Review: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL Kona To Honolulu

Review: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL Kona To Honolulu

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Aloha, I recently had the pleasure of flying on a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL (Kona International Airport to Honolulu International Airport).

This was an evening flight so I got some great sunset shots in the video when approaching the Honolulu Airport that luckily peaked under the wing.

Here’s a detailed review of my experience:

YouTube player

Booking and Departure

I mentioned in the Honolulu to Kona flight review that I was able to get these tickets for a little over $71 due to a price war with Southwest, mmmm, competition.

I would probably make these flights quarterly to stay up to date on the best things to do on the Big Island and the best hotels but you can’t always get a good deal like this.

I embarked on this journey from Kona International Airport, departing from gate 9. The flight duration was estimated to be around 45 to 50 minutes. The day was beautiful, and as it was an evening flight, the sky was slowly changing colors as I boarded giving everyone an exclusive show of what mother nature can do.

Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL sunset views from Kona

Kona International Airport

While waiting at gate 9, I took the opportunity to indulge in some plane spotting. Although the walkway cover at Kona Airport isn’t the most ideal spot for this activity, it was still enjoyable. I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would be if the airport had a second-story viewing platform. This would offer an unparalleled view of Hawaiian Airlines, United, Alaska, and other international flights that grace the skies of Kona.

Review: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL Kona To Honolulu

During my wait, there was a bit of a commotion. A flight that had departed just moments before had to return, escorted by several emergency vehicles. It turned out there was an indicator in the cockpit for an engine fire. Thankfully, upon inspection, there was no fire, and some of the passengers were rerouted to my flight.

A fairly quick process in my opinion and the family waiting in the lobby next to me had an energetic young man give me all the details.

Boarding and In-flight Experience

Boarding the plane at Kona International Airport is always a unique experience, thanks to its open-air setup. Hearing the engines, smelling the jet fuel, and seeing all the activity that takes place around the plane is always fun to watch.

The weather in Kona is typically pleasant, with rare instances of rain, making it ideal for such a setup. Once onboard, I settled into my seat. Being 6’2″, it’s always a tight squeeze but on such a short flight it’s hardly an issue.

Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL leg room

The sunset views below the cloud line were breathtaking. One of the joys of flying is the unique perspectives it offers, and this flight was no exception. Whether you’re seated near the engine, as I was, or at the front of the plane, the views are equally captivating. Breaking through the cloudline is always a top viewing experience for me.

Arrival in Honolulu

As we approached Honolulu, the sun began to set, casting a golden hue across the horizon. I was initially concerned that the plane’s wing would obstruct my view, but as we banked to make our final approach to Honolulu Airport, the sunset peeked in just under the wing. It was a moment of sheer beauty, and I felt fortunate to capture it.

Review: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 Economy KOA-HNL Kona To Honolulu

Our landing in Honolulu was smooth, much more so than our landing in Kona. It marked the end of a delightful trip, I’m off to Hilo next week and look forward to sharing those flights with you soon. I am watching the pricing on some Southwest flights and look forward to reviewing those soon.


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