Southwest+Hawaii = Not The News We Were Hoping For

Come on, Southwest, get us to Hawaii already! I’m craving some aloha, a cup of Kona coffee, and an authentic poke bowl. I’ve been following the Hawaii-Southwest saga since early August. Next the October start date for service came and went and still no word from Southwest Airlines on its expansion to Hawaii. Disappointing, to say the least.

In November we got another update that ticket sales would begin in December. We’re half way through December, my Companion Pass is expiring, and now another update from Southwest.

Southwest says it’s close to clearing a key hurdle.

It comes down to attaining extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) certification. SWA is awaiting approval for their flight manuals, after which they will set exercises and proving flights across the Pacific. We will know when these flights are occurring, so they obviously haven’t yet begun. You can read more about it here.  Or read here for a more in depth look at the news.

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: 60,000 points for $12k 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.

Bottom Line

Gambling isn’t legal in Hawaii, but if it was I’d place a bet that no way are we going to see seats for sale on SWA to Hawaii before 2018 ends. Seeing them offered in the beginning of 2019 would be nice, but I wouldn’t make plans around that happening. In any event, I’ll keep you in the island loop with updates as they happen. I’m looking forward to a huge Hawaii airfare sale when we finally do get to say aloha from the seat of a SWA plane!


8 thoughts on “Southwest+Hawaii = Not The News We Were Hoping For

  1. Brant

    With many companion passes expiring and the 5/24 rule hampering most from getting anew one, don’t you think this was the plan all along?

    1. Shelli Post author

      Interesting question, Brant. I think many general SWA flyers have companion passes expiring every year. The 5/24 rule is likely affecting a small number of us. With the limited launch of cities for the SWA-Hawaii routes, I don’t think Chase and SWA were in cahoots. The sooner SWA goes to Hawaii, the better it is for them. This has been a long awaited destination request, and they’ll benefit from the LUV they’ll receive for starting the impending fare war :)

  2. Marty

    I doubt Chase is planning their strategies that closely with Southwest’s alignment of their companion pass, in my opinion.

    Another thing that might be helpful is having a significant other sign up for the bonuses, even if you are at 5/24.

  3. Patrick

    Selling tickets in Dec or Jan. It wouldn’t matter as it pertains to the CP. When yiou travel is what matter with the CP. Not when you buy your ticket.

  4. Shelli Post author

    True, Patrick. I actually kept my hopes alive that I’d get there in 2018 and bring a companion for a few dollars. Oh well. They sure did tempt us in CA with their credit card deal. I’ll put those SWA points to good use elsewhere.

  5. Erik Scheller

    Don’t care about SWA going to HI, plenty of other great travel options/opportunities already exist. Big 3 out of LAX, SFO or several mid-country cities (Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, etc.). Home state carrier Hawaiian expanding their legs to include service to include Boston (in addition to JFK). Alaska increasing their already great service from their West Coast presence to every island from more CA cities w/Virgin America acquisition. Or discount carrier Sun Country out of LAX & PDX to HNL for example. Not too excited to get in a cramped peanut hauler for 5:30-6 hour flight with limited service.

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