Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.
I recently completed flying Delta One Honolulu to Atlanta (HNL-ATL), United First class Honolulu to Washington Dulles (HNL-IAD), and American Airlines first class Dallas-Fort Worth to Honolulu (DFW-HNL) from July – September.
After trying 3 different US airlines first class products, I say American offers the best first class, lie flat seats from the US mainland to Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines lie flat first class looks really good as well but I haven't tried it yet.
My wife and I flew first class on all of these routes thanks to credit card miles and points I accumulated from earning credit card welcome bonuses. Currently I get $5000 in annual fees waived from Chase and American Express thanks to their military credit card fee waivers.
If you're active duty military or a military spouse, you can learn how to get your first $550 fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. Or check out this month's best credit card welcome offers and my step by step SCRA and MLA credit card guide for military troops.
On this trip, my wife and I flew from Baltimore, Maryland (BWI) to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas (DFW). We then caught AA5 from DFW to Honolulu, HI.
DFW Admirals Club Military Lounge Access
I'm still getting used to the fact that even if you spend thousands of dollars on a first class or business class ticket in the States you do not automatically get club or lounge access with the airline. This is not the norm overseas.
Since we were only domestic first class, we did not get Admirals Club lounge access at DFW. I asked if they allowed military servicemembers and was able to get in that way.
The club's food options were not very extensive. They were offering avocado toast at a special station, so I munched on that.
AA 5 Business Class Seat
Boarding was smooth. Plenty of overhead space on today's AA5, a 777-200 with American's Flagship Business Class seats.
Like United from HNL there was no amenities kit provided. The bathrooms were spacious and clean but lacked amenities other than soap and water.
First drink service was 20 minutes after takeoff as soon as we reached cruise. Service was friendly and quick throughout the flight.
The entertainment system had good selection and a large, bright screen.
The seat was very comfortable and had lots of great storage compartments. In fact is say this was probably my favorite business class seat after Singapore's and Emirates.
Food on American Airlines First Class to Hawaii
First course of dinner was ginger shrimp, hot bread selection, and a salad with green goddess or balsamic vinaigrette. Bread was served with Kerrygold butter, so bonus points for that.
The seat's sliding tray is a real nice feature and makes getting out of your seat during dinner service easy.
Dinner was actually really nice. I had the pumpkin tortellini option with kalua pork ragu and mushy peas. The other food options on AA5 were:
- Friend chicken with mashed potatoes, haricot vert and sweet chili Thai sauce
- Sweet and Sour eggplant with brown rice, broccolini, carrots, and sweet and sour sauce (vegetarian option)
The mushy peas on the side weren't that exciting, but the pumpkin tortellini and kalua pork ragu was delicious.
For dessert we had a choice between a cheese plate or vanilla ice cream sundae with mango, strawberries, Macadamian nuts, whipped cream. I went with the sundae and a chamomile tea.
Overall I really enjoyed my flight from DFW to Honolulu on American Airlines. I would like to fly American Airlines first class to or from Honolulu again.
I do not recommend Delta's or United's first class product from HNL. They have a lot of work to do to catch up with American. I would even fly American with a connection in DFW to avoid flying Delta or United again.
This flight would have cost $1600 each but instead I traded in 87,500 American Airlines miles for it. Thanks to my annual fee waived AMEX Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve, it's easy to accumulate points and miles to cash in for really nice flights like this one.
My next big redemption is a $27,000 flight to Tokyo on ANA. Look for that review next year!
AMEX Platinum With NO Annual Fees for US Military
Military servicemembers and spouses can get the American Express Platinum card with NO annual fees.
Learn how to apply for the AMEX Platinum Military.
The AMEX Platinum offers:
- $550 Annual Fee WAIVED for US Military (and spouses)!
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points with $5000 spend in 3 month
- $200 credit for Uber rides (or Uber Eats!) annually
- $200 airline fee credit
- Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
- NO foreign transaction fees
These benefits make the AMEX Platinum my top recommend card.
If you already have an AMEX Platinum card, check out the other AMEX cards, Chase military credit cards, and this month's top recommended credit card bonuses, most with no annual fees for US military personnel.
Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.