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Hawaii Airlines | What to Expect From Alaska and Hawaiian in 2015/2016

What’s in store for Hawaii travel in 2015/2016? Here’s our update on what Hawaiian’s primary carriers, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, have in store for us.

Hawaii Vacation Deals

The best news is that we now expect to see greater than normal Hawaii deals in 2015/2016! That’s based on the continuation of extremely low fuel prices. This offers the airlines more latitude to compete and proffer reduced fares and additional service without going in the red. Certain markets will continue to have the best deals. Get all the details in “The Cheapest Time to Fly to Hawaii” and see why this post has already had 50,000 Facebook Likes.

Variable Ancillary Fees

Among industry trends we expect to see in our Hawaii airline market, variable ancillary fees stand out as most likely. We may see fees vary depending on season and demand, such that fixed baggage and other charges could soon be a thing of the past. Fees of $50 or more per bag during peak season but less during off season may prevail.

Ancillary fees are a huge growth area for all airlines and they aren’t stopping. These fees brought Hawaiian Airlines a tidy $21M in the past quarter alone.

So far this year we’ve already seen Hawaiian Airlines raise the price of their extremely popular “Extra Comfort” economy seats.

Flexible Flight Schedules

Another continuing trend will be flight schedules that vary based on demand. Thus flying a route as few as two times a week can sometimes make more sense (and money) than flying four or more times a week without adequate load factors. Seasonal variability will also remain popular, such as Hawaiian Airlines summer routes to Kona and Lihue and Alaska Airlines seasonal flights from Portland to Lihue and Kona.

Hawaiian Airlines

1. Segmentation of air fleet into domestic and international versions.

We know that Hawaiian is currently evaluating lay flat beds for their business class and that those are required to compete in certain markets. Expect beds to be deployed as soon as 2015 but not across the entire fleet. Rather their A330’s will be divided into sub fleets so that domestic service (other than New York) will retain the current business class offering. International service plus New York will be upgraded to provide competitive offerings of beds and more.

2. New routes.

It has been widely rumored that we can expect one or more new mainland routes from Hawaiian in the near future. While we don’t have any knowledge of where these may be from, one city that comes to mind is Toronto. Canadians have an ever growing love affair with Hawaii, and at present there is no direct service from the eastern half of the country.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines recently introduced some changes coming for 2015. These will include the following:

1. New entertainment system.

Beyond Entertainment is Alaska Airlines new system for movies, TV shows, and other content. Guests provide their own WiFi-enabled devices. After the plane is at 10K feet, service becomes available. There is a charge for movies and TV shows that starts at $1.99. Additional content is free.

2. Enhanced legroom option. As we recently wrote about, Alaska Airlines extra legroom seats became available in 2015. For a nominal $50 fee to Hawaii, you’ll get an extra 7-9 inches of legroom, priority boarding, and an alcoholic beverage.

3 thoughts on “Hawaii Airlines | What to Expect From Alaska and Hawaiian in 2015/2016”

  1. Even Alaska’s first class seats do not provide another 7-9 inches of legroom.
    Are Alaska’s claims of 7-9 extra inches in exit rows/bulkhead substantiated?

    Two of the 6 bulkhead row seats are reserved for handicapped persons so
    at what point can they begin to sell them without the buyer having to still fear being displaced if necessary for a handicapped person?

    1. Hi Thumbelina,

      We’ll have to wait and see how this works out – the information was as provided by the airline.


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