It’s never too early to start planning in order to get the best Hawaii vacation deals. I’ve been following the Hawaii travel industry for many years and want to share my insights on what you need to know.
First, the summer peak travel season is nearly upon us (wow, that came fast). Summer is stacking up to be a very busy time here in the islands. It’s a perfect opportunity for family vacations, when kids are out of school. For many of you who are looking for the best deal, however, summer is simply not an ideal time to visit Hawaii. But the fall is.
When Hawaii deals happen
Travel deals for the fall could start popping up as a part of fare wars at any time now. Otherwise, the first set of fall deals usually happen mid-summer. That’s the point when the airlines figure that if you’re going to come during the peak of summer, you’ve already made your plans. These are the deals to take advantage of when you want a Hawaii vacation to take place from mid-August through mid-October.
The sensational deals that many of you are waiting for however, usually come at a different point in time. As the economy has strengthened, and the airlines have achieved better control of their inventory through smaller planes, consolidation and better planning, the dates when these deals usually come out have gone later. I’m now looking to see the best deals of the year start to be announced in October. That means if you’re planning on an early fall vacation, this isn’t going to help. When these fares do arrive, however, they’ll be valid through early December, except typically for Thanksgiving break.
What are the best prices you can expect
The first wave of fall Hawaii deals is released during the summer; look for these in in July. When they occur, we’ll see a drop from summer airfares by up to 50%. West coast airfares that are running $400 or more each way for mid-June through mid-August will subside to the $200-$250 each way range.
The big sale we all wait for comes in the second wave of fall deals that can be expected to occur in October. Those will bring the sub-$200 each way fares from up and down the west coast and sometimes even from more distant cities.
There could be surprises ahead
This year Hawaii is thrilled to have a brand new high value, low fare oriented player, Allegiant Air. They’ve only made the first round of announcements for their Hawaii offerings. Those routes are Fresno to Honolulu and Las Vegas to Honolulu. But Allegiant has a fleet of planes acquired for Hawaii service. Expect to see more announcements from them, together with great deals for which they are known.
Southwest postponed the possibility of Hawaii service for the time being, so we probably won’t hear anything from them.
I do expect Alaska Air to continue to dominate new mainland routes to and from Hawaii as they’ve done in the past few years. More service from Southern California is very likely. When that happens, it will rekindle the now dormant LA to Hawaii deal market. A lot of us, including me, are waiting for that.
Photo: Sea cliffs of Molokai
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