Review: Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


Hawaiian Airlines has managed to survive as the primary flag carrier of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian Airlines operates a network of domestic lounges across Hawaii at Honolulu, Kahului Maui, Hilo, Kona and Lihue. Our visit today was at their primary Premier Club at the Honolulu International Airport in their inter island terminal.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Honolulu & Maui, Hawaii, United States of America. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and Fairmont President’s Club. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge, Terminal One, Daniel K Inouye Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii, USA.

“A surprisingly clean, but otherwise sterile experience, highlighted by exotic fruit juice cups.”

Hawaiian Airlines operates two lounges at Honolulu International Airport. The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club, and the Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge. This review is of the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge

Three days in Waikiki went by all too fast. We took an Uber XL to the airport. I don’t know that I would recommend relying on Uber as the sole means of getting to the airport. I checked throughout the trip and at times there were absolutely no cars available. At other times, it was strictly surge pricing across all levels (Uber X, XL, Select). Frankly, the system seems to work great when there are lots of cars but it seems that planning to rely on Uber on arrival at the airport or to get to the airport is a bit of a challenge at times. We departed the Moana Surfrider A Westin Resort and Spa. After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the Honolulu airport at Terminal One.

Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu Inter Island Terminal

Checking into Hawaiian Airlines First Class:

We checked in at Honolulu International Airport Terminal 1. Terminal 1 is Hawaiian Airlines busy inter island terminal. The set up is that there are two roundabout island counters with kiosks with integrated scales in between them. I couldn’t find any obvious first class counters so we used the kiosks and self tagged our own bags.

Daniel K Inouye – Terminal One Check In
Self Service Ticketing and Bag Check Kiosks
Inter Island Departure Displays

Hawaiian Airlines has seemed to have gone through great lengths to avoid being able to earn on other Frequent Flier programs, I wasn’t able to enter my American Airlines AAdvantage number either when purchasing the ticket on the internet or by checking in at the kiosk. I later located the first class check in area which was a small counter off to the side and not clearly posted. I was able to get them to enter our numbers and this resulted in a re-print of our corning cards. The miles actually posted electronically to AAdvantage about 30 days after our flight.

We headed over to TSA pre-check, which despite a line of about 15 people blocking the main walkways, was efficient and smooth.

Locating the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Lounge:

After clearing TSA security, we headed down the primary concourse of the terminal. The Honolulu Terminal One concourse is set in a long corridor style, with the odd retail outlet pockmarked at various locations along the walkway.

Honolulu Terminal One – Inter Island Terminal
Honolulu Terminal One Concourse

We eventually came long to the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Lounge, which was located on the right hand side of the concourse by Gate A19. The entry had a clearly marked glass door that looked right into the lounge.

Hawaiian Airlines Premier Lounge Entrance
Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club

Accessing the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club:

The Hawaiian Airlines operates two lounges at the Honolulu International Airport; the Premier Club and the Plumeria Lounge.

The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club is targeted towards it’s domestic traffic, whereas the Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge is oriented towards international departure traffic in its international business class.

Hawaiian Airlines advertises access to it’s Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club as:

  • North America and Neighbour Island First Class Hawaiian Airlines guests
  • Pualani Platinum and Gold members
  • Premier Club members

Unlike the Hawaiian Airlines The Plumeria Lounge, the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club is not available to Priority Pass members. This is likely due to its small foot print and the inability to accomodate a large amount of travellers.

Lastly, Hawaiian Airlines sells Premier Club Memberships, which afford access to the lounge and a suite of other benefits. A Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club membership allows annual access to its Premier Club Lounges in Honolulu, Hilo, Kahului, Kona, and Lihue, along with free checked baggage allowance, Zone 2 Boarding and Priority Security. While rates vary, an annual membership runs about $299 USD for the first year, and $249 USD for subsequent years.

Hawaiian Airlnes Premier Club Reception

Our access today to the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club was provided courtesy of our Hawaiian Airlines First Class Honolulu – Kahului Maui ticket.

Welcomed at reception, we scanned our boarding cards and were admitted quickly.


Inside the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club:

I had heard some of negative reviews about the domestic lounge so we had tempered expectations of what we would expect. Despite this, Hawaiian Airlines put out a reasonable effort (mostly in decor) and our experience was about as expected for an American Domestic First Class Lounge.

On the favourable side, the room was recently refreshed. It’s a small space with lots of plug ins, but no natural light. There were a variety of comfortable seating areas throughout the space, which was rectangular. Also on the positive side, was that the lounge had its own attached washrooms, but unfortunately, no showers.

Lounge Seating – Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club
Lounge Seating – Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club
Lounge Seating – Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club
A reasonable amount of seating for island hop flights

While the lounge had variety of seating, the lounge was pretty busy during our visit in the middle of the day. We had our choice of seats, but there weren’t all that too many of them to choose from.

Food and Beverage:

On the less than favourable side, the lounge catering wasn’t all that exciting. There were some tired soda dispensers, a cappuccino machine and some sealed juice cups circa from your kindergarten days. There wasn’t anything else eat inside the lounge. The lounge was also alcohol free during our visit, making sugary drinks the most interesting part of the food and beverage situation today.

Drink Towers and a Coffee Machine
Passion and Orange Guava Nectar and a Zone 1 Boarding Card was the highlight of the visit

It wasn’t a super exciting visit. We didn’t stick around all too long. It was pretty boring so we left for the gate through Honolulu’s outdoor airport hallways.

Headed to Gate B5
Daniel K Inouye International Airport Courtyards

We touched down at the tiny gate area at Gate B5 before we waited for our island hop flight.

Gate B5
Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717

My Thoughts on The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club:

The Hawaiian Airlines ground experience was pretty typical of a North American carrier. The Hawaiian Airlines lounge was pretty main stream with nothing much to write home about. Aside from the surprising sippy cup juice containers, it was a surprisingly average experience. Despite this, I suppose it could be worth your time, dependent on your priorities before any flight. I would just come with reasonable expectations of a drink only environment.

If you’ve visited The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club, did you find the Fruit Juice the most exciting part?

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