Which Lounge at HNL: Premier Club or Plumeria Lounge for Hawaiian Airlines?

In this article, I’ll go over both the Premier Club and Plumeria Lounge found at HNL and show you what each lounge has to offer when flying Hawaiian Airlines.

You can also find details for these lounges such as the different locations they are found at and how to access these.

So even if you are not flying in or out of HNL you could find this article helpful!

Premier Club overview

The Premier Club is the more “basic” lounge for Hawaiian Airlines and you can find these at just about all of the major airports in Hawaii.

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Premier Club Access

  • North America and Neighbor Island First Class Hawaiian Airlines guests
  • Pualani Platinum and Gold members
  • Premier Club members

A lot of airlines don’t give you lounge access when you fly first class domestically.

I’d say that flying between Hawaiian islands is the equivalent of flying between states on the mainland so I was kind of surprised that we were granted lounge access when flying first class between Oahu and Kauai.

However, once I scoped out the lounge it all sort of made a little bit more sense because it’s not like the Premier Club has a whole lot to offer. More on that later, though.

Premier Club Locations

Honolulu, Oahu (HNL)

Location: 2nd Floor inside secure area near Gate A18
Weekday Hours: 5:00am–7:00pm
Weekend Hours: 6:00am–7:00pm

Hilo, Hawaii Island (ITO)

Location: Below Gate 6
Hours: Temporarily Closed

Kahului, Maui (OGG)

Location: Upstairs, across from Gate 17
Hours: 6:00-am – 8:30pm

Kona, Hawaii Island (KOA)

Location: Next to Gate 10
Hours: Temporarily Closed

Lihue, Kauai (LIH)

Location: Approximately 50 feet from Gate 5
Hours: Temporarily Closed

One thing to keep in mind is that some of these Premier Club lounges are known for being notoriously underwhelming. I’ve seen reviews and pictures of the lounge in LIH and it does not look like anything special.

So while you can find these Premier Clubs on quite a few of the islands, make sure you go into it with the right expectations.

Plumeria Lounge overview

The Plumeria Lounge is the upgraded version of the Premier Club. It’s essentially the flagship lounge of Hawaiian Airlines although it feels really weird to use that word to describe this lounge.

Plumeria Lounge Access

Many of you will be happy to know that you can get Plumeria Lounge access with Priority Pass.

It’s a little bit odd that Priority Pass gives you Plumeria Lounge access considering that this is essentially the flagship first class lounge for Hawaiian Airlines.

But whenever you take a closer look at the lounge and what it offers it makes a bit more since that Priority Pass would get you in.

Otherwise in order to get access you have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Business Class guest departing Honolulu to a Hawaiian Airlines international destination.
  • First Class guest departing Honolulu to New York, Boston, or Orlando.
  • Pualani Platinums departing Honolulu to a Hawaiian Airlines international destination. Platinums may bring up to 1 guest.
  • A day pass can also be purchased.

I was a bit surprised to find out that we would not get access based on our first class ticket from HNL to PHX so make sure you are aware that first class passengers only get Plumeria Lounge access at HNL when departing to destinations on the East Coast.

The Plumeria Lounge Pass prices are below:

General$40 USD*
Pualani Gold$35 USD**
Pualani Platinum$30 USD**

*General Lounge Pass is only available for purchase at time of check-in on the day of travel and is subject to seat availability.

**Pualani Platinum and Pualani Gold Discounted Lounge Pass is only available for purchase with a lounge agent located at The Plumeria Lounge on the day of travel. Prices for elites applies to the member only.

Locations

There is only one Plumeria Lounge and it is at Honolulu International Airport, Terminal 1 on the third floor, after the TSA security check point.

Premier Club at HNL review

The Premier Club at HNL is pretty much a bare minimum airport lounge.

If you’re visiting during pandemic times, you may have to show proof of vaccination before you enter.

Inside the lounge you’ll find the following:

  • Pau Hana Snacks
  • Coffee and Hot Tea
  • Soda and Juice
  • Dedicated Customer Service Agent for lounge guests
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • AC & USB charging outlets
  • Men & Women restroom (only in Honolulu)

You’ll notice that you don’t see any alcoholic drinks or any kind of meaningful food in the lounge. When it comes to drinks you’re pretty much limited to coffee, tea, juice, and a soda machine.

And for food, you’re going to be limited to just a package of Pau Hana snacks. So this is definitely not a lounge that you want to arrive at with the hopes of satisfying your growing appetite. You will be sorely disappointed if so.

HNL Premier Club tea
HNL Premier Club drinks
HNL Premier Club juice

So this lounge is basically a place to just escape the terminal and gate area and hopefully find relaxation while possibly enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage.

Also, if you want to get work done you can find outlets at some of the tables and some ground outlets as well.

HNL Premier Club

It’s not a bad looking lounge and it’s reasonably spacious but it is just a very basic lounge in terms of its food and drink offerings.

HNL Premier Club
HNL Premier Club

When we spent some time in this lounge it was pretty laid-back and I liked that but after only about 10 minutes we decided to head to the Plumeria Lounge where we would be able to get access with our Platinum Card’s Priority Pass membership.

Plumeria Lounge at HNL review

The Plumeria Lounge is significantly better than the Premier Club.

The lounge is a little bit harder to find because you have to take an escalator up and look around but if you follow the signs and look for the Wiki Wiki shuttle it’s pretty hard to miss.

If you’re visiting during pandemic times, you may have to show proof of vaccination before you enter.

The Plumeria Lounge offers more food and drink options including:

  • Assortment of Sandwiches
  • Beer and Wines
  • Coffee and Hot Tea
  • Soda and Juice
  • Assortment of Snacks
  • Dedicated Customer Service Agent for lounge guests
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • AC & USB charging outlets
  • Men & Women restroom

With that said, the Plumeria Lounge is still a pretty basic airport lounge.

It’s not on the same level as an American Express Centurion Lounge and not even on the same level as newer legacy carriers lounges like Delta Sky Clubs that offer hot food and have nice bar areas.

Instead, I would put it on par with a typical domestic Priority Pass lounge (which it kind of is).

Here’s what it’s like at the lounge.

Once we entered, I noticed a partitioned little private area to the right of the entrance of the lounge. The tables were marked with reserved but I’m not sure how are you can reserve them.

At one point, I saw a couple of people in the section that did not look like they had reserved it so I’m not sure if they strictly enforce the reservations. YMMV.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

Overall, the lounge does feel a bit nicer than the Premier Club but it’s not a substantial upgrade in terms of decor, seating, etc.

Plumeria Lounge HNL
Plumeria Lounge HNL

While the lounge did get a little bit busy at times, there were pretty much always a few open seating areas.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

We visited during one of the playoff games with the Los Angeles Rams playing the San Francisco 49ers and it was cool that they had it on the TV. At one point, this corner with the TV had a lot of people into the game.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

There’s a row of seats lined along the window where you can get some work done.

Plumeria Lounge HNL outlets

I thought there might be a decent view behind the shades but when I pulled them back it did not look like there was much to see behind this pretty dirty window. I suddenly understood why they have the shades.

While still a pretty basic offering, this lounge is a significant step up from the Premier Club when it comes to food.

You’ll find a corner with all of the food options which include two varieties of sandwiches, cup of noodle soup, chips, fruit, cookies, and fruit snacks.

Honestly, the sandwiches were really good and a perfect little food item to hold you over until your flight. Or, if you were trying to fill up it would not be hard to do so with those sliders.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

You can grab you a pack of mayo or mustard to put on your sandwich if it’s a little too dry.

I grabbed one of the turkey and cheese sandwiches and really loved it but they also had mushroom and onion sliders. I don’t really do mushrooms so that was an easy no for me.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

And if you’re looking for some snacks they had a good variety of potato chips, Welch’s fruit snacks, and Biscoff cookies.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

The bowl of noodle soup was interesting because I don’t think I have ever seen that in an airport lounge before.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

They also had a decent little selection of wine along with beer.

Plumeria Lounge HNL wine

The bathroom at this lounge was also a bit nicer.

Final word

Visiting a Hawaiian Airlines airport lounge at HNL can be a pretty disappointing experience if you don’t properly adjust your expectations before arriving.

I’m guessing that because leisure travel is so much more prevalent than business travel here that there just is not a strong demand to create high-quality airport lounges.

But if you have to choose between these two lounges I would definitely try to get into the Plumeria Lounge because it is significantly better than the Premier Club.

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