Southwest Hawaii Flights

Southwest Hawaii Tests Maui Today + Hilo | Ticket Sales Imminent

Another day, another final test flight. We now expect Southwest Hawaii tests to be completed, and final ETOPS certification to occur, possibly as soon as within the next few days. In the past three days there were three additional test flights, and there’s another one today, Presidents’ Day, as the process moves rapidly to completion.

Within the next week or so, tickets to Hawaii on SWA will go on sale.

Final Southwest Hawaii Tests

1. Saturday, there was a test flight due to travel from Oakland to Honolulu that subsequently included a diversion. As a result, the flight landed instead at Hilo.

2. Inter-island was tested late on Saturday with a flight as well, when the Boeing 737-800 aircraft continued from Hilo on to Honolulu.

3. Sunday, the test flight was from Honolulu to Oakland.

4. Today, Monday, the test flight is from Oakland to Maui, departing at 12 noon, Pacific time.

Why is Hawaii so important to Southwest?

Last week, Andy Watterson, SWA Executive VP said, “We have all these California customers who fly us for business and family, and we couldn’t provide them with their number one leisure destination…. That was a big hole for us.” He also said that they expect “a flood of demand for our flights” and that “we know the California market better than any other airline.”

Southwest Hawaii flight plans were finalized in 2017 and the company has been working since then to get government approval. Test flights, one of the very last aspects of that process, began earlier this month.

Read all about Southwest Hawaii flights.


19 thoughts on “Southwest Hawaii Tests Maui Today + Hilo | Ticket Sales Imminent”

  1. Just read an article in today’s SF Chronicle re SWA troubles. Have you seen it ? “Southwest’s charmed run might be ending”.

  2. I am subscribed – I am coming to Ko’Olina in June, flying into HNL. I want to be able to book AS SOON as tickets go on sale! I am praying that Beat of Hawaii will give me the information right away!

  3. Thank you for the absolute best coverage of Southwest to Hawaii! I wanted to get your opinion on flight costs. I just put flights on hold with Hawaiian today (hold is good for 7 days). We are a family of 4 flying from San Jose, CA on a Tuesday in July to Honolulu and returning 12 days later. Flight over is nonstop and great times. Returning flight has a stop in Maui but still great times and we are ok with a short layover.

    Without bags, cost is $2165 ($541 per person). Is this a good deal?? I have no idea as I haven’t flown to Hawaii in 20+ years! I am ok with holding out for Southwest (is it possible we will see $129 flights each way??) Any expert input you can share would be appreciated. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Ash.

      Thank you! It isn’t probable that we’ll see the cheapest fares during peak of summer, but really no one knows. If you’re asking for a best price guess for your dates, then perhaps somewhere in $300’s “might” be possible. Likelihood of that happening is maybe 50%. Sorry to not have more information. Lastly, your dates might well not be sale priced initially. There will be many fare sales subsequent to the announcements and that is the more likely point in time when summer dates could drop.


  4. When tickets go on sale, how much lead time will there be prior to the first flights offered? In other words, how many weeks out will their first flights be when tickets go on sale?

  5. I can’t understand why SWA is flying to all these oversaturated cities like OAK and SFO and isn’t flying to Orange County. They have quite a few gates and connecting flights there, and there would be absolutely no competition–in the wealthiest area of southern California. There hasn’t been a direct to SNA from Hawaii since Aloha went bust. There also is quite a lot of opportunity at Hilo ITO, with only one direct flight competitor and the second largest local population in Hawaii. Also a nicer airport than others that isn’t nearly at capacity. Using alternate underserved airports is more Southwest’s style–not flying a route that already has 5 other airlines competing.

    1. 737-800 can’t depart SNA with enough fuel to make it. Now they could leave all the passengers and bag behind and do it.

  6. I love “Beat of Hawaii” Thank you for all the great information. I will be flying from Boston Ma. to Kona Hi in August, will Southwest offer connecting flight from Boston to the west coast then to Hawaii? Thank you

    1. Hi Nancy.

      Thank you!! We don’t know enough yet to speak clearly re how they will connect their route network. One of the issues is the timing of flights, and the fact that right now they have no overnight flights. Those are required to create a route network functional across the US. So hang in there, we should know more within a week or so.


  7. I want to fly from Oakland, CA to Kona, HI, in First week of August. Should I wait until Southwest starts flying or should I book now? Confused by all the hype and don’t want to miss out on low fares.

    1. Carl I am in the same boat. I am coming to the islands in June and have been waiting for Southwest to finish the process and announce flights. Gotta love the Southwest effect!

  8. Hello, do you know of any website or service that will send a text or email alert as soon as the flights to HI go live?

    Thank you!

  9. Thank you for keeping us up to date on the progress. We want to go from OAK TO OGG in May. Looks like it will happen!

  10. Hello,
    I was just wondering if SWA will be flying direct from Portland and Seattle to any islands.

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