Updated June 23, 2020.
Aloha! If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning a trip to Hawaii—woohoo! You’ll love it! And whether you’re exploring more than one island or connecting to Molokai, you may be flying Hawaiian Airlines or their affiliate, ‘Ohana Airlines. My sweet husband Steve and I flew with Hawaiian from Honolulu (HNL) to Molokai (MKK) and back on our most recent trip to our favorite island chain, and I thought I’d pass the experience along to let you know what to expect for your own trip!
I’ll shoot straight with you, the reviews out there about Hawaiian Airlines are not great. But an awful lot of issues can be neutralized with preparation! So take a look at their baggage policies and fees before you pack so you can plan accordingly. Their Baggage Policies are here!
Steve and I always go carry-on only, and we recommend you do, too, if at all possible. For quick reference, each person is allowed one carry-on and one personal item. Here is the breakdown:
- Carry-on Size: 22 x 14 x 9 inches (45 linear inches)
- Carry-on Weight: 25 lbs (11 kgs)
- Personal Item: The personal item must fit under the seat in front of you; common personal items are laptop bags, backpacks, purses, briefcases, etc.
Checked bags start at $25 for your first bag, $35 for your second bag, and $50 each for your third and any additional bags. This is on top of the price for your ticket!
This is my preferred carry-on: a 46L backpack with tons of storage, and it comes in teal, red, and black! It fit the carry-on dimensions when it was all closed up and cinched down. Click for yours! *This is an affiliate link with Amazon. By shopping wtih me, you’re supporting my small business at no additional Cost to you!
At the Gate
I was only a little surprised to find that we’d have to gate-check our carry-on bags due to the small size of our aircraft. Don’t worry! It was totally free to gate-check this way, and we had no issues.
Our aircraft was an ATR 42, which is a propeller plane! It was surprisingly spacious inside, and the seats were very comfortable, too. We entered through the back of the plane, and our personal items had no trouble fitting under the seats in front of us, but the overhead bins were definitely small.
Some people get a little nervous when they fly on a smaller aircraft, but never fear! Stay tuned for my upcoming post on What to Expect on a Tiny Plane!
The flight was quick and easy! It was scheduled for 30 minutes, and that was about right. The flight attendant and pilots were friendly and made reasonable jokes that made everyone on the flight laugh. We had a choice of water or passion-orange-guava nectar, and we were making our final descent almost as soon as we reached our cruising altitude!
My favorite part of flying in tiny planes is the spectacular views! You fly lower and for shorter distances, so you can usually count on beautiful scenery from an unbeatable vantage point!
Flying is the only way to visit Molokai or Lana’i at present, and we are so glad we got to go! Are you planning for an inter-island flight on your Hawaiian vacation? Comment below to tell me where you’re headed!
And check out all my Hawaii posts on my Pacific Islands Page!
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