Hawaiian Airlines' New Main Cabin Basic Economy

Hawaiian Airlines Main Cabin Basic Economy Starts

Hawaiian Airlines has announced the commencement of Main Cabin Basic Economy effective today. It is initially being released in just three mainland to Hawaii markets and is available for travel beginning October 21, 2019. First cities are Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Jose. This new product was necessary in order to compete with all other airlines (except Southwest), which also offer basic economy.

How much will you save?

On routes where we are starting to see basic economy, the savings as of today is $20 each way compared with regular economy. From our view point, the only thing you’re really giving up is an advance seat assignment. If that isn’t important, save the $20. For those who definitely want to sit together or have duckduckgo.com seats in mind, you’re better off skipping the savings that basic economy offers.

“We are now offering a full range of fare options to our guests on these routes with the addition of the best-value Main Cabin Basic product in the industry – one that combines our lowest fares with our award-winning Hawaiian hospitality, including complimentary meals and in-flight entertainment, delivered in the comfort of our modern fleet.” — Brent Overbeek, SVP at Hawaiian Airlines.

What to expect on Hawaiian Airlines Main Cabin Basic Economy

1. There is no advance seat assignment possible. Seat assignment is at 24-hour check-in, or may be assigned at the gate, at Hawaiian’s discretion.

2. No upgrades are possible using miles or cash.

3. A free carry-on bag and one personal item are included.

4. HawaiianMiles members continue to earn one mile per mile flown.

5. Free meals, beverages and snacks.

6. Free in-flight entertainment.

7. Boarding zones. Most other airlines board basic economy last. We haven’t heard if Hawaiian plans to introduce another boarding zone.


Also see our just updated guide to Basic Economy to Hawaii. That covers all the airlines flying to and from Hawaii.

6 thoughts on “Hawaiian Airlines Main Cabin Basic Economy Starts”

  1. So our last trip to Cancun in Feb 2021 was our first plane flight ever and we noticed that there isn’t very much leg room especially for my son and husband who are 6ft 5 inched tall. We traveled Volaris and not sure how the Hawaiian aircraft is or whether we will encounter this problem again, but I purchased the tickets thru expedia before knowing how little leg room there is. I cant cancel those tickets anymore. What can I do so get those 2 a little more leg room. I’m willing to pay extra for emergency exit seats since those seems to have more leg room. Can you please advise? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Georgette.

      Hawaiian has a more premium product with significantly more legroom. Have to tried calling them? It can be purchased as an upgrade and we wouldn’t think there would be a problem with having purchased the tickets on Expedia, but can’t say that for sure. Let us know how it goes.


  2. Upon comparing same date and times with United and Hawaiian’s flights to New York, Newark. The fares were identical for Hawaiian’s normal economy and United’s 4th class fare. Just saying, it’s a price increase no matter how you look at it.

  3. Aloha
    I would love to take my family of 6 (adults) to Maui from the Midwest but there does not seem to be any good deals or am I just overlooking them? Does any one have any suggestions. We would be flying from Ind. to Maui or Ind. to Kona any time frame but prefer May thru Sept. Mahalo

    1. Hi Lisa.

      For deals you have to rule out early June until at least mid-August. Otherwise, Expect to may starting in low $600’s on either of those routes. You’ll have to wait a while for May fares to be in that range – perhaps up to 90 days out.


  4. Seems to me that Basic Economy used to be the regular price, but now they just call it that and then charge you extra for seat assignments, luggage, etc., so you are just getting less for what you used to pay for.

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