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In keeping with Hawaiian Airlines’ recently upgraded service — which includes the use of newly-refurbished A330s featuring brand new lie-flat seats in premium cabins and retouched economy seats — the carrier is rolling out brand new amenity kits on its international flights.

Hawaiian Airlines has always tried to distinguish itself from the others with its signature branding and “Aloha Spirit” onboard — that is, communicating to passengers as soon as they board the plane that they’re on their way to the Islands. The new amenity kits, designed by Sig Zane, one Hawaii’s top designers, aim to evoke the Islands’ aesthetic. Interestingly, the carrier offers different amenity kits based on whether you’re flying to Hawaii or on your way back. Best of all, the upgraded kits aren’t just for premium-cabin flyers, but are provided for those in extra comfort and main cabin seats on international flights as well.

While I enjoyed the unique, turquoise-heavy color scheme of the carrier’s previous kits, the new ones, featuring a more earthy color, are certainly more chic and modern. The nicest one of all is the business-class kit provided en route to Hawaii, which sports something between a hard- and soft-shell exterior that’s made of canvas with a Sig Zane design printed on the outside. The kit feels quite sturdy, and I could definitely see myself re-purposing it after my flight. There’s also a nice, wooden zipper pull with the Hawaiian Airlines name etched on one side.

The inbound business-class kit, designed by Sig Zane, is surprisingly sturdy. Image by the author.
The inbound business-class kit, designed by Sig Zane, is surprisingly sturdy. Image by the author.

When leaving the Hawaiian Islands, business-class passengers will receive a less sturdy (but still fashionable) canvas pouch featuring similar Sig Zane-designed prints and an etched zipper pull — note that those in extra comfort seats will receive this same kit when flying in either direction. I actually liked the colors of this one more — the dark pink against the white really pops! — but would ultimately give the inbound kit higher marks for its sturdiness. Unlike many amenity kits offered on overseas flights, this one is also quite fashionable, and, for me, adds a warm, beachy feel to its overall hard product. I would definitely use this baby at the beach to carry some sunscreen, my sunglasses and some snacks. Compared to the carrier’s previous outbound kit, this one looks and feels more high-end.

The outbound kit is smaller, but seems to be of higher quality than the airline
The outbound kit is smaller, but seems to be of higher quality than the airline’s previous offering. Image by the author.

On the inside, both the inbound and outbound kits contain the same premium amenity goodies from Hawaiian Airlines’ previous generation, like eyeshades (sporting another Sig Zane print), socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, earplugs, a bamboo comb, a pen and a series of Loli’i Makiki Valley products — lip balm, hand and body cream and a hydrating mist. I am particularly fond of the Hawaiian Airlines bamboo comb, since it’s not just another flimsy plastic one.

A peek inside the outbound amenity kit, which includes earbuds. Image by the author.
A peek inside the outbound amenity kit, which includes earbuds. Image by the author.

Like the older kits, the only notable — and somewhat bizarre — difference between what’s inside the inbound vs. the outbound premium kits is that the outbound one contains in-ear earbuds while the inbound one does not. I’d imagine most flyers carry their own earbuds nowadays — and I’m sure you could always ask for some — but it just surprised me that they wouldn’t be offered in both directions.

Contents inside the inbound kit are nice, though strangely missing ear buds. Image by the author.
Contents inside the inbound kit are nice, though strangely enough, the earbuds remain missing. Image by the author.

Those flying in economy on international routes are offered a quasi-ziploc paper bag with a standard-level sleeping mask, earplugs and earbuds. Besides the cool print on the exterior of the packaging, it’s nothing too special, but still nice to see the carrier offering something extra in the main cabin.

Nothing too crazy, but the packaging is a nice touch. Image by the author.
The packaging is a nice touch for standard-level amenities offered to main cabin flyers. Image by the author.

Amenity kits aside, Hawaiian Airlines has received praise over the years for offering complimentary main cabin meal service on flights over 3.5 hours, compared to most mainland US carriers that, aside from Delta’s recent new meal options in economy, offer limited complimentary food items in either cabin on flights to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Airlines’ new lie-flat premium cabin, with extra comfort and main cabin in the background. Passenger service begins in 2017. Image courtesy of Anthony Quintano.

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii anytime soon, consider the islands’ flag carrier, especially since you can now redeem JetBlue points for flights on Hawaiian Airlines. Its premium cabin is comparable to other offerings flying from the US, and if you’re flying in economy, you’ll likely be more comfortable in Hawaiian’s newly-refurbished A330s instead of, say, Delta’s or United’s 757s, Alaska Airlines’ 737s or some Asian carriers’ cramped 777s.

Have you been on Hawaiian Airlines? Tell us about your experience, below.

Featured image courtesy of the author.

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