Vanishing Two-Across Seating. Flights To Hawaii. What To Do?

Vanishing Two-Across Seating. Flights To Hawaii. What To Do?

While many of you like the upcoming Hawaiian Airlines Dreamliner, there’s one thing you’re very sorry to see go. That is the change to the now industry standard of all 3-across seating. So having two seats alone at the window may soon be a memory. And it isn’t just at Hawaiian Airlines that this change is occurring. Read on for what to expect on all the airlines flying to Hawaii and what you can still do to avoid 3-across seating.

A comment left by Patrick regarding the new Dreamliners said, “What I will miss most is the 2-4-2 layout of the economy seat layout. With that pattern, if you were traveling with just one other person, you had your own little “area.” With the new 3-3-3, you won’t be able to do that anymore.”

Greg added, “I love the A330 layout for traveling as a couple. I’d much rather fly a decades-old A330 in the 2-3-2 configuration than a brand-new 787 where we’re going to have to deal with another passenger in our row. Enjoy it while it lasts.” And James commented, “That would be a negative for couples or families of 4, unlike the 2-4-2 of the A330.

Here’s how the seating layouts work, airline by airline, on flights to Hawaii.

American Airlines Hawaii seats in economy.

A321neo: 3-3 seating.

Boeing 777: 3-4-3 seating.

Boeing 787: 3-3-3 seating

Delta Airlines Hawaii seats in economy.

Airbus A321: 3-3 seating.

Airbus A330: 3-3-3 seating.

Airbus A350: 3-3-3 seating.

Hawaiian Airlines seats in economy.

Airbus A321: 3-3 seating.

Airbus A330: 2-4-2 seating.

Boeing 787: 3-3-3 seating.

United Airlines seats in economy.

Boeing 737: 3-3 seating.

Boeing 767: 2-3-2 seating.

Boeing 777: 3-4-3 seating.

Boeing 787: 3-3-3 seating.

Not happy with 3-across seating to Hawaii? Here’s what to do.

  • Fly on a plane that still offers 2-across seating. The choices are few, as indicated above.
  • Look for planes that have a few rows of 2-across seats at the very back of the plane, where it gets narrow. These can also be at other places in the aircraft as aisle access and other reasons necessitate. However, these seats can have issues, so compare seat maps and see what others say. These may also be charged for as premium seats.
  • Buy an extra seat in economy on any airline (other than Southwest, which doesn’t allow that).
  • Fly in premium economy on wide-body Hawaii flights that offer 2-across seating. The airlines offering this are American, Delta, and United.

If those options don’t work, consider the advantages of wide-body flights to Hawaii.

First of all, there’s more room on board with multiple aisles. That makes people crawling over each other far less common. Next, you don’t have flight attendants and customers vying for the same aisle access as on narrow-body planes. And finally, something about a wide-body plane is iconic—especially flying long distances. Do you pick the convenience of narrow-body because it can reach airports like Kauai, or opt for connecting through another island to have a wide-body experience?

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29 thoughts on “Vanishing Two-Across Seating. Flights To Hawaii. What To Do?”

  1. LGB to OGG is 5.5 hours out of my life. I can certainly sit next to, and be kind to, another person I do not know.

  2. I book a window and an aisle for my husband and I. If the plane isn’t full there’s a good chance the center seat won’t get booked. If it does, I just take the center seat and the person who thought they were going to have to sit in a middle seat is a happy camper. They get an aisle seat!

    1. I do that too! And not just to Hawaii. I also choose the back of the plane, because for some reason, pedant to sit up front. We usually end up with the middle seat empty. If not, I’ve never met someone who won’t switch.

  3. I don’t mind the seating. The problem is the space between the seats so people can get to the aisles without everyone in the row standing up.
    Space between rows (leg room) is the biggest deal along with better wider seats.
    So far Southwest has the best.

    1. Jay, SWA is awful with their survival of the fittest boarding procedure (it’s done to shorten boarding and increase “productivity “) They are the airline equivalent of someone moving to Hawaii and start talking stink about the locals and how wonderful they are to everyone they encounter. Their whole business plan of flooding a market with cheap tickets to establish themselves has been very detrimental to Hawaii and triggered the backlash against the budget tourist who uses more resources then they support.

      1. What does any of this have to do with what the topic here? Jay stated the leg room mattered to him more and that Southwest, according to him, has the best leg room. The negative talk about any airline or business is just an opinion. Competition is good for the public. Hawaii needs two carriers, it’s been prove . They keep each other in check.

      2. I love SWA boarding policies, very egalitarian, they have the most leg room and their customer service is excellent.

      3. I don’t understand your “survival of the fittest” comment. You check in 24 hrs ahead, or pay $25 for Early Bird automatic check in 36 hrs ahead. You get your boarding assignment and board according to your #. A 16-60, B 1-60, C 1-60 (A 1-15 are the most expensive fares. C usually means middle seat). Easy peasy!

  4. United, years ago, had 2-5-2 seating in their 777 a/c. Then they went to 3-3-3 seating and now 3-4-3. The United 777 went from my favorite 2 aisle a/c to one of the worst. At least I get E+ seating without paying extra (1.4 million miles sitting in their a/c over the years does that). Delta can make their seats as wide as they want, I’ve never had adequate legroom in coach on their planes, and I’ve ridden them off and on since 1976.

  5. We get seats across the aisle from each other. No middle seat that way, and we both get aisle seats. Works for us!

  6. American used to have 2 aisles years ago in the 90s. Not sure how the seating was. Also charter flights had 2 aisles.

  7. Thanks so much for the update, guys. The wife and I have to pay close attention to things that affect disabled flying. In any configuration featuring a “2” we sometimes don’t have to request special seating accommodations (United has it in our profile, but it can limit our flight choices).

    We have used the 787 disabled seating (no windows but I couldn’t care less over water at 41K feet)!
    If a 767 is convenient we might consider it depending on where we’re going.

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