket agent if, perchance, maybe, perhaps, a couple of first-class seats became available.

"Yes," she said, she had two, did I want them? Oh hell, yes! I guess the original occupants cancelled their first-class seats when a wife decided she could spend the upgrade fee on something she really wanted, and "convinced" her husband to cancel them and get a refund.

We had two seats across the aisle from each other, but the nice lady sitting next to the wife asked if I wanted to switch with her. How nice of her! I happily accepted her offer and she and I moved. Then, when the person sitting in the window seat next to my original aisle seat arrived, she asked the lady if they could switch seats. "Of course," the lady replied, and slid over to the window seat.

What an extraordinarily thoughtful and accommodating lady. I've got to pay this forward soon.

(By the way, the flight attendant assigned to us is named ... Typhoney, pronounced "Tiffany." She said passengers are always mentioning that it's an unusual name.)

Okay, so the food (breakfast this time):

The first course by Chef Chai was a Raspberry Danish and Fresh Seasonal Fruits. Something nicely sweet to start the meal, then something fresh and juicy to get your mouth back in order.

The main course was Scrambled Eggs and Portuguese Sausage, with Savory Crepes (Chicken, Corn, Black Bean and Mozzarella; or Mushroom, Tomato, Bell Pepper, Olive and Mozzarella). At first, we thought we were going to have to pick between the eggs and sausage, and the crepes, but lo and behold, we each got them all.

Next, it was dessert – Honey Almond Cheesecake, with coffee, tea, and liqueurs. Something sweet – really sweet – to top off breakfast. Good thing they had English breakfast tea to balance out the sweetness.

Finally, as we got close to Hawaii, they gave us Hawaiian Potato Chips with Koloa Breeze Rum Punch. Being non-alcohol drinkers, we passed on the punch, but took home a bag of chips each for munching while watching television.

I know ... spoiled.


Carolyn said...

What a great upgrade!!
Wonderful looking food and it sounds as delicious as it looks.
Unusual spelling of the attendants name, but I guessed it immediately.

Looks as though it was a wonderful flight.

Craig Miyamoto said...

It was, Carolyn. We should always be so lucky!