After having flown between the Hawaiian Islands and the mainland on hundreds of occasions, it’s about time to let the world know who’s the best and who should quit.
Hands down, bar-none, Aloha Airlines are the best to fly to and from Hawaii with. Aloha is by no means the perfect airline, but when looking at the alternatives, they’re pretty close. Service, punctuality, and quality aircrafts all play factors. Unless you can find a deal with them, Aloha is usually a little more expensive than the other airlines. Another downer is that they don’t fly into as many airports as some other Mainland airlines. If you wait till the last couple weeks before flying, they occasionally have good deals. Aloha serves real food, which is a nice change. I’ve also heard that the older planes in their fleet are sold to Hawaiian Airlines.
The worst and usually least expensive airline to fly with is ATA. I regularly find myself booked with them because I use Expedia to find flights. I choose the least expensive route, which puts me on and off of planes. Even a straight shot with ATA is not worth the cash you save. They seem to be the least organized of all the airlines. They’re the mutt of airlines, often poaching another airlines terminal. I’ve been postponed and told to wait more with ATA than any other airline. No one seems to have a straight or true answer for anything that’s going on. If you’re hungry, you may want to pack a lunch. Their “Gourmet Pack” of food consists of pretzels, and other items that you used to get for free. Now it’ll cost you close to $8. For those of you that surf, don’t take ATA. My last trip with them resulted in my new, well-packed surfboard being completely crushed. No money, no apology. Add that to an already horrible flight, and you’ve got a recipe for a miserable experience.
Since we wrote this, both airlines have gone bankrupt.