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Flight Reviews: Hawaiian Vs. Southwest Showdown

Two back-to-back flights offered surprising results. See what happened in our flight reviews: Hawaiian vs. Southwest.

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111 thoughts on “Flight Reviews: Hawaiian Vs. Southwest Showdown”

  1. I fly SW after all the years HA was the only airline to fly interisland. I have flown to the mainland on SW several times and as far away as Las Vegas. I am totally satisfied with SW. One flight on SW which happened pre pandemic our flight interisland was delayed for 3 hours and I did not even file any complaint and a week later I received a $150 dollar voucher in my e-mail for the inconvenience. Previously, when flying HA and we were delayed I wrote a complaint letter and they just sent a letter of apology. HA gouged interisland flyers for years prior to SW coming into our market. What goes around comes around. I tell all my relatives and friends to fly SW and once you learn the boarding policy you will certainly be satisfied.

  2. Southwest is rated worst airline according to new US study. The website Wallet Hub did a study that came out 4/28/2023. Hawaiian Airlines is ranked 6. This story should be run in this website.

      1. Beth C, Me too unless there is an issue and then Alaska. Hawaiian is the only airline to the Islands with Aloha. You feel like you are starting your vacation as soon as you get on the plane. It is important. I find their prices very competitive with the other airlines.

  3. Great review. I totally agree. It’s a good thing Southwest came to the islands. Hawaiian Air has proven they can lower the prices. I know a lot of local people who are trying Southwest and loving it. I am starting to see more locals fly Southwest. I know I won’t be flying Hawaiian anymore. Greedy greedy greedy.

  4. The facts are plain regardless of opinions. Whoever wins will jack up the price during busy times and lower the fares and frequency of flights during slow periods. Southwest is a ruthless apex predator and employs nearly zero full time citizens of Hawaii. Only time will tell whether Hawaiian can withstand the onslaught, or Southwest cares about completely wiping out one of the largest employers in Hawaii (6,674 employees).

    1. The “Facts” are not as Black and White as some people would have them. Hawaiian has numerous employees in Hawaii, currently more than SWA, and that is the Truth for now. SWA does Employ numerous Hawaii Residents and the number is growing as they decide when they will have a presence comparable to HWA. Whichever airline “wins” the Consumer will see higher prices. Predatory, doesn’t that describe HWA more than SWA? Which has been unjustly profiteering from its Hawaiian Dominance for Decades? SWA is simply looking to Expand Service as Every airline does and make a profit in the end. SWA offers low fares across the board every day, does Hawaiian? No.

  5. I have been visiting the Hawaiian Islands since 1973. I have flown almost every airline that flies (or flew) there from LAX over the years, including the maiden voyage of American Airlines to Oahu some years ago. I am now a property owner on Maui, so regular trips have become even more frequent! My husband and I are diehard Hawaiian Airlines flyers. To us, it’s a simple choice: Southwest Airlines (“cattle car seating” riding with your knees up around your ears…) or Hawaiian Air with pleasant, professional attendants, real food and drinks flowing and a friendly, warm aloha spirit! Their many years of experience flying Hawaii’s skies is evident from the time you board until you deplane at your destination. And by the way…..Maui no ka oi!

    1. This is something that many people are ignoring, there is room for both airlines. Preferences may change or not depending upon what a person is willing to pay, the benefits they perceive, and things that matter. With the question of Dominance at hand, the Passengers will eventually determine that with ticket sales. HWA from what I have learned has a lot to learn and change to improve Their Experience while SWA is holding 4 Aces, without cheating, in Customer Satisfaction, Service and Experience where HWA keeps falling Short. After decades of serving Hawaii, they know what they can get away with, shameful yet accepted! Doesn’t that explain so much about what’s wrong with Hawaii? Sorrowfully the truth.

  6. South West Airline, is trying hard in providing great service to interisland customers (how long will this last?) Hawaiian Airline Employees forgot how to take care the customer the new hired just don’t care.

    1. Eventually the winner will emerge and everything will normalize, hopefully inter island flights will continue as the need is there. The prices will increase but praying that they don’t get to the previous amount. I believe that HWA hasn’t backed down due to the purchase of their New Aircraft, the need to recoup that money quickly from the paying passengers. Not saying that every airline doesn’t, they simply have more Assets. HWA would have Much More but Top Salaries, Benefits and Profit “Sharing” seems to keep emptying their accounts and the tiny amount they were giving back doesn’t amount to much. Now HWA has Stopped giving back and is purely Profit Taking per their Announcement, and that was prior to the debacle with SWA! Share Already.

  7. Between these 2, I’d pick Hawaiian Airlines because Southwest is overrated. Southwest doesn’t even offer Business Class Cabins. Hawaiian does. However, the first time we flew Southwest was kinda terrible.. There was no IFE, there was alot if passenger complaints since a new ranking from a website, Wallethub. Hawaiian is more like it. It has great service, it’s incredible safety record, and their on-time performance. Considering that, Hawaiian is award-winning with the best airline staff. Southwest is more expensive than Hawaiian. Hawaiian is cheaper. That’s why we fly Hawaiian throughout 2022. I insist flying Hawaiian is worth it. Southwest, they have an On-time performance but that’s plus.Hawaiian is the most reliable than Southwest.

  8. This is nothing new. Over the 30 years several upstart airlines have gone head to head against Hawaiian and the former Aloha Airlines. They all eventually went under after unsustainable fare wars. Then we were gouged. After Aloha went under we were gouged even more. It’s been years since most people could afford to go interisland to see family. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I’d bet that sooner or later they’ll “agree” on a fare around $75. So enjoy this while you can

    1. Fare wars between two airlines were unsustainable because fares were well below break even. Biggest bank account wins.

      Honestly, some people act like inter-island travel should be government subsidized. It’s not but luckily for you, two airlines are operating below cost.

      People of Hawaii have enjoyed ridiculously low fares quite frequently over the last 30 years. When you think about it, it’s little more than the cost for an Uber ride in Honolulu but 100-200 miles in a very expensive piece of equipment.

      It just seems to me, if people can deal with a $1 million mortgages and fly to Vegas or Disney World they can pay the going rate for travel here. After all, wouldn’t it benefit Hawaii with more local income and less visitors?

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