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Hawaiian Airlines To Launch Roomier Seats With Power Outlets

@denschaal

Oct 30, 2013 1:00 pm

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It isn’t only the extra legroom, but the power outlets, priority boarding and complimentary entertainment will be enticements to book the Extra Comfort seats on long-haul flights for Hawaiian Airlines.

— Dennis Schaal

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A couple stretches out in Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort seating, slated to be introduced on A330s in June 2014. Hawaiian Airlines

Extra Comfort seats come with a pillow and blanket set on international routes. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort seats will increase legroom to 36 inches, and will have electrical power outlets. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines will debut roomier seats for a fee called Extra Comfort on its A330 aircraft in June 2014, and this first full-fledged redesign of its long-haul seating is being accomplished in a different way than some airlines have done — Hawaiian is not reducing legroom in its Economy seats to make room for Extra Comfort.

Instead, the airline is removing the bulkhead between rows 3 and 11, and installing a partition between first and economy classes.

In contrast, it is not uncommon for airlines to reduce seat pitch in Economy for the seats available for no extra fees to make way for premium seats.

John Walton, Routehappy’s director of data, recalls that Southwest, for example,  reduced seat pitch an inch, downsizing to 31 inches, when it installed Evolve slimline seats on its 737-700s.

And, JetBlue didn’t reduce seat pitch but removed a row from Economy to create its Even More Space seating, Walton says.

Hawaiian’s Extra Comfort seats will provide 36 inches of legroom, the airline says, four to five inches more than standard Economy. All of the Extra Comfort seats will have power outlets.

“It doesn’t look like Hawaiian has ‘stolen’ legroom from regular economy,” Walton says. “It’s changed the name of Preferred Seats (bulkheads and exit rows) to Extra Comfort, and is adding some pitch to the three rows ahead in the forward mini-cabin between doors 1 and 2.”

“Obviously, changes to the mini-cabin are unlikely to affect the rest of economy,” Walton adds.

The airline hasn’t detailed what it will charge for Extra Comfort other than to say pricing will be competitive. Passengers who book Extra Comfort seats will also be entitled to priority boarding, complimentary movies and TV programming, a pillow and blanket set, and premium meal selections, Hawaiian says.

The Extra Comfort seats will be replacing Preferred Seats on the A330s. The Preferred Seats currently include bulkhead and exit row seats on the A330s.

No economy seats have been displaced to create Extra Comfort seats. The bulkhead between rows 3 and 11 will be removed and a partition will be inserted to separate first and economy class.

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