Hawaiian's New York flights: new one-stop option from AU to NYC

Hawaiian's New York flights: new one-stop option from AU to NYC

Hawaiian Airlines is starting daily direct flights to New York next June, providing another one-stop option to NYC, via Honolulu, for Australians.

That's good news for business travellers who dislike Los Angeles' LAX airport -- and especially its treatment of non-US passport holders.

Hawaiian's flights start on 4 June 2012, using new Airbus A330-200 planes that have 18 first class seats (like Australian domestic business class) up front.

There's an upgrade to entertainment too on the long flight, with new on-demand video and USB ports for all, plus larger screens and iPod integration in first class at the pointy end.

The USB ports have been placed in a sensible spot in the centre armrest to charge your phone or other electronic device while still using it. Good choice.

But with older recliner-style seats and non-optimised connections, Australian business travellers would need to be either seriously thrifty or angling for a work-funded stopover in Hawai'i to go for them.

Hawaiian's business class seats are only a slight step up from international Premium Economy on Qantas or Virgin Australia, with 42 inches of seat pitch on Hawaiian's 767s and 45-46 inches on the airline's A330s, rather than 38 on the two Australian airlines.

(Pitch is the space between your seatback and the one in front -- the space that you get to call yours during the flight. For more on what it means, check out our guide to seat pitch and legroom.)

Hawaiian flight 50 (Hawaii Five-O, get it?) will leave Honolulu daily at 1505, arriving at New York's JFK at 0655 the next morning.

From Australia to New York, there's a five-hour connection -- Hawaiian flight 452 leaves Sydney at 2120 and arrives in Honolulu at 1010 the next morning.

Return flight HA51 will leave JFK at 1000, arriving in Hawaii at 1500.

It doesn't connect same-day towards Australia: connecting Sydney flight HA451 leaves at 1150, arriving in Sydney at 1920. So you'd have to overnight in Honolulu on the way back.

John Walton

John Walton (John Walton)


Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


  • am


    20 Nov, 2011 02:05 pm

    Doesn't look like it'll be too popular then... A very poor product (compared to the fully flats from QF, NZ, UA, DL and VA), very poor connections and an even worse product on the SYD-HNL flight (767s)... Also I think you'll find it's HA, not HI :)

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    20 Nov, 2011 08:54 pm

    I find it fascinating that the reaction from the US is mainly "oh, good, Hawaiian -- a decent product for once!" whereas ours is "...really, recliners?".

    (Thanks. In my defence, I can do the two-letter state abbreviation codes for all 50 states...)

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  • easy


    21 Nov, 2011 12:51 pm

    At first glance it may look bad, but I flew HNL-SYD in August 2011 and the food and comfort in First was far superior than any Premium Economy offering from Qantas, even on the old B767 that HA was running.

    An at gate upgrade to HA First Class from HNL was approx AUD400.

    If IFE is improved over the clunky iPad-esque type offering from the B767 this may be a great alternative to Premium Economy offerings. Also, the added bonus of earning Velocity points.

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  • gw


    23 Nov, 2011 12:26 pm

    "From Australia to New York, there's a five-hour connection -- Hawaiian flight 452 leaves Sydney at 2120 and arrives in Honolulu at 1010 the next morning."

    How can a flight leaving Australia at 2120 arrive the next day in Hawaii? 

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    23 Nov, 2011 01:44 pm

    Well, it's technically the same morning in date terms, since you cross the international date line. But that's even more confusing!

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  • Luke


    25 Nov, 2012 06:05 pm

    This article would be helpful if it was not so poorly structured. Can you please put down the flight times/arrivals/departures etc in an easy to understand table?

    I tried writing down the times, trying to figure it out, and it doesn't quite make sense, even when factoring in the international date line.

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20 Jan, 2018 05:57 am


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