First Class to Paradise: SFO to HNL(Oahu) on United’s 777-200

Comfortable seats and great service. Seats in row 4 were wonderful and are my preferred seats for this configuration. This flight works great for couples or families traveling together.


  • Comfortable lie flat seats
  • Great Mai Tai
  • Solid Service


  • Sub-par and unresponsive IFE
  • Serviceable Food
Seat 4k and 4L are my favorite on this plane

Back in January, Jen and I planned a summer trip to visit Hawaii’s island of Oahu where several of my relative reside. Needing to travel on the week of July 4th, tickets were the cheapest on the 4th. Luckily, I was able to snag a pair of tickets from SFO to HNL and have them upgraded to first class on United’s Boeing 777-200. United typically only runs one flight daily from SFO to HNL(Honolulu Airport) with this configuration. Most of their other flights do not have lie flat seats. For a short 5 1/2 hours flight, it was wonderful to have lie flat seats.


Doing some plane spotting while waiting to board

Our flight was scheduled for 8:45 with boarding scheduled to begin at 8:15. Living nearby SFO, Jen and I made our way to the airport a quarter til 7 and checked in our bags using the premier access area. Bag check was a bit busy for 6:45 AM but While I have a Global Entry which comes with TSA PRE, Jen also received TSA PRE and we breezed right through security.

Centurion Lounge

With over an hour to spare, Jen and I decided to head to the American Express Centurion lounge. Lounge access is the best benefit for those with the Amercian Express Platinum or Business Platinum card. Jen and I were able to eat a small breakfast at the lounge before heading to boarding. I had some bacon and scrambeled eggs along with a cup of coffee. Jen had the same minus the coffee. The centurion lounge in San Francisco is always extremely busy and today was no exception. When we first arrived there was a good amount of seating remaining. By the time we left, the lounge was completely packed.

The Seat

Photo by my wonderful photographer Jen

United has one daily flight out of SFO to Oahu with a lie flat configuration. While this may change in the future, many other airlines do not have lie flat seats from the West Coast to Hawaii with Hawaiian airlines being he outlier. The seat aboard United’s Boeing 777-200 was configured in a 2-4-2 with row 4 missing the center row. Jen and I choose seats 4K and 4L, which were at the back of the first class cabin, but offered a bit more privacy due to the lack of a middle row. The seats were extremely comfortable and since Jen and I are not all that tall, there was a lot of extra space. On our seats were Saks Fifth Avenue pillows and blankets, the standard for United planes containing lie flat seats.

The IFE was unresponsive actually shut off about 1/2 and hour to 45 minutes before landing. The movie choices and entertainment selection was rather limited but manageable.

Food and Drinks

The Cinnamon roll was the best part

Upon boarding, we were offered pre-departure drinks. Jen went with a Mai Tai(bold and daring) while I went with an orange juice. About half an hour after takeoff, breakfast was served. We were presented with two options, an eggs benedict with a chorizo topping, and an oatmeal option. Jen and I went with the eggs benedict option and it turned out to be passable. The eggs benedict was severed atop a muffin that tasted a little like cornbread and topped with corn, beans, and chorizo. Airplane food isn’t the greatest, but United served some delicious cinnamon rolls on the side. Overall the food was passable.


Service was good and the flight attendants were friendly and warm. They came around multiple times to refill our drinks or to provide us with snacks. United has amazing stroopwafels, or maybe its just me, but one flight attendant went out of his way to try and find one for me. I really appreciated the gesture and effort.

Final Verdict: B+

While the food was sub-par but manageable, the lie flat configuration was wonderful allowing Jen and I to reach Hawaii fully rested. The service was solid and the flight attendants were friendly. Keep in mind that I am comparing this flight to other flights on this route. I had a wonderful time on this flight. If anyone is looking to fly lie flats to Hawaii, this would be a wonderful option, especially for Star Alliance flyers.

One thought on “First Class to Paradise: SFO to HNL(Oahu) on United’s 777-200

Leave a Reply