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Airlines searching for ways to attract more Hawaiian visitors as travel ramps up again

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Airlines searching for ways to attract more Hawaiian visitors as travel ramps up again

HONOLULU -- International travelers are now flying back into Hawaii. As flights from around the globe arrive, some airlines are adding amenities to attract certain kinds of customers.

Hawaii residents are not the only ones who want a particular type of visitor to the islands. The same could be said of the airlines that bring them here.

"We really want to support this Malama Hawaii campaign that as travelers come back to Hawaii, we attract a more mindful visitor," said Alaska Airlines spokesman Daniel Chun.

A mindful traveler may look for an authentic experience or even one where they can give back.

"People are looking for some way to connect with Hawaiian culture, in a way that is different than your standard luau," Mondy Jamshidi Kent, the Executive Director for travel2change.org, said.

Alaska Airlines partnered with travel2change.org to help provide those experiences which range from working on local farms to really getting into the aina.

"Working at the lo'i at Kako'o 'OIwi, that is the experience of giving back to the aina. Jumping into the mud to get the job done," Jamshidi Kent said.

While comfort and price are still important to air travelers, some also want to make sure the experience is positive on the place they visit.

"One of the big things that drives consumer behavior is price, but they also ask for more. They want to make sure we are doing the right thing when it comes to communities and the environment," added Chun.

It is not just for passengers. Alaska Airlines is also working to become more sustainable. At the beginning of November, the airline cut out plastic cups and bottles from its service in an effort to get rid of millions of pounds of plastic normally created every year.

While Alaska Airlines wants its passengers to have a more authentic experience, Hawaiian Airlines hopes to provide a more luxurious one. It is upgrading its business class seating and making twice as much space on the plane for travelers willing to pay more for comfort, space, and luxury.

New aircraft will be fitted with 34 premium cabin seats -- almost twice as many seats as the company has on its other widebody jet, the Airbus A330.

Hawaiian selected Adient Aerospace as its seat partner and expects customers to be "blown away" by the design of the premium cabin. Instead of just seats that simply lay flat, the new design offers plenty of storage, large inflight entertainment screens, a privacy door, and other amenities.

Hawaiian has 10 new Boeing 787 aircraft on order and the first is expected to be delivered in 2022, when experts expect international travel to really heat up.

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