When I first started researching award flights to Hawaii, I was determined to book a first class flight with fully lie-flat seats. Many first class flights between the mainland United States and Hawaii have first class cabins with either recliner seats or angled lie-flat seats rather than flat beds. Some airlines clearly state when a flight has a flat bed but some do not.
Here is a list of airlines and routes that I found with fully lie-flat seats between the mainland and Hawaii. Please note that for some routes, not every flight will have a flat bed seat so it is a good idea to double check the seat map before you book an award ticket.
1) New York – Kennedy (JFK) – Honolulu (HNL)
Hawaiian Airlines flies its new Airbus A330 between New York (JFK) and Honolulu (HNL). Hawaiian flies the A330 on other routes but not the newer version with the upgraded first class cabin. Hawaiian Airlines makes it clear that this flight has lie-flat seats both in the search results and when looking at the seat map:
If using Hawaiian Airlines miles to book an award flight, a First Class Saver award is 40,000 miles and a First Class Flex award is 80,000 for a one way flight. I looked at several dates and finding a first class saver award is nearly impossible but finding an flex award was pretty easy. If you want to fly Hawaiian Airlines on the JFK- HNL route, you will likely have to use 80,000 Hawaiian miles for a one way flight.
1) Atlanta (ATL) – Honolulu (HNL) – Airbus A330-300
2) Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) – Honolulu (HNL) – Airbus A330-300 (See my Delta One A330 first class flight review on this route)
3) Salt Lake City (SLC) – Honolulu (HNL) – Delta flies the Airbus A330-300 on this route on a seasonal basis
4) New York Kennedy (JFK) – Honolulu (HNL) – Seasonal service on a Boeing 767
5) Los Angeles (LAX) – Honolulu (HNL) – This route has several flights a day but only one flight on a Boeing 767-300 has a flat bed
6) Salt Lake City (SLC) – Maui (OGG) – Boeing 767-300 starting December 21, 2017 – This route has lower priced award flights
Delta makes it very easy to search for flights with lie-flat seats. When searching for flights on a particular route, look for the bed icon as an amenity in the search results.
It is pretty easy to find Delta award flights with lie-flat seats to Hawaii but you might need a lot of miles. The number of mileage required for a one way flight varies and can range from 67,500 to as high 150,000 for a one way ticket! Delta has a flexible search feature with a 5 week calendar which makes it easy to look for dates with lower priced awards on a route.
1) Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Honolulu (HNL)
2) Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Maui Kahului (OGG)
American flies a Boeing 767-300 (763) with lie-flat seats on nonstop flights from DFW to HNL and OGG. However, American flies 2 different versions of this aircraft and one has flat bed seats while the other version has angled lie-flat seats. A warning about booking one of these flights -even if your seat map shows the lie-flat version, AA might make a last minute aircraft change.
AA does not explicitly state whether a flight has a flat bed, but you can tell by looking at the online seat map and comparing it to the seat map on seatguru.com. For example, below is the seat map on aa.com:
There is no way to tell for sure that this flight has lie-flat seats from the seat map, but it is a good sign that there is a 1-2-1 configuration. Below is the seat map from seatguru.com which shows that this version of the Boeing 767-300 has flat bed seats.
I almost booked an AA flight on the way back from Hawaii, but I did not because I read that AA sometimes switches planes at the last minute so you might end up with an angled lie-flat bed seat. I did not want to take that risk, but one of my family members did and he got a flight on a Boeing 777-200 with fully lie-flat seats.
Using AA miles, a MileSAAver award is 40,000 for a one way first class flight but these are impossible to find. You will either have to use 67,500 (AAnytime Level 1) or 90,000 (Anytime Level 2) miles. It is pretty easy to find which dates have awards using the calendar feature and it was pretty easy to find awards at 67,500 miles.
1) Newark (EWR) – Honolulu (HNL) – Boeing 767-300
2) Washington Dulles (IAD) – Honolulu (HNL) – Boeing 767-400ER
3) San Francisco (SFO) – Honolulu (HNL) – United offers several non stop flights on this route but only one flight a day on a Boeing 777-200 has lie-flat seats.
Other United lie-flat routes:
United seems to be adding more planes with lie-flat seats. I don’t recall seeing all of these when I first started looking but I see a few more United flights to Hawaii that have switched to lie-flat seats according to their seat maps:
To Honolulu (HNL) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX) (only one of the LAX flights a day) on a Boeing 777-200
To Kauai Lihue (LIH) – some flights to Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and Denver (DEN) (seasonal) on a Boeing 757-200
To Maui (OGG) – Denver (DEN) on a Boeing 757-200; Chicago O’Hare (ORD) seasonal service on a Boeing 777-200
United does not show whether a flight has lie-flat seats when searching for flights so you need to look at United’s online seat map and double check by comparing it to the seat map on seatguru.com.
When looking at the search results on united.com, click on “Seats” and you will see the seat map. The seats in first class on this route look like they are lie-flat:
A search on seatguru.com confirms this flight has flat bed seats:
Some aircraft have different versions, in which case I look at all versions on seatguru.com and match up the seats based on the seat map on united.com.
If using United miles, a First Saver award is 40,000 miles and a First Standard award is 90,000 miles for a one way flight. Finding a first saver award on a route with lie-flat seats is difficult so you might have to spend 90,000 miles for a standard award.
If you are interested in flying on a flat bed to Hawaii, start looking for flights on these airlines and routes but double check the airline’s seat map and seatguru.com (especially for flights on United and American). Unfortunately, Saver award availability will be hard to find so you might have to use more miles for a standard award.
These are all the routes I found with flat beds to Hawaii from the mainland – hopefully I did not miss any. Let me know if I missed any routes with lie-flat beds and I will include them.