If you thought it couldn’t get worse or more confusing for Hawaii visitors and residents in relation to getting stuck traveling over the holidays, think again. It just has. We had a note from regular commenter John, who also pointed out what we can confirm. Southwest interisland flights appear to be either canceled or made unavailable based on information directly from their website.
What’s happening wasn’t entirely clear, and at this time, there was no information from Southwest or on their website in this regard. Undoubtedly they were very busy trying to get things straightened out, which took priority. Southwest removed all flights from sale and actually stopped the vast majority of their flights while they resolved the situation over a period of three days.
Update from visitor stuck on Southwest from Hawaii.
Kelly updated us earlier today, saying, “We just came back from Maui. Our first flight was canceled they let us know after 4 hrs, and they rebooked us on a flight to Oakland at 1:40. That flight was delayed. Finally, at 5:40, all the flights were canceled. The communication was poor, and the terminal was chaos. We had to book ourselves on a United flight that left at 10 pm to SFO. Our travels were over 24 hrs to take a 5-hour flight home. The flight attendants and pilots were also frustrated. Very disappointed in Southwest it would have been better just to cancel in the morning, and we could have enjoyed our day in Maui. They seem to be having system problems with the personnel- they were not communicating with them either! United booked us, and the tickets were less than SWA.”
Thomas, who has still not reconnected with his luggage, added, “Our flight was canceled 4 times, two times in Maui and two times in Oakland which we had for our connecting flight… [We] got home 2 1/2 days later from the start of our first flight. Maui at least got us a hotel. Oakland told us we were out of luck and we had to sleep in the airport. They gave no compensation in Oakland.”
Updated. First, interisland flights through December 30 became unavailable earlier today. Later, so too have all flights to and from the mainland. In addition, Southwest has now seems to have stopped selling tickets systemwide until this mess can be cleaned up.
There is, as expected, a major ripple effect on Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight availability and pricing, as described below.
Canceled, not for sale, or unsure?
Some interisland flights this morning still appear to have been operating. Because information is so sparse as to what is happening at Southwest, it is impossible to determine whether some flights may continue to operate or not. It isn’t clear what Southwest is doing at this point since these flights probably aren’t their biggest problem.
If you are scheduled to fly Southwest interisland or to/from Hawaii this week, there is very little information to rely on.
We’ll update you with more information as soon as we can. In the interim, the safest bet might still be to check FlightAware and check to see if the incoming plane that your flight would use is actually operating.
Southwest cancels Hawaii and interisland flights and/or blocks all reservations through at least December 30
If you have tickets and are hoping to move around Hawaii between now and then, it appears that may not happen. Ironically, Beat of Hawaii editors Jeff and Rob are traveling around the state this week and originally looked at both Southwest and Hawaiian. In the end, we booked Hawaiian mainly due to the schedule of flights. It turned out to be a lucky move at least for this week.
Once we get closer to December 30, we’ll see if Southwest can bring the interisland flying schedule and ticket sales back or if that will come somewhat later in their overall flight restoration planning.
According to the SW website, the list of Southwest interisland flights no longer available includes the following.
- Honolulu to Maui – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Maui to Honolulu – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Honolulu to Lihue – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Lihue to Honolulu – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Lihue to Maui – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Maui to Lihue – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Honolulu to Hilo – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Hilo to Honolulu – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Maui to Kona – Unavailable at least through 12/30
- Kona to Maui – Unavailable at least through 12/30
Major impact on Hawaiian Airlines interisland flights.
We are seeing diminishing availability and increasing prices on Hawaiian Airlines flights interisland during this unforeseen mess, as people realize that there’s a good chance of not being able to fly Southwest in Hawaii for the time being.
While there is far more competition on flights to and from Hawaii from airlines including Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian and United, that simply isn’t the case here within Hawaii. There are two primary interisland carriers, and those are Hawaiian and Southwest.
Here are some examples of what’s available interisland through December 30 on Hawaiian Airlines. Availability is at the time of publishing, and inventory is likely to disappear quickly.
- Honolulu to Maui – Available from $39-$164
- Maui to Honolulu – Available from $39-$164
- Honolulu to Lihue – Sold out Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday limited $39-$164
- Lihue to Honolulu – Nearly sold out Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday $39-$164
- Lihue to Maui – Sold out Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday $95
- Maui to Lihue – Sold out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Honolulu to Hilo – Sold out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday $49-$95
- Hilo to Honolulu – Available from $39-$164
- Maui to Kona – Available from $94-$164
- Kona to Maui – Available from $39-$164
Examples of interisland flight availability on the Southwest website: