Updated 2/15/2020. The best airlines for flights to Hawaii are in flux. Of course it will in large part depend on where you are traveling from. The three primary choices for cheap flights to Hawaii from west coast cities are Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. These are all highly regarded carriers that have a wide range of offerings. Their prices on competitive routes are usually but not always similar.
Southwest does not offer a basic economy so far, and you’ll want to see the differences in our Just Updated Guide | Basic Economy to Hawaii.
With new flights and more airline interest in Hawaii, the situation is fluid and fast-changing. Beyond the bellwethers, we now have Southwest Hawaii flights and there are many more routes yet to come from Southwest.
United Airlines continues an on-again-off-again reassertion of its dominance in Hawaii. United remains the largest carrier to the islands from the US Mainland. Delta Airlines is also serious about Hawaii, and has flights from both their Pacific Northwest base and other cities.
A changing environment portends new competition and that translates to upcoming Hawaii deals we are all looking forward to throughout 2020 and 2021.
Best Airlines for Flights to Hawaii
Hawaiian Airlines flies to Honolulu, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, and Maui from Boston, 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, including Lanai and Molokai.
Hawaiian flies wide-body A330 and will be adding Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Hawaiian started adding flights in 2018 on their new fleet of 18 Airbus A321neo aircraft for west coast travel. More new Hawaiian Airlines flights should be announced as deliveries of both new aircraft types occur.
Until recently, Hawaiian was the only US airline to offer free meals in coach (see Delta changes below). The company is ranked highly among US competitors and is the champion of on-time awards. First-class offers lie-flat seating on many flights (not A321neo) that are available for purchase, upgrade, or by bidding. Inter-island service uses B717 aircraft.
Alaska Airlines flies to Honolulu, Hawaii (Big Island), Kauai, and Maui directly from Anchorage, Bellingham (limited service), Oakland, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle. The airline also offers connecting flights to Hawaii from across the US.
Alaska flies B737-800 and A320 aircraft to Hawaii. The company is regularly ranked highly among the best US airlines and also has a reputation for on-time service for which it receives awards. They are adding a fleet of Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A321neo aircraft that should start flying to Hawaii.
United Airlines flies to Hawaii (all islands) from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Guam and Tokyo. Look for more discounted pricing based on new UAL Hawaii flights and additional competition.
United utilizes a range of different aircraft to Hawaii.
American Airlines, and Delta Airlines have flights to and from Hawaii from most areas of the U.S. There can be and often is discounting on these companies as well, which has been the case recently from Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, and San Diego. Outside of those cities, however, their Hawaii deals are not as frequent as the airlines above which specialize in flights to Hawaii.
Note: The photo above is of a Southwest Airlines plane. Read all about Southwest Airlines Hawaii flights.