Mokulele Airlines: Updates On A Hidden Gem


We’ve both been flying around Hawaii on Mokulele Airline’s Embraer 170 jet service again. That is a big change for these two guys who have been Hawaiian Air’s most frequent fliers for years.

Inter-island airfares are still cheap, so its a great time to see more than one island the next time you are in Hawaii.

Since we last wrote about our experience with Mokulele, four significant changes have occurred:

1. Mokulele has just signed a booking agreement with Expedia, so you can reserve flights there, either alone or in a package.

2.  Effective June 1, Mokulele has a new schedule which starts earlier in the morning and runs later in the evening.  For us, this means we can spend the day on another island and still get home at night.

3.  New jet service added between Honolulu and Hilo effective May 1.

4. Continental and Mokulele have a new interline ticketing agreement.

What we like about Mokulele:

  • No hassle check-in. Fewer flights mean it’s much faster than Hawaiian.
  • Best seating. As we mentioned previously, the seats are more comfortable, wider and there is simply the feeling of more space.
  • Support a local carrier.  Well, frankly it’s all relative.  Hawaiian is a Delaware corporation, while Mokulele is registered in Hawaii.  Recently, however, Republic Airways acquired 50 percent ownership of Mokulele, and they’re Indiana-based.  But Mokulele’s president Bill Boyer is a Kauai neighbor and many of his employees previously worked for Aloha.
  • Service.  Hands-down Mokulele has the best service of any carrier in Hawaii.

What we don’t like:

  • Mokulele is part of Alaska Airline’s mileage program.  While this might be beneficial for others, we prefer Hawaiian Miles, as they are far more useful throughout the Pacific.
  • With fewer planes, their flight schedule doesn’t always work as well as Hawaiian’s.

Have you flown Mokulele yet?  If so, let us know what you think about the new kid on the inter-island jet block.

(Photo was taken on our recent flight between Lihue and Honolulu.  )

4 thoughts on “Mokulele Airlines: Updates On A Hidden Gem”

  1. I have flown Mokulele before to Oahu on their bigger plane- but my experience this past week- Maui to Kona and back was unbelievable! Only one other passenger and me on the way over, and then 4 days later, just me on the 9 seater commuter flight back with the young, handsome, polite pilot with an accent!! The closest experience I will have to my own private jet!!!

    Mahalo to Mokulele Airlines- when I stated I felt bad that I was the only passenger- the pilot said enjoy your private jet ride!!!

  2. We booked a non-stop flight from Maui to Kona on their website. After purchasing the ticket (which was less than other competitors) we were asked to choose our seating on the lovely new Embraeur 170, which we did.

    When we showed up at the Maui airport, there was an 8 passenger plane, not the Embraeur!! The weather was fair with no wind, so the flight was OK, but for those who have “issues” with very small plane – beware. There was nothing in the check-out process that told us. In fact, we were misled.

    Needless to say, we didn’t fly back on the flight we had booked because of the small plane. We purchased another one-way ticket on another airline. I contacted Mokulele to ask for a voucher or refund, since their website was misleading. So far, a week later, I’ve hard nothing. Doubt we’ll use this airline in the future.

    1. Hi Susan,

      I’m not sure how the confusion arose. The Mokulele website has two distinct schedules, one for the jet service (3-digit flight numbers) and one for the non-jet service (4-digit flight numbers). They do not offer jet service between Maui and Kona, only Cessna.

      Aloha, Jeff

  3. Great news for our Hawaii visitors, especially those who want to see different islands on one vacation. The new agreement with Expedia and the earlier and later flights will be most welcome by anybody flying Mokulele between islands. Mahalo, Rob.

    Aloha, Pua
    Best Hawaii Vacation blog

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