Aloha! Ready for that cup of Kona coffee, or that authentic poke bowl? All year long whenever I’ve flown Southwest Airlines, I always ask the SWA employees if they’ve heard anything new about when Southwest will be flying to Hawaii. They’ve never given me any insider information, so we laugh when I tell them it’s likely the day after my SWA Companion Pass expires Southwest will commence flights to Hawaii!
Yesterday we got some news.
Southwest held a meeting in Honolulu and revealed approximate dates Southwest flights will go on sale and start flying to Hawaii. SWA also announced that their two free checked bags and free flight change policies will remain intact for flights to Hawaii. Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Andy Watterson told the press that the announcement of flights will come by October at the latest, and service would “begin possibly just weeks thereafter.”
Southwest will serve the following Hawaiian destinations:
- Lihue, Kauai (LIH)
- Honolulu, Oahu (HNL)
- Kahului, Maui (OGG)
- Kona, Island of Hawaii (KOA)
Watterson said that Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG) would likely be the first destinations, but that all destinations would probably be served before the end of 2018. At least some inter-island service should be available from the beginning of service.
Southwest will begin service to Hawaii from the following cities in California:
- Sacramento (SMF)
- Oakland (OAK)
- San Jose (SJC)
- San Diego (SAN)
Los Angeles, Ontario, and Long Beach are the next departure cities Southwest is looking at.
Other Flight Details
The pitch on their economy seats will be 32 inches, which is apparently the most legroom of any economy carrier between Hawaii and the rest of the United States.
Quick Ways to Earn Rapid Rewards
Chase issues four Southwest co-branded credit cards, and cards vary from a $69 annual fee up to a $149 fee. Chase’s newest Southwest card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card, offers the biggest bonus: 65,000 points for $15k of spend on the card within the first year of account opening.
The Southwest Companion Pass is easily the best deal in domestic travel, and with flights to Hawaii, it gets even better. If you live in city served by Southwest, the Companion Pass should be on your radar. I recommend reading this post to learn more details and strategy if the Companion Pass sounds right for you.
I’m looking forward to being able to book flights to Hawaii on Southwest by October 2018, and heading over there as soon as possible. The flights to Hawaii can be expensive, so I see the addition of another carrier as being great for consumers if overall prices head south as we all head west!