Telltale $99 Southwest Hawaii Sale | Summer and Fall

Hawaii Flight Price-Checker Stopped by Southwest

There was a very helpful new tool we’d begun using last year for Hawaii flights, and we loved it. The reason was that it has long been impossible to see all Hawaii flight prices in one place. And unfortunately, that’s the case once again today. Here’s why.

Previously we’ve used Google Flights (our preference for the first look) to see every airline other than Southwest. It brings everything together in one place, and then we go to the airline’s website to book. The issue is that Southwest hasn’t allowed Google or Expedia to show their fares. So that has made comparing prices more cumbersome since you also have to go to the Southwest website directly to include their fares in your research and planning.

Then last November, a new tool came to the Chrome extension store, bringing it all together in one place. We were afraid it might be too good to last.

Google Chrome extension “Wanderlog.”

Once installed, Wanderlog previously pulled Southwest fares into every search performed using a flight search engine like Google Flights, or OTA’s, including Expedia, etc. You can see the Southwest flights in Google flight search without the extension, but instead of a price, it simply says “price unavailable.”

We noticed the app wasn’t working when we were checking airfares today for these first of the year $99 Hawaii airfare deals. On looking into it further, we no longer found the app in the Chrome Store, although it is still found here on their website.

No longer available for Southwest flights.

The app’s developer says, “Currently disabled: See Southwest prices on Google Flight Search results.” They added that they are working out some “issues.” Previously Wanderlog said, “We love using Southwest. We think they’re one of the most consumer-friendly airlines out there these days. This is really what people are already doing. The data is just going between Southwest and your browser, just as if you were browsing. It’s really technically no different.”

In November, we asked: “Could Southwest determine that this app interferes with their business and decide to bring legal action against them? Sure, it’s possible, but we hope not.”

The answer is: it appears Southwest was able to stop Wanderlog.

Southwest doesn’t want to play with the other carriers in this way or help the public see their fares along side those their competitors. Southwest is the only domestic airline flying to Hawaii that requires you to go directly to their website in order to see fares. That’s fine is you’re a SW loyalist and don’t look any further. But for those who comparison shop, it will again take some additional work.

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10 thoughts on “Hawaii Flight Price-Checker Stopped by Southwest”

  1. Interesting that SW has the savvy ability to block a fare tracker yet is running their business on 1990’s tech.

  2. We have noticed that airlines seem to know when you’re price checking. If you go back moments later on the same computer to the airline after checking aground, rates seem to go up. Interesting phenomenon. So we search on one computer then, when ready to purchase, we use another computer and usually find the original lower rate acne quickly make the purchase. (I admit my hubby figured this out, not me.).

    1. I have Heard about this but have never seen any actual proof that this actually happens. If it did in fact go up between a first check an then a 2nd one, if could be that the fare bucket for the cheaper seats had sold out.
      One way to test, would be to check out the fares in incognito mode and see if you still see that happening.
      Sounds like an urban legend to me.

  3. The Southwest approach is understandable, given their branding approach, but naive. Google Flights is just too powerful now and not to be on there hurts them more then helps.

  4. Dang, I didn’t even know Southwest was running flights to hawaii since the fares never show up, so I’m glad I found your article. thanks!

  5. Also they are going through some drastic changes to the websites- so give them a break.
    I also love SWA and I agree- the 2 items of baggage and the option to cancel at a moment’s notice is still terrific.

  6. SWA does not like to play with any other airlines or travel company and they think their way is the best way. See last week when their antiquated system and design blew up in their faces as over 90% of their schedule got cancelled and luggage is still lost from over two weeks ago. Yes I only will fly SWA on flights less than 90 minutes and will gladly pay more for a real airlines (choose my seat when i book, why thank you)if given the choice.

  7. I kinda see SWA’s side only because the other carriers will charge for seats and bags and SWA doesn’t. So when u compares they appear to be similar but when you add the other Carrie’s “extras”, they can be quite a bit higher.
    Just a thought …

    1. Airplanes, fuel, employees, landing fees etc etc all cost pretty much the same. SWA cuts costs where they can. They blew it by not investing in IT and sadly it has come out it was done with the intent of increasing investor profits. You should at least wonder what else they are scrimping on.
      For example, using transpacific 737’s that are not ideal for short inter island flights. Those high bypass engines that offer great fuel consumption on long flights also require longer cooling times before being used. Is SWA pushing that envelope? I don’t know but it’s food for thought.

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