Hawaiian Airline logo blanket

The new Hawaiian Airlines logo blanket available for purchase ($8.00); the pillow was not available on the day of our flight.

Having just flown back from Hawaii a few days ago, I was surprised to discover that Hawaiian Airlines has finally changed their menu.

I first got an inkling that something was different when we got to our seats on the plane, and it was freezing cold. When I asked for some pillows and blankets for my children, I was told the airlines no longer provided them. Really? We just had them when we flew to Hawaii just a couple of weeks ago. “No,” I was told, “the new changes happened August 1st.” However, blankets and pillows could be purchased.

Hmm, well, actually it’s probably more sanitary this way anyway. Just have to make sure everyone remembers to pack a jacket in their carry on bag.

Bottles of Chardonnay and Cabernet
The initial beverage service was the same– complimentary soft drinks and packets of snack mix, and cocktails for purchase.
Oh, by the way, I’m talking here about flying coach, not platinum or first class.

The usual complimentary pasta meal has changed to a teriyaki chicken/rice/veggie meal, and everyone is offered a complimentary glass of red or white wine with their meal. I didn’t have any wine, but it looks like both are from California: redtree wines from the Napa Valley area, and flipflop wines from Livermore, CA.

The chicken was okay, some breast pieces covered in a thick gel-style teriyaki sauce; the carrots and broccoli were what you would expect of frozen vegetables; but the rice was very, very soft. I actually thought for a moment maybe it was mashed potato. I’m hopeful that since the meals are new, that they are still tweaking them and will be able to improve that. I know that keeping meals hot at regulation temperatures for a couple of hours doesn’t help, but the rice needs to be fixed. Maybe it should be changed to mashed potatoes?

The tray set up is new too, looks a little squarer to me, and it has a real metal fork rolled in a teal colored napkin– so no fiddling around with trying to open a plastic utensil packet. Also served: tossed green salad with packet of Italian dressing, small container of water, and a small piece of frosted yellow cake.

I hear the brunch menu for the flight from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii has changed also. The previous breakfast burrito with an orange muffin is gone. I’m told the new meal is Hawaiian sweet bread with cream cheese and guava jelly, dried mango and pineapple, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Sounds nice. Also, on the way to Hawaii, a complimentary Mai Tai or soft drink, along with Maui type potato chips are served. Can’t go wrong with Maui Potato Chips!

We used to upgrade our meals to the $10 cheeseburger meal on each flight, but those are gone now. The specialty meals offered on our flight were an Asian Chicken Salad and a Rice Noodle Salad with Prawns, each $13. I didn’t see anyone around me order one, so I don’t know what they look like.
Li hing pineapple popcorn, dried mango

Li Hing Pineapple flavored Popcorn ($7.00); Tanioka’s Dried Mango Slices ($5.00)

Right before the movie started, a flight attendant announced that the snack bar would be open in the back of the plane, where snacks and goodies could be purchased.

Time to get up and check it out! I wasn’t able to get all the prices, but the flight attendants were very helpful in explaining what was available.

I was told the dried mango was particularly soft and good.

The items were displayed in plastic bins on the back galley counters.

Chips, snack mix, wasabi popcorn, mac nuts, leis

Kona Furikake Chips; Fresh Tuba Rose and Carnation Lei ($7.00); Roasted Macadamia Nuts; Pau Hana Snack Mix; Wasabi & Ranch flavored Popcorn ($7.00); Chocolate covered Macadamia Nuts Box ($5.00)

Mac nuts, Punalu'u mix

Salted and Maui Onion & Garlic Mac Nuts; Punalu’u Bake Shop Sweetbread/Malasada Mix ($6.00)

Punalu’u Bake Shop Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies ($6.00, not pictured) were also available, but are apparently very popular. The lady sitting across the aisle from me bought three large boxes, one for each member of her travel party. After a while, I saw them throwing away two empty cardboard boxes, so they polished two boxes off and only had one box left to take home.

Choc covered macs, salty snack mix
Island Princess Mele Macs; Pau Hana Snack Mix

I love that Pau Hana Snack Mix. I think it’s the rice crackers–they kind of taste like kaki mochi.

One of the flight attendants told me that improved earbuds are also available for $2.00, and there isn’t the $5 data fee anymore.
Kauai Kookies

Boxes of Kauai Kookies ($5.00 each)

Overall, quite a variety of local items. A good last chance for those who forgot someone on their list, or forgot to stock up at Long’s before leaving the islands.

The fresh leis did smell very nice. When we were waiting at the airport terminal for our flight home, and our plane arrived, I was wondering why a couple who got off the plane had on leis. We weren’t in the interisland terminal, so they had to have come from the mainland. After I got home, I realized they must have bought the leis on board.

So, on their way over, they sipped their Mai Tai’s, ate Maui Potato Chips, got a couple of leis and were ready to start their Hawaiian vacation!  Nice.