Qantas Economy – Sydney to Honolulu Review

Being an author in the airline industry is a very tough job and naturally, a holiday to the wonderful tropical retreat of Hawaii sounds like a wonderful idea. I’ll be reviewing my Sydney to Honolulu journey with Qantas Economy.

From Sydney Australia, the nine hours and 45 minutes direct flight reaching across the Pacific is serviced by a variety of airlines. Most customers will be opting for the cheap Jetstar flight, which is normally around $400 (AUD) one way, however, this route is also served by Qantas (QF3).

During a recent sale on American Express, a 10 PM Qantas flight to Honolulu in economy class on a Tuesday night appeared for only $450 AUD. This was a steal as it included baggage, meal service and entertainment all of which you would normally have to pay for at this price point on a budget long-haul carrier.

The flight was onboard a new Qantas Airbus A330, in an economy 2-4-2 configuration. I sat on the left window seat above the wing. The seat had a pitch of 31 inches and was 17 inches wide.

Sydney to Honolulu Qantas Economy Review:

Qantas Economy - Sydney to Honolulu
Qantas Economy cabin of the A330

Departure

Departing at 10 PM meant that the cabin lights were quickly dimmed after take-off. The flight seemed to be relatively empty with an empty aisle seat. As a personal preference, I always sit by the window (for the typical Instagram wing shot) and was able to lean against the bulkhead with an included pillow.

The seat came with a pillow, blanket, toothbrush and eyeshade.

Dinner

90 minutes after leaving Sydney we were served a dinner meal and had an option of beef stirfry, chicken pasta or a vegetarian option. The meal also came with a bread roll, fruit salad and biscuits and cheese.

There was nothing exceptional about the food, however, it was hot and hearty for what was offered.

Entertainment

As this was a new Qantas plane, the seat back entertainment units were exceptionally large, even for economy.

Each seat features the Panasonic eX3 in-flight touchscreen entertainment system and is fitted with a PC power access (USB), generous storage space and an adjustable head-rest to ensure a comfortable journey. The was able to fit a large backpack under the seat in front and place each foot either side

Sleeping

As this was not a very full flight there was plenty of leg room to extend out across two seats.

Breakfast

Breakfast was about two hours before landing, composed of a mushroom omelette, spinach and tomato slices. It was completed by an orange juice and a bread roll.

With fewer passengers onboard, an additional bread roll was offered to each customer.

Arrival

Arriving at Honolulu at 5.30 AM local time means that you really can seize the day. The plane, unfortunately, seemed to arrive at a jet bridge a good 600m away from the baggage claim. This forced us to walk through the old terminal, and even outside without any air conditioning.

Arriving at immigration, the US customs staff were very friendly. They seem much more relaxed than their mainland counterparts, processing visas quick enough to reach the beach by sunrise.

Conclusion

Overall, the experience was absolutely fantastic and at a bargain price. If you’re looking to travel to this island destination be sure to examine very closely these special deals.

The savings made from flying a flag carrier airline, by not having to pay for entertainment, food or baggage, compared to a budget long-haul carrier ended up being more money in my pocket to the rest of the holiday.

3 comments
  1. With cheap Southwest flights to Hawaii from the mainland, one could tie the two flights together. Spend a few days in Hawaii, take a couple of weeks exploring incredible Oz, heading back on Qantas connecting to Southwest at Honolulu. Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Denver have no Australia service, so you have to change planes anyway at LA or San Francisco. It’s much easier to connect in HNL than LAX.

    1. You are so right. I was thinking it would be insanely cheap to cross between LA and Sydney via Hawaii. With the benefit of no jetlag (resting in between) and atually get to fit in Hawaii as well, that sound pretty great to me!

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