Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them

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United Polaris Business Class Review: 787-10 Dreamliner FRA to EWR

Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them

If you’re looking for comfort and want to fly lie flat to Hawaii, you’re in the right spot. In this article, we’ll look at the various lie-flat seat/bed options on flights to Hawaii. This includes what airlines have lie-flat seats to Hawaii, which routes those are on, and things to watch out for to make sure you wind up on the right plane. We’ll also cover how to book these flights for the best points redemption on each of them.

Quick Introduction To Lie-Flat Seats & Terminology

It can be confusing that many domestic airlines within the U.S. will say “first class” when this product is totally not a first class product according to anything outside the U.S. In order to keep this clear, “domestic first class” refers to these types of seats, which have more space, more padding, etc. on flights within the U.S. These do NOT lie completely flat as a bed. “International first class” refers to the cream of the crop on long flights crossing borders. Think pampering and champagne.

For our purposes, we are looking for something in between: international business class. This is the type of product we can find with lie-flat seats operating to Hawaii from other parts of North America. If you want to fly “lie flat” to Hawaii, meaning your seat lays down completely horizontal as a bed, this is what we are hunting for in this article.

Airlines That Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii

From other parts of North America, there are 5 airlines with lie-flat options to the islands of Hawaii. Here, we’ll look at these airlines, the options available, and how to book them.

Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them
How to identify lie-flat seats on Hawaiian Airlines website

Hawaiian Airlines

Nothing says flying to Hawaii like flying on Hawaiian Airlines. Their “Premium Cabin” offers 180º lie-flat seats to and from several destinations in Hawaii. This is the exact same cabin they offer on long-distance international flights.

When booking, you can look for the “Lie-Flat Seat” and bed indicator in your search results. The details will also tell you this is lie flat.

Hawaiian’s Premium Cabin is on their A330 plane with 2-2-2 layout. That should include the following routes:

  • Boston BOS to/from Honolulu HNL
  • Las Vegas LAS to/from Honolulu HNL
  • Los Angeles LAX to/from Honolulu HNL
  • Los Angeles to/from Kahului OGG on Maui
  • New York JFK to/from Honolulu HNL
  • Phoenix PHX to/from Honolulu HNL
  • San Diego SAN to/from Honolulu HNL
  • San Francisco SFO to/from Honolulu HNL
  • San Francisco SFO to/from Kahului OGG
  • Seattle SEA to/from Honolulu HNL
  • Seattle SEA to/from Kahului OGG

During normal operations (outside the pandemic), most of these routes operate daily.

Virgin Atlantic round-trip redemption rates for flights on Hawaiian Airlines

How To Book

You can book flights on Hawaiian Airlines in a couple of ways.

Hawaiian’s own program moved to dynamic pricing, so this may be a good or horrible option, depending on popularity & price of the dates you want to fly. The points range is 40,000 to 130,000 miles per person for one-way.

There is also the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard from Barclays. It currently has an elevated welcome offer of 70,000 miles after you spend $2,000 within the first 90 days. The annual fee is $99.

The best option is booking via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. As this table shows, you’ll pay 40,000 miles from the West Coast or 65,000 miles from the East Coast. You can transfer miles from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points. All of these transfer at 1:1 ratios, so you should be able to add up points in your Flying Club account pretty easily.

You can’t book these flights online, so call Virgin Atlantic at (800) 862-8621.

American Airlines Business Class Review: 787 Flagship Business MIA-GIG
American Airlines 787-8 aircraft, available for lie-flat flight from Chicago to Honolulu

American Airlines

There are several options to fly lie flat to Hawaii with American Airlines.

First, there are flights on Boeing 777-200 planes, which AA will show as “772” in your aircraft type. American Airlines has 2 types of this plane, and both have lie-flat seats.

The routes for this are the following:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth DFW – Honolulu HNL
  • Dallas/Fort Worth DFW – Kona KOA (on the big island, Hawaii)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth DFW – Kahului OGG (on Maui)

American Airlines also has Boeing 787-8 planes available on this route:

In normal times, these routes all operate daily. Some even have more than one flight per day during busy periods. All will have lie-flat seats.

There are rare occasions with lie-flat seats out of LAX, such as busy periods or when AA is repositioning an aircraft. However, this isn’t standard. Also, PHX has this rare lie-flat seat, but both of these routes more commonly have 757 aircraft with recliner seats.

81,500 miles with AA for lie flat to Hawaii seems standard, and there are better options

How To Book

You can book these flights in multiple ways.

With multiple cards that have welcome offers, you may have a lot of miles in your American Airlines account. However, AA has 2 things that make this a poor redemption. 1: they charge a 7,500 mile extra “fee” for lie-flat seats. 2: they charge more on the direct routes than if you have connecting flights, due to married segment logic. The problem is, you don’t know which flights are the ‘deal’ right now for the connections. The plus side is that you can find web specials, but that’s rare for lie-flat seats to a popular spot. 81,500 miles seems standard for your best bet with AA itself.

Cheaper options include 61,000 miles one way with Asia Miles or 60k miles with British Airways. However, the real winner is Etihad Guest: 47,500 miles! You’ll need to call to book: (877) 690-0767. Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One. All transfers are at 1:1 ratios.

The caveat here is that American Airlines has been stingy with sharing award space to their partners lately.

review: delta one suites a330neo
Delta One Suites on A330-neo

Delta Air Lines

Delta operates lie-flat seats in its Delta One product. The newer version of this is “Delta One Suites” (read our review here), which are on any aircraft with A330-neo or any Boeing 767 aircraft that have been retrofitted already. Delta operates its Delta One lie-flat product on these routes:

  • Atlanta ATL – Honolulu HNL
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSP – Honolulu HNL
  • Salt Lake City SLC – Honolulu HNL

Additionally, Delta has seasonal flights with lie-flat seats on this route:

  • Salt Lake City SLC – Kahului OGG (on Maui)

For the seasonal flight SLC-OGG, look for flights on the Boeing 767-300 airplane.

Surprisingly, Delta does usually doesn’t offer lie-flat seats to OGG or HNL on their flights out of New York JFK, Portland PDX, San Francisco SFO, or Seattle SEA airports. I won’t say never, but it’s not common.

The nice thing about Delta award searches is that lie-flat seats are clearly labeled.

Delta lie-flat indicator in search results

How To Book

If you fly on an unpopular date during low season, Delta’s dynamic pricing may work in your favor. Otherwise, expect to pay more when booking directly with Delta.

Check Delta rates against this chart from their partner Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. For domestic flights within the U.S., Virgin Atlantic will charge based on distance. Here are some samples:

  • MSP-HNL is 3,966 miles, which costs 80,000 miles with Virgin Atlantic
  • SLC-HNL is 2,991 miles, which costs 52,500 miles with Virgin Atlantic

Because Delta’s pricing changes constantly, search with them while comparing to the Virgin Atlantic chart. If you want to book with Virgin Atlantic, call (800) 862-8621 or book online. Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points. All of these transfer at 1:1 ratios.

Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them
United Polaris Class – their premium business class seat

United Airlines

Another domestic carrier with lie-flat options, United has offerings on multiple routes.

The following routes are on Boeing wide-body planes of various types. All have lie-flat seats:

  • Chicago ORD – Honolulu HNL
  • Chicago ORD – Kona KOA
  • Denver DEN – Honolulu HNL
  • Houston IAH – Honolulu HNL
  • Newark EWR – Honolulu HNL
  • Newark EWR – Kahului OGG
  • Washington, D.C. IAD – Honolulu HNL

Additionally, you may get lie-flat seats if you fly on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with 2-1-2 seat configuration.

From Los Angeles LAX or San Francisco SFO airports, most flights to Hawaii have recliner seats in business class. However, if you find Boeing 777-200 aircraft on one of these flights, it will be lie flat.

United shows no saver availability for business class on EWR-HNL route during these 2 months

How To Book

United is stingy with its lie-flat seats on routes to Hawaii. That’s just being blunt. They do not list many of these seats at ‘saver’ award levels. Saver awards are not only the cheapest, they’re also the only type that partner award programs can book.

If you can find it, saver awards booked with United will cost 45,000 miles. If you can’t find it and have to pay the ‘every day’ price, it will cost double–90k miles.

There are 2 other options, but remember that they only work if saver awards are available. Search on United to find dates with saver awards and then book via these partners, if that’s your plan:

  • 15,000 miles on Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles (likely need to call, see more info here). Turkish Airlines is a transfer partner of Citi ThankYou points (1:1 transfer) and Capital One (2:1.5 transfer). Note: these awards may show up for 12,500 when booking online with Turkish, but their award chart officially says 15,000 miles.
  • 27,500 miles each way with Asiana Miles, which is a 3:1 transfer partner of Marriott. You’ll also get 5,000 extra miles in your account if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to get 20,000 miles, so a total of 25k from the transfer.
  • 34,500 miles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is another option. What makes this a good option is that they are a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points at 1:1, plus Capital One at 2:1.

Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them

Air Canada

At the end of 2019, Air Canada announced lie-flat service to Hawaii from Toronto, flying on 787 Dreamliner aircraft. With the pandemic, those flights aren’t operating. When they resume, you should have 2 options with Air Canada:

  • Toronto YYZ – Honolulu HNL on Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the new Executive Pod seats
  • Flights from elsewhere in Canada, plus some Toronto flights, on Boeing 777 air craft, some of which have the old seats and some with the new seats. If you find flights on 777 aircraft, they will be lie flat. Other planes will not.

Air Canada offers a true international business class with lie-flat seats. They call this product Signature Class.

How To Book

Air Canada’s Aeroplan program underwent some changes, which we reviewed here. Unfortunately, you will pay more points for their own flights than you pay to book flights on their partners. That doesn’t make much sense. Instead, book Air Canada flights via their partners for a better deal.

The same prices we quoted for booking United flights above apply here, because of Canada the the US48 being in the same regions for these programs:

  • 15,000 miles on Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.
  • 27,500 miles each way with Asiana Miles
  • 34,500 miles with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Fly Lie Flat To Hawaii: Here Are Your Options & How To Book Them
American Airlines 787-8 lie flat seat

Final Thoughts

Depending on where you’re flying from, Hawaii can be “not that far” or “really far”. If it’s really far and involves an overnight flight, here are options for lie-flat seats so you can get good sleep while crossing the ocean. There are multiple options, so we looked at what they are, which planes to watch out for, and also how to book.

If you book one of these, let us know!

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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38 COMMENTS

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38 COMMENTS

  1. I’d also like to cite AS miles to book AA at 40k. As you mentioned, AA saver avail to partners are awful, but they do exist here and there; was able to snag DFW-HNL, KOA-DFW in J this week for two. Yes– there are better uses of AS miles, but some of those uses do not currently exist (SQ) and I had 329k and am hedging against a deval.

  2. why are you listing ECONOMY mileage rates while talking about LAY FLAT seats? that’s really insane. also, houston is IAH not IAD

  3. Unless I’m mistaken the Turkish chart shows North America to North America listed at 60k Round Trip for biz which is 30k each way. So how can a oneway in biz on AC from YYZ –> HNL cost 15k (12.5k)??? Perhaps you’re confusing the Turkish “domestic” award prices, which prices things along these lines… NYC–>HNL to cost 15k(12.5k). Am I missing something here??? Has Canada been purchased by the US? (I have not been watching the news lately 🙂 )

    • Spenny – I know tickets can be booked for 12,500 most times, but the award table on Turkish’s website says 15,000. Out of caution, I listed this number.

  4. Always worth looking at the Amex travel portal MR price if you have an Amex biz plat. For example, looking PHX-HNL non-stop on Hawaiian (the only reliable option for lie flats from Phoenix) there are some dates pricing around 47k MR one way pp after the 35% rebate. And you earn miles on the flight you can credit to Hawaiian or one of their partners. Downside is dealing with a 3rd party for cancelation & itinerary changes…

    • Also a good option if the cash price is low, that’s true!
      I’ve found Amex travel to be better than most during COVID cancelations, but adding another agency to the mix can be annoying. Valid points.

  5. I can’t get over how filthy that seat is in the photo from Hawaiian airlines. I wouldn’t want to lay down on that
    .

  6. We flew MSP-ORD-HNL ob AA in late Feb. lie flat seats, great service. And my seasonal affective disorder settled down for the week we were there.

    Total miles for two: 180,000 rt.

    We were scheduled to fly overnight back to ORD on a Friday.

    Sat on the ground for two hours after we were supposed to take off, getting colder and colder. The A/C was out of order.

    In the end, we flew through DFW the next evening, on a flight that was delayed about 45 minutes. Basically the same hard product. But the service was mediocre, at best.

    If either ORD or DFW works with your plans, I strongly recommend ORD.

    • MickiSue – Is the recommendation because of getting different crew / avoiding the mediocre people on the DFW flight?

  7. We just flew SFO to Honolulu on Sunday.

    Used miles to purchase coach tickets.

    Check the seat map prior to departure and saw a whole lot of seats available in first class.

    Inquired at the United desk for an upgrade and for only $350 each we got lie flat seats to Hawaii.

    • This is a great resource, I will be bookmarking it.

      @Ryan – Will you be keeping this post up to date? It would be great if you could re-visit it every 4-6 months!

      • HoKo – once travel to other countries becomes more ‘normal’, we’ll see if any of these planes left the Hawaii routes and update it. 🙂

  8. Have tickets for a United flight HNL to IAH in June. Aircraft assigned is a 777-200 but it is international configuration. Business is a pleasant 1-2-1 Polaris. Not the dreaded 2-4-2 typical United flight.

  9. The Turkish award redemption has to be one of the better redemptions on mileage overall. It isn’t the easiest process, as you have to book through the Turkish call center which can be tedious at best, but I found it to be decently managable.

    Flew UA 767 Polaris ORD-HNL | a nearly 10 hour flight in premium lie flat for 15k miles is hard to beat, and was rather easy to book

  10. For someone that fly’s international long haul I am trying to get my hands around the desire or big deal about a lie-flat to Hawaii. It’s not that long a flight with the “trip” being part of the fun. As for “ramcm7” I don’t think you have to worry inspire of all the hoopla being generated on this blogs there will not be the huge demand for additional planes being put on. I guess I am a little cynical, sorry if anyone is offended

    • It’s a longer flight for some people than others, obviously. For some people, this is a 4hr flight. For others, maybe 9 or 10.
      Also, about planes being put back into service: the airlines are hiring back crew and putting planes into service. That’s a verifiable fact that people are reporting on, just so we’re clear.

  11. With AA’s summer equipment shifts, I am booked in lie flats from PHL-LAS, PHX-HNL and HNL-CLT in August. If Europe and the UK open back up in the summer, how likely do you think am I to keep these planes on my routes and not have them shifted to TATL service? (Also, might want to update AA section as there’s a little less chance of the PHX-HNL route getting a 757 these days.)

    • I would guess those will shift to transoceanic flights, but it’s obviously not my call and lots of variables here.
      I’m interested to see how the lie flat vs recliner equipment shakes out on routes to Hawaii after flights to other countries open up more.

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