The cheapest and most expensive US airports for flights were released by the non-profit journalism organization CivMetrics, based on data from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Two Hawaii airports made the cut but are not on the list you would typically expect them to be. In fact, they are two of the cheapest. Those airports are Maui (OGG), and Kona (KOA), ranked 5th and 6th, respectively. Honolulu (HNL) and Kauai (LIH) did not make either list.
We’ve reported that Maui and Kona continue to see excellent airfares to and from Hawaii and interisland. And there’s nothing on the horizon to change that. Both of these see lower fares because of better competition that started when Southwest arrived in Hawaii a few years ago.
On the other hand, consider the cost once you are on the island.
For example, Oahu accommodations are typically 28% lower than Maui. So that could eat up any potential savings on the overall trip. That said, there are still places to stay on Maui that buck the trend.
One of the reasons Oahu is cheaper priced in terms of accommodations is due to the lower number of international visitors it currently sees. That, of course, could change, especially as Japanese visitors return. That has resulted in a glut in Honolulu hotel rooms, making for better deals. But if Maui or Kona are your top choices, then airfares will certainly be some of the cheapest for the state overall.
Eighty percent of Hawaii’s population resides on Oahu, so the energy there could not be more different than on the largely rural Big Island. But if great shopping, museums, entertainment, and dining, plus Pearl Harbor, are drawing you, by all means, head to Honolulu.
If on the other hand, your draws include volcanos, the best snorkeling, great beaches, and among the most varied landscapes and weather, then the Big Island may be a perfect pairing.
CivMetrics came to its conclusion by looking at the top 100 busiest airports in the country and analyzing airfares at each one from July to August 2022. Hawaii’s neighbor, Alaska, and its Anchorage Airport were at the other extreme, having the most expensive flights of any airport. Cheaper still than Hawaii’s two airports was St. Peter Clearwater in Florida.
Kauai, on the other hand, tends to be more expensive for flights. As the oldest island in Hawaii and the last to be conquered by King Kamehameha, it always has marched to a different beat. In this case, the more limited competition for flights keeps prices higher for Kauai and fewer hotel rooms.
Are you more inclined to choose an island on the cost of airfare?