Hawaiian Airlines Deals

2019 Predictions | When Will Southwest Hawaii Flights Start, Pricing & More!

As 2018 draws to a rapid conclusion, it’s time to review 2019 predictions, for which we’ve dusted off our crystal ball. Beat of Hawaii has been talking about 2019 Hawaii airfare deals and what is happening for some time. Here’s why you want to start planning your upcoming Hawaii vacation today.

As we await the imminent announcement of Southwest Hawaii flights, the entire travel industry is predicting that Hawaii airfare deals are going to be the cheapest ever. That’s exactly what we’ve been saying would happen for years. Following are our revised predictions of what to expect and why you definitely want to plan a Hawaii vacation in 2019!

Prediction 1: Southwest Hawaii flights will be announced in January.

Southwest will announce their Hawaii flights soon! We have insider information that Hawaii staff will be reporting to their stations next month. That’s a change, as we recently stated that flights could be announced at any point up until Spring.

Cities served will include Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and San Diego. Then later Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Service on the first of these routes could begin as early as February 2019. We’re awaiting final word on completion of their over-water ETOPS certification and other logistics. Read the latest Southwest Hawaii updates.

Southwest Hawaii flights will begin on their 737-800 aircraft and will transition to new 737 MAX 8 and perhaps 737 MAX 7. The MAX 7 brings cities like Denver and beyond into range.

Inter-island flights. Southwest connecting flights are the entry point for their inter-island service. Full-on inter-island service is something Southwest plans on. But how that pans out is still to be determined.

Prediction 2: Flights to all four islands from under $200 round trip.

2019 Hawaii airfare deals will be at all-time lows. There have already been two rounds of low season $99 airfares in 2018, from Alaska and United. $99 to $149 each way is what we’re predicting will keep popping up in key markets. Cities with heavily discounted fares may include most of the west coast including San Diego, Los Angeles, and Bay Area airports. Portland and Seattle will be slightly higher since Southwest will not be a player there.

West coast cities are just for starters. Places further afield including Salt Lake City and Phoenix, for example, are set to benefit as well. On the other side of the country we also expect an easing of Hawaii airfares. Thus most aggressive east coast to Hawaii routes will start at about $400’s off-season. Southwest Hawaii flights will be accessible to those across the entire SWA network.

Some routes may have less than daily service by Hawaiian. Instead they may utilize a model similar to Alaska, wherein certain Hawaii flights only operate 3 to 4 days each week. As a precedent, Hawaiian often operates their JFK nonstop just four days a week.

Prediction 3: More new Hawaii routes.

New flights to Hawaii will start springing up again soon.

West coast. A wide range of additional routes is possible from Hawaiian, as well as from others. New route on Hawaiian may include the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, Bay Area, Southern California, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

Further east. There remains the distinct possibility of additional flights from Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and/or Texas. Chicago continues to be talked about as a future route for Hawaiian.

East coast. By removing the need for wide-body planes for the west coast, there are more Hawaiian Airlines aircraft available for flights to the east coast and elsewhere. The new and longest route in the US, between Boston and Honolulu, will start in spring 2019. New York was a challenging route to crack for Hawaiian, so we’ll wait to see how Boston works out and and what other routes they make a run for in the short term.

International. We won’t be surprised to see some new international routes as well, including someone finally announcing flights between Hawaii and UK/Europe nonstop. In that regard, Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft were ordered in 2018. Those will start arriving in 2020 and Europe is a likely target. Also possible is nonstop service between Hawaii and Southeast Asia.

A huge shift is underway in Hawaii travel.

It comes with a shakeup in competition as airlines new to Hawaii, and existing ones with new fleets, land on our tropical shores. New aircraft fleets are arriving at Alaska, American, Hawaiian and Southwest. These planes benefit the neighbor islands more than Honolulu or Maui. The reason is that until now, there were more routes and better competition those two primary airports, compared with the Big Island and Kauai. That is all in the process of changing, with more flights and better deals spread across all the islands instead of just Honolulu and Maui.

Hawaiian Airlines has taken delivery of its new Airbus A321neo planes. The Airbus 321neo fleet allows Hawaiian to compete head on with Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and others on many routes for the first time. These other carriers already use efficient, narrow body aircraft for all but the heaviest traveled routes to Honolulu and Maui. Hawaiian has not had similar planes until now. The new Hawaiian planes are replacing both the legacy wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft and the current generation wide-body A330 planes on these less traveled routes.

Southwest Airlines is also re-fleeting with 737MAX that started arriving in 2017. Southwest Hawaii flights have been proclaimed by the company with specific Hawaii route announcements to follow later this year. Actual Hawaii flights on Southwest will start at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.

Alaska Airlines is beginning delivery of its next generation, longer range 737MAX fleet this year. They are also getting new A321neo planes.

American Airlines is also now flying the new Airbus A321neo to Hawaii.

Updated 12/19/18.

297 thoughts on “2019 Predictions | When Will Southwest Hawaii Flights Start, Pricing & More!”

  1. We are looking to book from Midwest to Kauai in October. Prices are currently 800-900. Trying to decide if we should wait to book in hopes for lowering prices…I know no one really knows, but any expert advice?

    1. Hi Sarah.

      Without a specific city it is hard to give more details. Overall, fall fares aren’t optimal yet and should improve over the next couple of months.


  2. My husband and I will fly First Class one way from Maui to Phoenix but refuse to take the American Airlines all night flight on an outdated 757. American adds a “seasonal” flight OGG – PHX in December but not before we depart 12/8. Looks like Hawaiian has the newest equipment but would not earn AAdvantage miles on flights from HI to the mainland. Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Hi Laurel.

      Not sure what else we can suggest. You could look at transiting Honolulu for more options, but that’s a bummer too since it wastes so much time. Hawaiian lie flat will beat old 757 first, but as you said, no miles.


  3. Hi can you tell me which islands southwest will be flying in to? Departure would be SJC

    Please and thank you ☺️

    1. Hi Marta.

      Flights will be to Maui and Honolulu at the beginning. Other flights, including Big Island and Kauai, plus inter-island will follow.


  4. I have been saving for 8 years to take my grandkids in Feb. do you think I gave a chance to get flights then? That lie so late? Please help!

  5. Yikes! Do we keep holding out for SW to start flying? Our dates are Feb2 – March 3. My husband is getting nervous and doesn’t want to wait any longer. We fly out of Spokane to either Honolulu or Maui. We have an Alaska companion fare card but return flights aren’t so great. I just know once I book, SW will start flying!

  6. Aloha,
    Just wanted to say that you folks do a great job here on this site. You have the most information anywhere with updates on Southwest starting service to Hawaii. Keep up the good work. I check here every day for our planned trip at the very end of February to Maui.
    Thank you!!!

  7. How do you see all the new routes, increased routes and lower airfares will affect the islands? Of course tourism brings in money but what about environmental impact on beaches, oceans, coral reefs, hiking trails, traffic etc.? Do you foresee the costs of hotels, car rentals and restaurant costs to increase?

  8. Id say that a better sign that the airline is coming soon to Hawaii is when there is an employment call for anyone to apply for jobs at the airport for Southwest and the arrival of their ETOPS test flight to Honolulu. You also have to factor in the completion of the new terminal that Southwest is intending on using, along with the arrival of company material – boarding gates, carts, tugs, etc. – Have any of that stuff been seen on ground in Honolulu yet?

  9. Traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii mid April, 2019 from Philadelphia and returning on the 27th.
    Can you please advise when is best to book airline tickets.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Karen.

      Probably best about 3 or 4 months in advance. Best hope for price is low $500’s, but anything from there up $100 or so would be great, with a good connection. Should work out.


  10. I’m traveling with my family in Mid June 2019 to the big Island for a week (Wednesday to Wednesday), when should I book our fair?

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