The lounge options in Honolulu are, for the most part, pretty sad. Sure, it is a US airport and most lounges in those are comparably bad, but with most passengers taking reasonably long flights to get home from Honolulu I feel like things should be better there. Alas, it seems I don’t get to make that decision.
Recently I’ve spent most of my time in the United Club in Honolulu and, quite frankly, it isn’t all that impressive. I love the big picture window views but the rest of the lounge is just a regular United Club, and that’s not a particularly great vote of confidence. On this most recent trip, however, I ended up in the JAL Sakura Lounge. It isn’t incredible by any stretch, but I definitely like it better than the United Club.
The JAL lounge is quite spacious and split up into a few different rooms. There are a variety of seating options available, making it easy to find the appropriate arrangement for different sized groups. I chose a a work carrel by the windows but there are chairs and couches available, too.
On the food & drink front, everything is self-service, including the booze, at the two stations they have set up. They could stand to improve the beer selection a bit, but overall quite reasonable. There is also soup & bread available for snacking. It isn’t enough for a full meal, really but way better than the snack mix options which seem to otherwise be the norm.
There is also a massage chair to relax and a kids play area to keep the little ones occupied.
I got in using the Priority Pass membership which came with my American Express Platinum card. One of the few benefits of that card I still enjoy.
This is hardly the best lounge ever. Overall it is probably just a mid-level option. But compared to the other choices in Honolulu, this just might be my new hangout of choice. Read more about the JAL Sakura Lounge at HNL and other lounges over at the Airport Lounge Guide.