Aseamless check-in experience at the Hawaiian Airlines counter followed by an express path route through customs, and a warm welcome in the Qantas Business Class Lounge is enough to make me switch the world clock on my iPhone onto Hawaiian time. The good vibes continue in the form of a na pua welcome drink (prosecco and guava juice) offered by my attendant, who also proffers lounging pillows and a cotton quilt for my sleep-out in the sky. The aloha spirit is alive and well onboard, with the ukelele music piped into the cabin setting the mood as the stewards in the blue shirts tangoed back and forth around the cabin, aiming to please. The complimentary amenity kits, packed with lip balm, hydrating mist, dental kit, bamboo comb and socks also enhanced the comfort levels.
The menu, designed by executive chef Lee Anne Wong (of Honolulu’s Koko Head Café) was also on-brand: think whole tomato salad with cucumbers, five-spice chicken with coconut milk ginger rice and chilled mini pineapple blueberry pie.
The seats in the Business Class cabin, which have a 2-2-2 configuration and Poltrona Frau Italian-made leather chairs, recline 180 degrees into beds that almost – but not quite – lie flat. After a stiff Koloa Kauai White Hawaiian Rum on the rocks, I pack away my slimline TV screen with more than 100 hours of movies in favour of an audio program called Keiki Corner, devoted to Hawaiian music, and hit the metaphorical snooze button for six glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep. Mahalo, Hawaiian Airlines.