Airlines Cut Maui Flights To Correspond With Tourism Plunge

Airlines Chop Maui Flights Corresponding With Tourism Plunge

Most of Maui is open for visitors, and there’s much to see. But confusion over whether or not to come has reduced visitor traffic significantly. Airlines are in the process of assessing the situation and are beginning to reduce their flights to Maui.

That comes in light of the short-term prospects of significantly reduced tourism to the Valley Isle following the tragic wildfires earlier this month. As we said earlier, arrivals on Maui are down up to 80% after the confusing messaging from the State of Hawaii and social media.

You will want to take notice no matter which route you’re flying to Maui. In addition, airlines that have different aircraft types may choose to downguage the planes to fit the reduced visitor demand better this fall.

We checked with Hawaiian Airlines late today, and they did not address any planned reduction that we suspect is likely to happen. Spokesperson Alex DaSilva said, “Yes, we’re continuing to update our guidance to travelers to align with messaging from HTA and the state. We haven’t reduced flying and can’t comment on future schedule plans.”

Significant route cuts on Maui flights

1. Los Angeles to Maui flights reduced.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will reduce from two flights daily to one flight daily but will keep these routes going during the traffic lull. Alaska is also reducing its number of flights weekly. On this most popular of all Maui routes also remains Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

2. San Francisco to Maui flights see planes downsized.

Flights to Maui from San Francisco continue at a slightly reduced pace of three to four daily from Alaska, Hawaiian, and United, which will fly once or twice. However, one of the two flights on United is being downsized from a 777 aircraft seating 364 passengers, including lie-flat seats, to a Boeing 737 with about 154 seats. On other days United will fly just once.

4. Seattle to Maui flights reduced.

Alaska, Delta, and Hawaiian all have nonstops on that route. Alaska is the most prominent, with typically three flights a day. In September, however, Alaska is pruning the flights to two a day and will undoubtedly watch with the other airlines to see if demand picks up.

3. Chicago to Maui flight is gone until October 29.

The popular flight on United Airlines, which typically operates 5 to 7 days a week, has been removed effective this week. When it returns in late October, it will operate five days a week, and in December, it will return seven days a week.

3. Denver to Maui flight is also gone until October 29.

The popular daily route from Denver to Maui on United Airlines is also off the schedule through October 28. When it returns, it is again planned as a daily service. Previously it flew daily with even some additional flights.

How long will this reduction of flights last?

It isn’t clear to anyone, including the airlines, how long this could go on for. But we have a few hints. West Maui will be closed to visitors until October 17, based on the latest guidance from the Governor. Messaging is also now emanating from all sources that Maui is, with the exception of West Maui, open for business. That hasn’t been entirely clear until now.

What should Maui bound travelers should do?

Continue to monitor your flights to Maui for the foreseeable future. We will also continue to update you on any significant changes we learn of.

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29 thoughts on “Airlines Chop Maui Flights Corresponding With Tourism Plunge”

  1. Why not fly into Hilo as a regular route instead of Maui kinda always forget that hidden beautiful Island it is more than just about Kona.

  2. Aloha, This sure is a huge mess. Cancel or not to cancel. The governor has shut down tourism. I guess he doesn’t want to consider those not affected by the fire that desperately need tourism. We cancelled because we were scheduled in Kahana on September 27th. We could only reschedule in May if 2024. We spent hours on the internet and the phone getting our money back from hawaiian airlines. It seems they will only give you your money back if you book before April 2024. There shouldn’t be a maximum date for a refund. This is a disaster and setting this timelimit is ridiculous. Corporate greed always jumps in. They finally refunded our tickets after numerous transfers to supervisors and managers. The only drawback is the flights in may of 2024 are double from what we paid. We’ll miss our yearly trip to maui. We pray for recovery of those who were affected by this. We look forward to our trip in may.

  3. I just returned from a week in Maui. It was wonderful. Beaches are beautiful, restaurants are great, people are friendly. There is so much to do and see, even without going into the town of Lahaina. The island needs our economic support.

  4. Following the economic devastation from COVID, it seems like a terrible burden for those areas to the North of Lahaina unaffected by the terrible fires to have to stay closed to tourism. What about the thousands of employees. Are they being paid to stay home?

  5. This is so sad. I live on Kauai and I lived on Maui for 5yrs back in the 90’s. I will never forget front street in lahaina on Maui. How could mother nature be so cruel. There are other parts of Maui to visit and it’s beautiful to. We have seen a lot of tourists on Kauai that were supposed to go to west Maui for vacation. My prayers go out to all of the people on west Maui and my prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones. Maui needs lots of help right now and if anyone can help that would be great.

  6. How refreshing to read the accurate word “chop” in your headline, instead of the usual corporate doublespeak like “right-size” or “modify.” Thank you for not speaking the way the big companies want you to.

  7. Aloha guys,

    We typically fly nonstop on either Southwest out of OAK or SJC, or Alaska (preferred) out of SJC–depending on whichever has the better prices and times. However, when I went to look into flights for our trip to Maui next March, it looks like Alaska slashed their nonstop flights out of SJC except for just one non-stop on Saturdays. Only Maui seems to be affected, seeing as our Alaska nonstop flights to the Big Island next month are still standing. Have you heard if Alaska’s schedule change will be temporary, and if so, for how long? If this is something permanent, then I think we will be dumping our Alaska Airlines credit card and stick with Southwest or Hawaiian.

    Mahalo for all of your work and research.

    1. Hi Rachel.

      Thank you. Alaska is shifting theu schedule for two months, most of January and February tho just Saturdays. Otherwise it is 5-6 days a week. This doesn’t appear as related to what’s happened on Maui as it does to the demand and competition on that route. Both Hawaiian and Southwest remain daily throughout.


  8. Aloha Guys-

    I have heard of cancellations/cuts in service to other islands. We have a trip to Kauai planned for October and have not been notified of any changes. Have you heard this?


        1. Hi Jon.

          We do see those flights operating, AS875 and AS840. In fact they look very popular and mostly sold out. Enjoy your time on Kauai!


  9. We’re booked on Hawaiian airlines on October 9 with 6 people, returning 7days later. Booked a Airbnb condo in Kahana. What shall we do, cancel all? Do we get our money back?

    1. Hi there,

      Your vacation will be fine. Kahana is on the west side but was not affected by the fires. The only difference will be in reduction of certain tourists attractions that were affected by the fire. But whatever it is you wish to experience, you can probably find on other parts of the island, for example, on the south shore of the island. it’s quite a large island and you will be able to enjoy your vacation. You may have to drive farther to visit other parts of the island because most of Lahaina town is inaccessible. If that is a problem i would suggest booking vacation rentals in south Maui such as Kihei, Wailea or on the north shore.

  10. Everybody is understandably talking about the hit that businesses and resorts are taking. The taxes on our March 2024 Kaanapali VRBO rental will be $830. Government coffers will be taking a beating as well.

  11. Bill:

    I agree. We haven’t received anything from our TimeShare that says not to come – not sure if being an “owner” means anything. Additionally, The Maui News hasn’t mentioned anything and neither Maui County on X formerly Twitter.

  12. Sadly, looking at past comments, I think a lot of people changed their plans to go elsewhere. Currently my HA non stop flight from Vegas is still scheduled next month. Being on weekend days, I am hoping they do not cancel them. I am still hanging in there, as I also am not able to get a refund on the vacation rental in Kihei.

  13. We have a reservation for West Maui in September but will now cancel. Please give me your opinion, should Vrbo condos be mandated to refund travelers?

    Thank you for all the updated info.

    Pamela H

    1. Hi Pamela.

      Our opinion is of no use in getting you refunded. Yes it seems clear that you should not pay for something that you can’t use. What is ever more apparent to us is that we will be using more trip insurance in the future.


        1. Hi E-Lectric.

          Certainly worth a try. It isn’t clear to us that it will be an easy route under the circumstances. We look forward to hearing comments about the results of contacting credit card companies.


  14. Hawaiian officials need a coordinated PR campaign that encourages visitors to come to Maui in support of the local community. Right now there is too much misinformation from too many sources.

    1. Red Cross web site has a number of volunteer needs. You will need to be background checked and trained by RC, in advance.
      Churches and other grass roots efforts may be less stringent.

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