Our seven-step 2016 guide to the cheapest time to fly to Hawaii. This definitive post on Hawaii vacation deals features the best time for cheap flights to Hawaii and how much you can expect to pay. We just updated this in January 2016 with our latest tips valid for travel through the rest of the year. It has been viewed nearly 1 million times and has over 2,300 comments! Included are the most likely dates to find Hawaii deals that not only help you save on cheap flights to Hawaii, but on accommodations and activities as well.
Cheapest Time to Fly to Hawaii | Hawaii Vacation Deals: Introduction.
Great news for 2016! We expect to see more competition and strong discounting resulting in cheap flights to Hawaii. This is based in part on increased inventory as well as on continued low fuel prices which permit the airlines to make money even on reduced airfares. We also now have Virgin America flying to the islands, which has already provided competitive pressure and better pricing, and this will even get better going forward.
Click the ▼ (arrows) below to read each step
Step 1: What to Pay for Hawaii Vacation Deals. ▼
West Coast Departures: Lowest sale airfares starting from the mid-$300’s round-trip including all taxes and fees. Some fares will be even lower – in the $290 to $318 RT range. Weekend travel may be (but is not always) $50 to $100 more than midweek.
Midwest and East Coast Departures: Expect to generally pay $250 to $300 more although some sales could result in even lower prices. Note that many mid-west and east coast cities do not get Hawaii deals due to lack of a competitive market. They may, however, still see some reduction in off-season pricing. Weekend travel may be $50 to $100 more than midweek.
Step 2: When to Travel for Hawaii Vacation Deals. ▼
- Through mid-March, 2016.
- April 5 through June 9, 2016.
- August 15 through November 15, 2016. On the most competitive routes (see Step 4), fares may start to drop as early as July 28, 2016.
- November 29 through December 9, 2016.
Snowbird season. Early 2016 (through mid-March) continues to feature unexpectedly good Hawaii vacation deals for as little as $298 RT. This is usually considered high season, especially for visitors from colder areas (snowbirds). Demand will determine whether this period will continue to be discounted, and if so, when and by how much. At this point we are seeing substantially lower prices, depending on the competition in specific markets.
Spring Break 2016. This will cover March 15 to April 3, 2016, and is generally quite an expensive time to visit. There may be sporadic Hawaii deals for spring however, such as from Seattle and San Diego. Peak season deals will not last long so grab them when they do arise.
Christmas in Hawaii. This time of year should always be avoided unless you are willing to pay the highest prices (which can sometimes be double or more). If you do travel at the Christmas/New Year holidays, the lowest prices will usually be for flights on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.
A spring or fall Hawaii vacation gets our unequivocal thumbs up. First, the very best in Hawaii weather is found during spring and fall. You can also luxuriate in the feeling of having the islands all to yourself. That’s something which is only possible during low season. Plus the best chances to score Hawaii vacation deals.
Step 3: When to Buy Hawaii Vacation Deals. ▼
- Winter 2016 travel through mid-March – airfare sales are continuing to the end. Late February has excellent prices from many cities!
- Spring break 2016 – it is most advantageous to book as early as possible, or at the very last minute if there’s any remaining availability resulting in price reductions. Don’t expect many discounts except perhaps from those cities with the most competition.
- Spring 2016 travel – airfare sales may be combined with late winter 2016 sales. As of January, we have not still seen many of these yet, but they will definitely still happen. We currently expect to see these sales occur in February 2016.
- Summer 2016 travel – book as early as possible. Do not wait, expecting to find deals from mid-June through early-August unless you are flying from the San Francisco bay area. Bay area has had summer prices up to $150 less than normal but it isn’t clear if those will continue.
- Late summer and fall 2016 Hawaii deals for travel mostly starting August 15 could appear starting anytime from up to early summer. The first round of unpublished Hawaii deals for late summer through fall has just happened.
Tip: At Beat of Hawaii we have our fishing net out to catch Hawaii vacation deals for you. We’ll reel them in and be first to let you know when they appear. Please subscribe to our free mail updates (below) or to our Facebook updates. Then stay tuned and act quickly. If you read our comments you’ll see the disappointment of those who are too late to get these time-sensitive deals.
Step 4: Best Cities for Cheap Flights to Hawaii. ▼
- Los Angeles (improving)
- New York (intermittent deals)
- Oakland (best deals)
- Portland (limited)
- San Diego (some good deals)
- San Francisco (good deals at most times)
- San Jose (best deals)
- Seattle (good deals)
Step 5: Best Airlines to Fly to Hawaii. ▼
- Hawaiian Airlines flies to Honolulu, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, and Maui from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. They also offer inter-island service between all islands.
- Alaska Airlines flies to Honolulu, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, and Maui from Anchorage, Bellingham, Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.
- Virgin America now flies from San Francisco to Honolulu and Maui. Those flights began in late fall 2015. Their entry has spurred repeated Hawaii vacation deals in those markets.
- Allegiant Air still flies to Honolulu from Las Vegas and Los Angeles although we aren’t sure for how long. They announced the termination of their Hawaii flights effective August 2016 although they could ultimately decide to stop sooner. Their base ticket cost is frequently the lowest. However, they feature a la carte pricing that includes fees for carry-on luggage and even water on board. Note that their seats do not recline.
- Legacy carriers, including American, Delta and United all have a range of flights to and from Hawaii from most areas of the U.S. While there can be (and recently has been) discounting on these companies as well, Hawaii vacation deals are not nearly as frequent as from the west coast on the airlines above which specialize in Hawaii.
Step 6: Questions and Comments. ▼
We look forward to your comments and questions. We try our best but may not always be able to respond to all of these individually and timely. If you read the comments, we have already answered many of the most asked questions. And if you would like to respond to others’ comments and questions, we encourage that.
Step 7: Not Sure Where to Go in Hawaii? ▼
There are many great online resources just by searching for your topics. These include forums and other websites including the State of Hawaii official tourism site which we recommend.
We also use and recommend the highly regarded online and print guidebook series, Hawaii Revealed.
Lastly for the first time visitor, read our review of the all-Hawaii NCL Pride of America cruise.