Look carefully at this photo. It’s a shot of the cabin of the new Hawaiian Airlines A321neo. The airline says that, if you look really carefully, this cabin is evocative of Hawaii.
“Drawing inspiration from a proud heritage and shining a light into the future,” states a Hawaiian Airlines webpage on the new A321neo cabins. “Inspired by Hawaii’s craft and cultural traditions, this cabin expresses our heritage through bold, contemporary design. You will be immersed in the spirit of Hawaii the moment you step on board, while experiencing the best in cabin comfort, with roomy seats and in-seat power everywhere.”
Now I’ll admit that when I first looked at this photo, I didn’t really see a lot of inspiration from “Hawaii’s craft and cultural traditions.” Honestly, I didn’t see a lot of Hawaii (unless they were talking about the Apple Store in Waikiki). So I showed to others in the office.
“Huh,” said Culinary, Lifestyle and Business Editor Jen Russo. “Hawaii? You mean because it has those wavy lines on the seats?”
According to an April 3 news release from Hawaiian Airlines, the interior’s textiles “pay homage to traditional Hawaiian crafts, from bark cloth (kapa) to fishing nets.” Signage apparently uses the Hawaiian language, and there are “unexpected textures” and “custom floor and wall laminates” in the lavatories (I don’t know about you, but “unexpected textures” in ANY lavatory are usually bad). And there’s also a “full LED mood-lighting system” that will “evoke Hawaii’s unmatched sunrises and sunsets, enhancing the guest’s mood at each stage along their journey.”
Seriously, none of this should surprise me. This is, after all, the same airline that limits passengers to traveling with no more than two surfboards in their baggage–a policy that has drawn protests from people like Hurley founder Bob Hurley and surfers Kelly Slater and Dusty Payne.
“[Hurley] said on Instagram that he wasn’t allowed to bring three surfboards in a single board bag, even though they were all small and fell under the weight restriction,” states this Aug. 5, 2016 Hawaii News Now story. “He offered to pay extra, but was still denied.”
Photo courtesy Hawaiian Airlines