Hawaii Vacation: Delta 757 Economy Review

This is part 2 of our journey to Lihue Kauai Hawaii. In this review I’ll be reviewing the Delta 757 economy trip to Hawaii. Getting to Kauai from Greenville isn’t easy, it takes 3 flights and usually a stop on the west coast. We’re flying to Hawaii in economy, nothing fancy today. These flights are all daytime flight and not particularly long so economy is a great way to save some money or miles. We’ve flown to Hawaii in economy several times and really, I don’t mind it.

The only downside is that Delta has two different versions of the 757-200 and today we’re on the older one. These have smaller screens in comparison with the nicer larger ones on the majority of the fleet. This was a very pleasant Delta 757 flight for us though as we were in the exit row and had the middle seat empty. I’ll gladly take that on any route, but especially to Hawaii.

I’ll also talk about the arrival process into Hawaii as a vaccinated traveler. This is no longer relevant.

In This Trip

Delta 757 Economy Review: Seattle to Lihue Hawaii

Ok, so we forgot that we needed to get a Hawaii Safe Traveler wrist band in Seattle. Before our trip we created and logged our trip on the Hawaii State website, but forgot to get a wrist band here in Seattle. We checked with the Skyclub and they directed us to a help desk near A3. At the gate the agent just recommended skipping it as the line was very long with the several Hawaii flights scheduled to depart around the same time. It was also getting close to boarding time, so looks like we’ll just clear when we arrive into Hawaii.

Delta 757 Boarding Process

Delta 757 Boarding at SEA

Our 80 minute layover passed very quickly and it was soon time to board again. Or zone was soon called and we headed onto the plane. This flight is on the exact same plane we just rode on. Fortunately we’re across the aisle from our previous seats so hopefully my IFE will work correctly this time.

Delta 757 Boarding at SEA

The seat map had quite a few empty seats on it, I was hopeful that the plane would be lightly loaded today. Judging by the number of people in the gate area, I’m pretty sure it won’t be completely full. No upgrades for us today, the first class section was sold out weeks ago.

Delta 757 Economy(exit row) Seats

Delta 757 Exit row seat

Ok, so this is the exact same plane as we flew to Seattle on. We’re just sitting across the aisle from our previous seats, hopefully my IFE will work correctly this time.

Delta 757 Exit row seat

We are also lucky to have 3 seats to ourselves. I’d gladly take this setup over an upgrade to Comfort+ where we’d have a seat mate. A few days ago at my upgrade window I had that option, but decided to just stay put. No first class upgrades today. Hawaii is very hit or miss on upgrades and extremely route dependent. Seems like LAX has easier upgrades along with HNL. Upgrades from ATL are really rare.

Delta 757 Exit Row Leg room

Power in each row, and because of the empty middle seat between us, lots of space for us here in the exit row.

Delta 757 In seat entertainment

The old style seat back screens again. I’ll be honest I was a little bummed to see this, they are only ok. The selection is fine and they work but obviously the newer bigger screens are more enjoyable.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin

Delta 757 Boarding

Looks like a pretty light load today to Kauai. The pilot also said we’re going to catch some favorable winds and this flight should be about 5 hours 15 minutes once we’re in the air. That’s pretty great for a west coast to Hawaii flight. We boarded up pretty quickly and I was in a great mood. We’re going to Hawaii!

Delta 757 at SEA

The pilot then said that we might have to wait a minute or two here at the gate. Apparently there’s a bit of a traffic jam and due to construction, it’s blocking us in a bit here at the gate. It shouldn’t be too long before we push back, but that unfortunately we do just have to wait our turn.

Delta 757 at SEA

After about a 10 minute wait we pushed back and I started watching Palm Springs. When flying I usually don’t watch new to me movies, mostly just repeat watches. Although the selection here isn’t great, it’s good enough.

Delta 757 Cabin
Delta 757 Headphone Jack

These seats have the headphone jack in the arm rest. I’m a big fan of that. Interestingly this seat’s IFE is stupid loud. One notch above zero is more than enough. Could also be that my Sonys are sensitive, but I don’t think I’ve ever had that issue before.

Delta 757 Takeoff

Delta 757 Takeoff

Today we’re taking off to the South.

Delta 757 Takeoff

The Pacific North West is beautiful. We really need to come back and explore this area.

Delta 757 Takeoff View from SEA

Crossing over the coast line on our way over the Pacific. The views are just incredible in this part of the world.

Delta 757 Economy Service

Delta 757 Economy Snack Service

The flight attendants began their service and we burned a few drink certificates on some beers. So kinda weird thing, we were doing a sweep of the fridge before we left, we found an unopened ball of fresh mozzarella. It wouldn’t last until we got back so I brought it with us.

Delta 757 Economy In Flight

This isn’t the first time I brought some random fridge foods along on a trip. Avocados are a regular item for that. Onions, apples, sausages, hard cheeses, all things I’ve brought along because they would go bad before we returned. Usually it’s to family or friends house, but this time I saw that ball of mozzarella and figured it would make a great plane snack. I grabbed a sleeve of Ritz and plastic knife.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin In Flight

The mozzarella was a great snack along with the Sweetwater Hazy IPAs. I’ve eaten a whole rotisserie chicken, a rack of ribs, hundreds of sandwiches, but this was the first time I made a cheese and cracker snack on a plane. I really enjoyed it.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin In Flight

So far this flight has been very quiet. Always a good thing. The flight attendants have been great, super friendly, and fast with their service too. It’s been a little bumpy but nothing major.

About an hour off the coast the pilot came on and told us the rest of the flight should be nice and smooth and that he was turning off the seatbelt sign. We settled in to the 4 hours remaining on our flight to Kauai.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin In Flight

After Palm Springs ended I decided to watch Wedding Crashers. It’s been a while since I watched it and I’ve got the time to kill.

This is a pretty isolated part of the world. The stretch from the Main Land to Hawaii has no diversion points. It’s either Hawaii or turn back. Planes on this route need to have more than 2 engines or have an ETOPS certification. This allows two engine aircraft to operate more than 60 minutes from a diversion safe airport. In this case, our 757 today is ETOPS 180 compliant. This allows it to be up to 180 minutes away from a diversion airport. Because this flight is less than 6 hours, at no point will we be more than 3 hours from an airport.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin

My movie finished and I went to the bathroom. I decided to switch to TV shows as we’re only 1:45 from landing. It’s a little cloudy below us, but you can still see the ocean. Even when flying to Europe or Asia from North America there aren’t times when you’re over this much open water.

There are a whole host of different aircraft and airlines that fly to Hawaii. Delta uses 757, 767, A330s. Previously they did use 737-900s and I rode on one of those several years ago. I’m not sure why they stopped.

Delta 757 Economy Window View

These exit row seats have a ton of leg room but the seat cushions are starting to get a little uncomfortable after 5 hours and then another 4. The regular seats are a little more comfortable, but I think I’d trade the leg room, but I’d have to think about it.

With about 1:30 left in the flight, a second beverage service was started. I decided to just get water. Lots of flying today and that’s pretty dehydrating.

Delta 757 Hawaii Arrival

State of Hawaii entry form

About 45 minutes before landing the State of Hawaii agricultural forms we’re distributed. Because of Hawaii’s unique ecosystem, there are very strict rules about what can be imported. It’s pretty easy to handle, it’s very similar to what you’d expect on an international trip.

Delta 757 Economy Cabin arrival to LIH

We were also reminded to make sure we have our Covid forms available before we approach the exit area of the airport. Everything is online and it’s just a QR code and whatever form of quarantine bypass you’ll be using. For us that’s our vaccine cards that have also already been uploaded to the Hawaii safe traveller website. We do need to present a hard copy along with ID because we didn’t get our wrist bands in Seattle.

With just under a half hour left, the flight attendants did a final trash pickup. They also collected our Hawaii Agriculture forms. We could feel that we started our slow decent into Kauai!

Delta 757 Economy Hawaii View

I started another episode of The Office to finish our this trip. The pilot came on and announcement that we are about 25 minutes away and are in fact descending. We’re also scheduled to land about a half hour early. I’m really looking forward to relaxing when we land. We’ll probably take it slow the first day, just have a nice beach day.

Delta 757 Landing at LIH

Landing here in Lihue is just spectacular. There isn’t scenery line it anywhere else in the world. We taxied off the runway and to the gate.

Delta 757 at LIH

We then approached the gate. Seriously check out that view.

Hawaii(Lihue Kauai) Safe Traveler Arrival

After grabbing our bags from the overhead we walked up the jet bridge. At this point I’m a little nervous that we didn’t have time to get wristbands in Seattle.

Arriving passengers have two ways to go, one for people with wrist bands, another for people with just the QR code. We’re in the QR code category as our documents haven’t been checked yet. Fortunately the line was very short and within a minute or two we were talking with an arrival agent.

There were 6 of these podiums to check vaccine cards, very fast and well sorted process because within 5 minutes we were heading out the door. I honestly wouldn’t bother getting a wrist band, especially if there is any sort of line. I’d much rather wait here for 5 minutes total instead of a 30 minute line in Seattle.

And outside walking to the rental car van.

Final Thoughts

This was a very pleasant flight. Economy with an empty middle seat is just great. Lots of space for our stuff, and in the exit row, lots of leg room. The older in seat entertainment isn’t ideal, but it’s better than what many carriers offer. We got great views both on departure from SEA and then again on arrival here at LIH.

On the flight, our cheese and cracker snack was a nice treat. The Delta Hazy IPA from Sweetwater is a great beer and I’m glad Delta serves.

This might be a LIH specific thing, but I wouldn’t wait in a line on the mainland to get a Hawaii Safe travels wristband. It’s just not needed with how short the line was and how efficient the Hawaii agents were. I’m sure this is also because many people do get wristbands so that alleviates the line here in Hawaii. Hawaii no longer requires this due to the relaxing of Covid restrictions. Now that the boring part is done, I’m so happy to be in Hawaii on vacation.

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