We’re always asked how to save money on Hawaii interisland flights. And the good news, of course, is that it has gotten so much more affordable since competition arrived courtesy of Southwest Hawaii. Island hopping, both for visitors and residents, is feasible again for the first time in years.
If you’ll be traveling Hawaii interisland, follow these updated Hawaii travel tips to save the most money. The following suggestions will help you avoid paying through the nose when flying in Hawaii and give you an idea of what to expect.
We have recently seen flights between the islands priced as low as $26 and as high as $195, each way. So plan ahead and keep these tips in mind.
Hawaii Interisland Flights | 6 Tips to Avoid High Costs
1. Purchase inter-island flights as soon as deals are announced. Overall this strategy offers you the greatest opportunity to find lower cost flights at your desired flight times.
2. Check both Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The deals are often available with both airlines for generally the same prices and dates. But not always. And frequently Hawaiian offers their best prices on different days of the week than does Southwest.
3. Be flexible both in the time of day and day of week you fly. Those Hawaii interisland flights which are timed for connecting with trans-Pacific flights tend to fill up first and be the most expensive. Early morning and late evening flights, however, are typically the lowest priced.
Mid-week travel is the only sure way you will get those rock bottom fares. Other days of the week tend to be priced starting at double the cheapest mid-week prices.
4. Don’t expect the best deals at peak travel periods. Fare sales will not take place for travel during peak seasons, including spring break, summer, Christmas or other holidays. Buy those in advance. The good news, however, is that with the competition, even those fares are about half of what they were before.
5. Compare three interisland airlines and their offers.
Hawaiian Airlines has by far the most planes, flights and routes. They have been doing this for decades, and have it down to a science. Under most circumstances, their flights run with great efficiency, which is in part why they are the most on-time airline in the US. Seat assignments are free. For the most part, stand-by and flight changes are not permitted.
Southwest Airlines now flies between the islands too, albeit with far less frequency than Hawaiian. They include two free checked bags, and there are no advance seat assignments. No charge for changing flights other than difference in fare.
Mokulele Airlines offers unique and incredibly scenic viewing en route. This on board their Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft seating 9 passengers (and two pilots) for travel between all of the islands except Kauai. Let’s just say that it is a lot of fun and you’ll likely get some sensational photos at no additional charge! Here’s just one example of the possible views.
6. Watch out for extra fees. Remember that you’ll pay up to $25 for checked bags inter-island. Bag fees on Hawaiian Airlines interisland flights are reduced to $15 for their HawaiianMiles members, so it’s a no brainer to join their free program. Also, Mokulele is a stickler for carry-on bag weight, so check their rules or be prepared to pay.