Being stuck in the middle seat is almost endurable when it is for a short time. But sitting there for five to ten hours on flights to Hawaii is another matter entirely. The nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide and inability to get up situation is only getting worse as refleeting and other industry factors reduce our ability to avoid those dreaded middle seats.
Find our five tips below that include five Hawaii aircraft where you’ll still find two-across seats, plus how to find and reserve the best seats.
First, as companies like Hawaiian Airlines move from wide-body to narrow body for many of their mainland to Hawaii flights, which started in 2018, this situation has been getting more difficult to control. Add to that the fact that flights to Hawaii are at record capacity.
Second, airlines know all too well how much we hate that middle seat and are mid-stream in their big plans to monetize avoiding them. The industry is implementing a new round of surcharges associated with seat assignments that will probably make getting the assurance of any window or aisle seat yet another premium. So even with aircraft having some two-across seating, carriers will try to charge a premium in order for you to reserve them.
Beat of Hawaii suggestions:
1. When possible, stick with planes that have standard (no extra cost) two-across seating on the left and right sides of the aircraft. If you’re not sure, look for the following aircraft type that are used on Hawaii flights.
- Alaska Airlines: None.
- American Airlines: 777.
- Delta Airlines: 330.
- Southwest Airlines: None.
- Hawaiian Airlines: 330, 717.
- United Airlines: None.
2. Select aisle seats across from your flying partner when flying three-across. If you’re stuck in the aircraft’s middle section, the aisle is certainly the best choice.
3. Look for three-across aircraft that have at least few two-across seat pairs. These are a result of the narrowing of the plane at the tail end or an exit row at the front (Hawaiian A321neo). While ostensibly offering no additional room, there is thankfully no middle-seat. These paired seats are sometimes an upgrade option.
4. Check the cost for upgrading to two-across seating. It can range from $10 to much more. We recently upgraded Hawaiian Airlines inter-island seats from back of the plane to first row, extra legroom, two-across, for just $10 per person. With early boarding, and a quicker exit, that was indeed a bargain.
5. Try using Seat Guru to look at the best seating options based on the airline and type of aircraft you’ll be flying. Do this before booking your flights.
How do you avoid being stuck in the middle?