A Week from Beach to Beach – Sakura Lounge and American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class

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Planning – Booking Award Tickets
Planning – Booking Hotel Stays
Outrigger Maui Eldorado
Exploring Maui
Maui Budget Tips and Eats
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel
American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class

After 3 nights at the awesome Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel, we were on our way home on American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class. If you’ve been reading along, we were actually flying from HNL-LHR (London) with a 3 month stopover in LAX. Therefore, the total one-way ticket cost was 62,500 miles and $330 tax per person due to British Airways fuel surcharges. I would not pay 37,500 American Airline miles per person to fly HNL-LAX.

This flight was my first time flying domestic first class and I’ve been told not to be excited about it. I set my expectations very low because I’ve been reading many international trip reports. Our flight from HNL-LAX was at 7:10am (ouch), so we had to catch Robert’s Hawaii shuttle at 4:30am. Once we arrived at the airport, we made our way to the Japan Airlines/American Airlines Sakura Lounge.

Honolulu Sakura Lounge

We arrived at the Sakura lounge around 5:30am and tried to enter. However, I forgot to bring my wife’s AMEX Platinum card to get in! For some reason, they didn’t let us in being on a First Class domestic ticket. However, we were able to call AMEX and have them verify that my wife was an AMEX Platinum Card holder. It took some time and hassle, but I really wanted to check out the lounge.

When we entered the lounge, there was only one other couple. There were some pastries, yogurt, coffee, and juice. In the fridge was beer, but it was too early to have one. The lounge is quite spacious and looked like a good place to sit and relax for a while. We ate a bit and headed over to our flight to board.


JAL/AA Sakura Lounge


Alcohol at Sakura Lounge (would be a bad idea at 6am)


Wine and Beer



American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class

We boarded our flight first and turned left. There were about 16 seats on this 767 aircraft. There was no personal in flight entertainment system, only an old drop down tv that was playing some tv shows. However, I didn’t care much as I had my own entertainment. The seats were recliner chairs and a bit dated.

We were promptly asked if we wanted juice, champagne, or a mimosa. I opted for a mimosa just to see how it tasted even though it probably wasn’t a good idea to have a drink that early in the morning.

As soon as the plane was at a stable altitude, the breakfast service started. I heard the flight attendent say “Let’s just get this over with.” Therefore, the breakfast service seemed quite rushed. I wasn’t too hungry because I ate snacks from the lounge so I went with the cereal and berries. My wife went with the Macademia French Toast.

My meal was like it sounded, nothing special. My wife’s macademia french toast was actually pretty good, even though she didn’t like it much. We finished our breakfast quite quickly and just relaxed the rest of the ride. The flight attendent asked once if we wanted any drinks, and I had a coke with rum (only cause it’s free).

We soon landed in Los Angeles after about a 5 hour flight. Overall, I thought American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class was quite average. It was a lot nicer not sitting in coach, but it is definitely not necessary and not worth the mileage. I only took the flight because it was included in my HNL-LAX-LHR flight as a free stopover. I can’t complain when it’s free!


Dated Recliner Seat

Dated Recliner Seat





HNL-LAX First Class Menu



HNL-LAX First Class Drink Menu



Macademia French Toast

Cereal and Berries

Cereal and Berries



Warm Macademia White Chocolate Cookie – Best Part!


4 comments for “A Week from Beach to Beach – Sakura Lounge and American Airlines HNL-LAX First Class

  1. Robert Hanson
    April 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Picture of a mimosa, but not one of the seats? That was the one thing I was wanting from this trip report. I know what a mimosa looks like. Still unclear if the upgrade is worth it… 🙁

    • April 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the seat. I took one of the back of the seat. I would say lax-hnl not worth it but if you are from east coast might be with it.

  2. Mike
    April 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Isn’t this a 757, not 767?

    • April 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Yes, 757 with 22 or 24 first class recliners. Sorry wrote the article late at night.

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