Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

The Ultimate Guide to Flying Hawaiian Airlines With Kids [2024]

Ashley Onadele's image
Ashley Onadele
Ashley Onadele's image

Ashley Onadele

Senior Content Contributor

123 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 15U.S. States Visited: 10

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerou...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
Michael Y. Park's image

Michael Y. Park

Editor

19 Published Articles 183 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...
& Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3236 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Hawaiian Airlines remains one of the most comfortable ways to fly to the Hawaiian Islands. For starters, it’s standard practice that every passenger gets a hot meal on every flight regardless of which cabin they fly in. Amenity kits are also available for all passengers. Plus, the airline has plenty of onboard entertainment to occupy every family member.

In 2023, Hawaiian Airlines announced its family seating policy to include kids under 14. Hawaiian decor and music transport you to the islands before you ever touch the sand. It’s not a bad way to spend the 5-or-more-hour flight to the islands.

Here’s what you need to know about flying Hawaiian Airlines with kids.

Where Hawaiian Airlines Flies

Hawaiian Airlines operates nonstop flights from North America, Asia, and the South Pacific and also flies between the major Hawaiian Islands.

In the continental U.S., the airline flies from Austin (AUS), Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and more.

Asia and South Pacific destinations serviced by Hawaiian Airlines include Osaka (KIX), Fukuoka (FUK), and Sapporo (CTS), Japan; Auckland (AKL), New Zealand; Cook Islands (RAR); and Papeete (PPT), French Polynesia.

Hawaiian Airlines is not part of any airline alliance, but it does have codeshare partners. You can earn HawaiianMiles under certain conditions when flying codeshare flights with partner airlines. Hawaiian’s partner airlines are China Airlines, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, and Virgin Australia.

Miles earned with partner airlines do not count toward elite status with the airline.

Hot Tip:

Alaska Airlines announced in 2023 that it would acquire Hawaiian Airlines. If approved, this would bring Hawaiian into the Oneworld alliance.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Loyalty Program

Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles loyalty program is free to join. Miles are earned by flying, not by spending on the airline or with co-branded credit cards like other airlines. Hawaiian Airlines is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Miles can only be redeemed for seats in Main Cabin, upgrades to first or business class, gift cards, or car rentals. You’re also able to share, donate, or gift your miles. Redemptions start as low as 7,500 miles.

Elite Status

There are 2 elite status levels in HawaiianMiles: Pualani Gold and Pualani Platinum. Status is earned by meeting a required number of elite-qualifying flight miles or flight segments within 1 calendar year. You receive elite benefits during the remainder of the year you qualify for status and the following year.

Pualani Gold is earned after you fly 30 segments on revenue fares that earn HawaiianMiles on a Hawaiian Airlines flight or 20,000 qualifying miles. Pualani Platinum is earned after you fly 60 segments on revenue fares that earn HawaiianMiles on Hawaiian airline flights or 40,000 qualifying miles.

Elite status perks available to both status levels include complimentary access to preferred seats, discounted award bookings, the first 2 bags free, and priority baggage handling. Pualani Platinum members receive additional perks such as the first 3 bags free, 100% bonus miles when traveling on a revenue ticket, and complimentary upgrades for themselves and up to 6 traveling companions.

Hawaiian Airlines Lounges

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Seating
The Plumeria Lounge lets you relax before your flight. Image Credit: James Larounis

Hawaiian Airlines has 2 lounge categories and partnerships with international lounges.

Premier Club is available to select Hawaiian Airlines guests. First class travelers from North America or neighboring islands, Pualani Gold and Platinum elites, and Premier Club members can enter the club when departing from Hilo (ITO), Honolulu (HNL), Kahului (OGG), Kona (KOA), or Lihue (LIH). Amenities include a dedicated customer service agent, snacks, and nonalcoholic drinks. New Premier Club memberships can be purchased for $299 or 40,000 miles. Renewing memberships cost $249 or 35,000 miles.

The Plumeria Lounge is available to select business class and first class travelers from the East Coast and Pualani Platinum elite status holders flying internationally. Anyone traveling on Hawaiian Airlines can purchase a Plumeria Lounge day pass starting at $40 per person at check-in. The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) lounge has amenities that include hot food, beer, wine, snacks, and more.

Both lounges feature high-speed Wi-Fi and charging outlets.

International partner lounges are in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Access to these lounges is exclusive to business class travelers flying to Hawaiʻi and Pualani Platinum elites.

Bottom Line:

Hawaiian Airlines lounges are available to premium class travelers and those who purchase memberships or day passes. International partner lounges are only available to business class travelers to Hawaiʻi and Pualani Platinum Elite status holders.

How To Book Hawaiian Airlines

You can book directly through the Hawaiian Airlines’ website, on its mobile app, or over the phone. You can also book through a third-party online travel agent such as Expedia, but we advise booking directly with the airline when possible.

Flying With Kids on Hawaiian Airlines

Though Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t offer child-specific amenities on board, it does offer kids’ snack packs for purchase and kids’ meals on international flights. The airline also makes an effort to seat kids under 14 years old with an accompanying family member. The airline’s hard and soft products make for a comfortable way to fly to Hawaiʻi.

Flying With a Lap Child

A child must be at least 7 days old to travel as a lap infant on Hawaiian Airlines unless you have a letter of approval from a physician dated within 1 day of travel. Lap infants cannot be older than 2 years old, and only 1 lap child may be assigned per ticketed adult. If you are 1 adult traveling with 2 children under 2 years old, you must purchase a seat for at least 1 of your children.

To add a lap infant to your Hawaiian Airlines reservation, you must call reservations at 800-367-5320. Currently, there is no option to do this when reserving your ticket online.

We recommend bringing proof of age, such as a copy of a birth certificate or passport.

Lap children are free to travel to neighboring islands or North America. A lap child flying internationally requires 10% of the accompanying adult fare, taxes, and fees. If there is an empty seat next to you on the plane, your lap infant may sit in their FAA-approved car seat in that seat. Carry-on and checked baggage allowances do not apply when flying with a lap infant.

Bassinets are available by request on most international flights.

Priority Boarding for Families

Boarding Hawaiian Airlines at Maui OGG
Families with children under 2 can board early. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

There are 9 boarding groups on Hawaiian Airlines. Families with children under 2 are allowed to board during early boarding after those needing assistance, unaccompanied minors, premium cabin travelers, and elite status holders.

Early boarding is followed by guests in Extra Comfort seats, Main Cabin, and then Main Cabin Basic.

Unaccompanied Minors

Hawaiian Airlines’ unaccompanied minors program is a little different than other airlines.

Regarding domestic flights, the airline defines an unaccompanied minor as a child between 5 and 11 years old without a companion who’s at least 15 years old on the same flight. If flying internationally, an unaccompanied minor is a child without an adult companion (defined as 18 or older) on the same flight. An unaccompanied minor, as defined, can never truly travel completely on their own on an international Hawaiian Airlines flight.

Children 12 years old and older may travel alone on domestic flights. On international flights, children under 12 must travel with a companion who is at least 18.

Domestically, the fee for unaccompanied minors for children (between 5 and 11) is $35 per flight segment for flights within Hawaiʻi and $100 per flight segment for flights between North America and Hawaiʻi. The fees are the same for children 12 to 17 traveling as unaccompanied minors, but, as noted above, children 12 and above are not required to travel as unaccompanied minors. The fee covers 2 children from the same family traveling together as long as they have the same drop-off and pickup information. Each additional child incurs additional fees.

When dropping off an unaccompanied minor, the parent or responsible adult must bring the required documentation and provide the name, phone number, and address of the adult who will meet them at their destination. The parent or responsible adult then must accompany the unaccompanied minor to the gate and wait for them at the gate until the flight has departed.

At pickup, the unaccompanied minor waits at a designated pickup point that varies by destination airport. Gate passes may be available to the pickup adults. The child will only be released to one of the contact people listed on the unaccompanied minor form.

Seating

Hawaiian Airlines tries to sit children under 14 with an accompanying family member. If you are unable to choose your seats online in advance, you should ask the airport agents for assistance when there aren’t any seats next to each other.

Snacks and Beverage Service

Hawaiian Airlines First Class pog and mai tai
Passengers can enjoy POG juice (passion fruit-orange-guava juice). Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Hawaiian Airlines serves full meals on all flights, as well as snacks and a variety of drinks. The menu and drinks offer a taste of the Hawaiian Islands, with Lion Coffee and Maui Brewing Company beers (though, obviously, those are available for the parents, not the kids). The airline’s featured chef series features different menu items in each cabin and route.

Kids’ meals can be requested on all international flights, except for South Pacific destinations in business class and the Main Cabin.

Onboard Amenities

Hawaiian Airlines recently updated the amenity kits available across all cabins. Depending on the cabin, kits include an eye mask, dental kit, pen, lotion, earplugs, and more.

Other items are available for onboard purchase from the Pau Hana Cart. In addition to souvenir items such as a keepsake water bottle, you can also purchase a blanket and pillow set, earbuds, kids’ snack packs, and more.

Inflight Entertainment

Hawaiian Airlines First Class tablet
The IFE has a variety of kids’ programs. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

You can stream inflight entertainment on your own device on Hawaiian Airlines’ A321neos. Entertainment includes movies, television shows, games, and “Hana Hou! TV,” which are documentary episodes from Hawaiian Airlines about interesting people and places.

Hawaiian has Starlink Wi-Fi on select flights. It was the first major airline to debut the onboard service earlier this year.

Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards

Hawaiian Airlines has 2 credit cards: 1 personal and 1 business credit card. Each card has a $99 annual fee and comes with a 50% companion discount on round-trip coach travel between Hawaiʻi and North America.

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® earns 3x miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2x on gas, dining, and eligible grocery store purchases, and 1x on all other purchases. Cardholders also get 2 free checked bags.

Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® cardholders can earn up to 40,000 anniversary bonus miles each year if they spend $100,000 on the card or more annually. Cardholders earn 3x miles on eligible Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2x on gas, dining, and office supply store purchases, and 1x on all other purchases.

Final Thoughts

Hawaiian Airlines is arguably the most comfortable way to travel to Hawaiʻi with kids. Its standard practice of hot meals and amenity kits for all cabins makes it stand out from its competitors. It’s not easy to earn HawaiianMiles for award redemptions outside of flying with the airline. Still, you can transfer Amex, Bilt, or Marriott Bonvoy points to the airline to save money where you can when traveling as a family.

The information regarding the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hawaiian Airlines Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hawaiian Airlines let families sit together?

Hawaiian Airlines will attempt to sit all children under 14 years old next to an accompanying family member. Unless seats are chosen at checkout, seats are not assigned until 24 hours before check-in. If you are not seated next to your child, you must ask a desk agent at the airport for assistance.

What do children need to fly on Hawaiian Airlines?

It is recommended that children of all ages fly with proof of age. This can be in the form of a copy of your child’s birth certificate on domestic flights or a passport for international flights.

Does Hawaiian Airlines have family boarding?

Hawaiian Airlines allows families traveling with children under 2 years old to board during preboarding.

Do I have to pay to check a car seat on Hawaiian Airlines?

No. It is free to check a car seat on Hawaiian Airlines.

Ashley Onadele's image

About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy  and terms of service  apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status