Hawaiian Airlines’ Lie Flat Boeing 787 Business Seats – What To Expect

As Hawaiian Airlines inches closer toward taking delivery of its flagship 787s next year, we now know more about the onboard offering. In particular, Hawaiian has gone for a major upgrade at the front of the aircraft in the business class cabin. For an airline that has been historically conservative with its cabins, the choice on the 787 may impress many.

Hawaiian Boeing 787
Hawaiian originally planned to take delivery of its first 787 in 2021 but delayed the move due to the pandemic. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Aisle access

According to Skift, Hawaiian Airlines has chosen a seat from Adient Aerospace for the 34 lie-flat business class seats on the Boeing 787-9. Arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, these seats will provide all passengers with direct aisle access, already a step up from the aging A330 cabin. However, the seats provide a lot more than just fewer seat neighbors, explaining why Hawaiian COO Jon Snook said the product will leave travelers “blown away”.

Adient Aerospace only lists one seat for long-haul business class, the Ascent. This product offers a pod-style seat that includes a lie-flat bed along with a large surface to store items during the flight. Add a large entertainment screen in the front and passengers are more than likely to have a comfortable flight no matter the length.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Lie Flat Boeing 787 Business Seats – What To Expect
The Ascent seat is angled toward the windows and is staggered to offer maximum space to travelers. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The cabin will allow those traveling together to choose center seats that are closer together to be able to communicate. However, for those solo travelers who couldn’t nab a window seat, the other half of the middle seats will be far apart to give you privacy (but closer to the aisle).

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If this seat rings a bell for aviation lovers, you aren’t wrong. In August, Qatar Airways debuted a modified version of the Ascent seat on its 787-9s. However, it’s important to note that every airline has the chance to add or remove features from the final product, which means Hawaiian’s cabin could look very different when it rolls out.

Big change

For Hawaiian Airlines the decision to add a full long-haul cabin to its aircraft is a big decision. The airline has historically been conservative with its business class offerings, only adding an 18 seat cabin to its A330s in 2017. Even then, the seats were in a dated 2-2-2 layout, leaving those on longer flights disappointed.

Hawaiian admits that its seats on the A330 aren’t the best but offers a business case for them instead, with Snook saying,

“Our lay-flat product on the 330 isn’t the best in class globally, but it has certainly been very successful in the marketplace that we fly in, given the relatively short stage length.”

. Photo: Getty Images

However, all of this is set to change with the introduction of the 787.

“It’s [the 787] going to be an aircraft we fly long-haul to premium dense markets. It’s really going to be an ideal aircraft for Japan, Australia, New York — markets that will benefit from the comfort that that aircraft provides and the efficiency that it provides.”

Overall, the 787 is shaping up to be an exciting aircraft for Hawaiian. As the flagship, expect to see this plane on routes globally and possibly in domestic markets like Los Angeles or Boston.

What do you think about Hawaiian’s plans for the 787-9? Are you excited to fly this aircraft? Let us know in the comments!