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Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

Toronto, Canada
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561 posts
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Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I will be visiting San Francisco for work and plan to book a trip to Maui while there since the airfares are so good. Have choice between Alaska or Hawaiian for similar fares.. Have never flown either before and wondering if anyone would strongly recommend one over other, or not much difference between the 2? From what I could tell Hawaiian seemed to offer a free hot meal, at least...

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

While I fly Alaska because it is usually my only option, I have flown Hawaiian in the past, and if they were approximately the same price - I would surely go with Hawaiian! They have larger planes, free meal service and it feels like Hawaii the minute you board - and they are generally one of the most on-time planes in the business. Have fun! :)

Toronto, Canada
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561 posts
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2. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

Thanks for the feedback..Hawaiian must be one of the only airlines left that still offer a meal to Hawaii..Air Canada certainly doesn't! Just their awful for-purchase snacks. I couldn't resist throwing in a trip to Maui, since it usually costs me about $1,000 from central Canada and I can see return fares from SF area for about $350!

California
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for Oahu
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3. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

The food on Hawaiian will not thrill you, unless you are flying first class. Yes, they feed you in coach - but you will not be particularly happy with it. Food on planes has become so secondary now that the airports feed you so well, and you have good options to take food on board with you.

I have never flown Alaskan - not because I don't think they are a good airline - but because I am so satisfied with Hawaiian. So I would recommend Hawaiian.

Santa Monica, CA
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for Santa Monica
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4. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I have a small issue with Hawaiian: no wifi! And you have to pay for in-flight entertainment. I get tired of reading so generally will watch the flickering images of the TV (and usually get snippets of 30 Rock or Parks & Rec), but not on Hawaiian. I did not like having nothing to look at when my eyes were tired from reading. I feel the need to look at distant images after reading for an hour or so, but there's nothing to look at as the screens are on the back of the chair in front of you. I don't know why this bugged me so much!

Otherwise, nice big plane, plenty comfortable, and great crew. The food is a bonus, even if it is not great. It was nice getting off a plane and not needing to find a meal first thing.

Menlo Park...
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5. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I have to agree with coalminer 100%. Alaska's little 737 over the Pacific makes me nervous. I see some other airlines adding 737's but with Alaska you will be guaranteed a small plane. I don't think they handle turbulence as well. Hawaiian does offer free dinner, but their lunch is a joke, and I would not count it as food. It is true that Hawaiian has better on-time performance, because it flies to few places with snow, and also because it tends to shut the doors early. Better not arrive late if you're on Hawaiian. I don't think that either Alaska or Hawaian offers non-stop service SFO-OGG however. Both fly nonstop to OGG out of San Jose and Oakland only. I think the only nonstop SFO-OGG in on United.

New York
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6. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

Am I the only person upset with Hawaiian Airlines?

They changed our inter island flights or cancelled them more than 5 times....sometimes without notifying us!

I had to change car pick ups as many times.

Our luggage (and clothes) were soaked from HNL to Big Island while in their care.

We got to their window on 1/24 for our boarding pass and were told that WE cancelled our flight in December. This after having it on our Itenerary printed from them on 1/2/13 and checked again for changes twice after that. We even confirmed the day before flight with them.

So, we had to pay again while delayed at their counter while under the stress of not knowing if we would get on OUR flight. We're waiting for a call back to recoup the xtra fares and for a GOOD EXPLANATION.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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7. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

Having a bad experience with Hawaiian Airlines is an anomaly. No airline is perfect for everyone, everyday.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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8. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I agree with msfuzz.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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9. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I will say that I do like some of Alaska's food . . . yes, you pay for it, but they have a yummy Meditterean tapas lunch. It's all prepacked, but it has been better than some of the "hot" meals I have had on airlines. :)

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Any difference between Alaska and Hawaiian from California?

I went with Hawaiian on our last two trips. Yeah, the lack of entertainment is a downer, but its also a short flight (5 hrs+/-). The food is nothing to write home about - but is airline food ever? I've flown Alaska on the mainland countless times, and have no complaints. You can't really go wrong with either, so I'd go with the best fare!

Edited: 08 February 2013, 20:00