Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club – ITO

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Note: This lounge will be closed for renovations from February 28th through Summer 2015.

The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club at Hilo, HI is one of a kind… and we don’t mean that in a positive way.

But perhaps it would fair to set the context first. Hawaiian Airlines only operates short island hopper flights out of ITO, and grants premium class passengers as well as all elites access to their lounges (unlike most US airlines which tend to restrict access to members on domestic itineraries.) Furthermore, first class is often marginally more expensive than economy.

With this in mind, what to expect? Not much, and that’s exactly what this lounge delivers. It’s a tiny secluded room, it has a few chairs, one table, two work cubicles, and that’s it. There’s a soda fountain and drip coffee, too, though you’d be better off getting coffee anywhere else where it’s actually fresh. Packages of trail mix are occasionally available. There is no bathroom, no customer assistance, and power outlets are few and far between.

Access is granted through a code obtained at check-in, so the guest policy functions on the honor code, and since the lounge offers virtually no amenities, the system works rather well.

We’d call this lounge symbolic – Hawaiian Airlines can state that they have a lounge in Hilo. Realistically, though, the bright and open airport terminal is a better place to wait for a flight, and except to get a free soda, we can’t think of why anyone would actually choose to sit in the lounge.

Hawaiian Airlines is renovating all their lounges in Hawaii throughout 2015, so we’re curious to find out how the space will be transformed, though we believe it’s prudent to keep low expectations.

The pluses
  • Not much, really
The minuses
  • The cramped space which contrasts with the rather spacious terminal
  • The lack of bathroom and amenities
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