Using Google Flight Tracked Prices To Save Big On Hawaii Flights

New Rankings Recast Best Airline For Hawaii 2024

A report out late last week ranked the best U.S. airlines. We have followed this report for some time and we can report that it has changed significantly since April 2023. We then looked solely at the airlines flying to Hawaii, and here you have it.

As Hawaii airline dynamics continue to evolve, so too do the ratings of those airlines serving Hawaii. This year, WalletHub’s 2024 rankings bring some notable shifts for those airlines compared with the previous year’s scores.

Wallethub’s scoring system used data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, spread across three primary categories: baggage and departures, in-flight comfort and cost, and safety. The results excluded cancellations due to weather, security, and other measures outside the airlines’ control.

Highlights from WalletHub’s 2024 Best Airlines Rankings:

  • Alaska Airlines moved up to take the top spot as the Best Airline Overall, a significant accolade following being number five last year.
  • Delta Air Lines remains high-performing in WalletHub’s best airline award. It also claimed the prize as the Most Comfortable Airline.

Comparing Yearly Performance:

Hawaiian Airilnes Dreamliner interior
Hawaiian Airlines Dreamliner economy.

#4 to Hawaii, #7 in U.S, Hawaiian Airlines. The Hawaii bellwether that was previously praised for its reliability and safety, among other things has seen a drop in its scores, particularly in the areas of canceled flights and mishandled baggage. This year, however, the airline slipped another point in its WalletHub overall ranking.

Botched Service: Delta Airlines A321neo To Hawaii
Delta Airlines Comfort+ extra legroom economy.

#2 to Hawaii, #4 in US, Delta Air Lines. This airline continues to excel in the areas of flight cancellations, delays, and mishandled luggage. Year over year performance in this areas is significant, as is their ability to improve in comfort scores. Also mentioned are free WiFi, snacks, and beverages.

Alaska Airlines First Class
Alaska Airlines B737 First Class

#1 Alaska Airlines. After fifteen years flying to Hawaii, the Seattle based airline that’s currently attempting to buy Hawaiian, is now ranked by WalletHub as the best overall airline to Hawaii and across the U.S. That marks a big improvement and is a testament to the smaller carrier’s consistent performance, dedication to quality and desire to improve.

United Airlines (#3 to Hawaii). American Airlines (#5 to Hawaii). Southwest Airlines (#6 to Hawaii). These companies with a wide range of Hawaii flights had modest shifts in 2024 compared with last year. United Airlines maintains a stronger position, while Southwest Airlines has improved compared with 2023 in overall scores but still faces big challenges in both timeliness and baggage handling. In the end, Southwest ranked the worst in the “Most satisfactory airline” ranking, and wasn’t significantly better in the areas of safety concerns, and both delayed and canceled flights. American Airlines ranked at or near the bottom as well, in several categories, including reliability.

With fierce competition for Hawaii flights, what does this mean?

The comparison, if nothing else, shows that some airlines are making significant and noteworthy strides in certain areas that may be of interest to Hawaii travelers. Competition remains fierce, and travelers’ choices are continuing to drive service improvements across all Hawaii flights.

For those flying to Hawaii, these insights can help empower decisions by consumers on which airline might offer the best experience and value on long overwater flights.

Federal Lawsuit By Renowned Airline Law Firm Seeks To Block Alaska/Hawaiian Deal

And a final note about Hawaiian Airlines as relates to the intended purchase of the company by Alaska Airlines. The strengths that Alaska Airlines possesses could help improve performance at Hawaiian Airlines if the merger is consummated.

Do you resonate with WalletHub’s findings about the airlines flying to Hawaii? Please let us know.


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16 thoughts on “New Rankings Recast Best Airline For Hawaii 2024”

  1. I saw these rankings a day or two ago. The one problem I have with them is that without the publishing of a scoring system and scores it does not tell us much. If Airline A receives a total score of 93 out of 100 and gets ranked number one, what is the difference if airline B gets 90 and is ranked number four? Most readers of BoH understand that Hawaiian Air’s problems with engines on the A321neo is a major contributing factor to flight cancellations and delays.

  2. The Jones Act states that any ship moving goods between two American ports must be…
    ONE — Built in the United States,
    TWO — Crewed by U.S. Citizens,
    THREE — Owned by U.S. Citizens,
    and FOUR — Registered in the U.S.

    The 103-year-old law called the Jones Act adds to the financial misery of most Hawai’i residents. The requirement that ships be US built makes no sense in the 21st century. The military budget is approaching $trillion/yr. , the Navy has no trouble getting what it wants. Remove the US ship yard requirement!

  3. I still remember the first time I visited Hawaii in 1968. I t was our honeymoon, and we were flying out of SF on Pan American to Honolulu. We stayed at a hotel next to the airport, but we were 15 minutes late before takeoff. Would you believe that the airline knew we were newly weds, and held the 747 for us. When we boarded the plane, everyone applauded us. Approximately 1/2 hour later, the flight attendants gave us a small wedding cake (for 2), and bottle of champagne. Those were the days!

  4. Much ado about nothing. I’ve flown them all, and they’re all basically the same. Some have nicer colors painted on the outside than others. But they will get you there relatively quickly and safely, and all of them will sell you some food. The rest is irrelevant.

  5. Flying from the SE, I really don’t have much choice in airlines. It’s the Big 3 or nothing. I’ve been flying Delta (as long as it’s not a 767 redeye) quite a bit more interspersed w AA. I completely avoid UAL even though it’s usually the cheapest by a wide margin. Really wish HA would open even a seasonal route from ATL, DFW, or IAH with their new aircraft.

    Best Regards

    1. We can vouch for American Airlines being Unreliable. Our flight from ELP was delayed so we could not make our PHX to Honolulu connection. Had to pay to spend night in ELP and pay for Honolulu hotel reservation. Scheduled us on a 5am flight to Honolulu via DFW. Airline did not offer food or lodging vouchers.

  6. I can only respond about United since that is the only airline I have flown to Hawaii (besides my 15+ flights to Hawaii on KC-135’s while I was in the military) because of the flight routes (direct flight to Kauai from Denver). But I have noticed a definite deterioration in the flight experience over the years with United, even with first class, so I was surprised that United is still #3.

    1. And I’ll bet the USAF box-lunches on that KC-135 were better than the current fare on United … BTDT, but in the US NAVY and ours were better – always a relative term – than the pretend-food that is served these days, especially in coach or what passes for economy.

      Plus, those box-lunches included that little pack of 2 cigarettes and another one of Chiclets gum … life was good, eh ??

  7. Hawaiian was our airline of choice from the west coast. We appreciated the island atmosphere the moment you stepped aboard – aloha uniforms, music, food, even the video entertainment had “island” flair. We tolerated the price increases as long as we could before we made the jump to Alaska. Great airline, nice people, good prices, no real complaint other than when you step aboard there’s nothing special about Hawaii flights. You feel like you could be going to Chicago for all they care. I know…it’s another first-world problem for me.

  8. American and Southwest; 5th and 6th…Dallas should be ashamed! (Using near expiration American miles for flight home in November; fingers crossed).

  9. In the “Old days” I had my favorite airlines, utilized frequent flyer awards, etc. Now, I fly the best rate, time of arrival and departure. Seating is hit and miss depending on what issues and plane changes, so there is no favorite anymore. I did mess up on my upcoming American Flight as I am very tall and will be doing the long leg via A321 neo! Ouch and cant afford first class. I did upgrade to 6 more insches, but dont think that will matter much in a cramped quarters. I just dont think flying is like it used to be. The people, the smells, and now pets….its just a way to get there now.

  10. I used to fly Hawaiian only until the last couple of years when I had to go back and forth to San Diego several times a year. Alaska has been my choice for main cabin premium upgrades due to their roominess, baggage process (check in and pick up is much faster and less stressful), choice of decent, tasty, healthy reasonably priced food (vs Hawaiian’s “free meal” wraps and “snack for purchase” choices), and free alcoholic drinks. I don’t like the 3 across seating, but tolerate it due to the other benefits. My husband is a foot taller than me and prefers Alaska’s premium main cabin as well. If I Have to fly Hawaiian for whatever reason, I choose the direct flights with the 2 across seating options.

  11. Does this reviews include Premium Cabins? I have been flying Hawaii 2 or 3 times a year from London Via the Mainland.
    Via SFO Hawaiian, United.
    Via LAX Hawaiian, American Delta, United
    Via DFW American (My preferred flight but with an overnight at Grand Hyatt DFW.

    So with the replacement of A330 with B787 by Hawaiian with a decent seat they will shoot up the ratings.

    Both United and Delta seem to run older 757 and 767 planes as they are updated should improve things but if it is an A350 there is a ?

    Looking at price it is cheaper from me to for via Tokyo rather than the mainland and both JAL and ANA are light years ahead of all US carriers as Hawaii flights for them carry a lot of non rev and upgrade travelers.

  12. Aloha Gentlemen. Thank you once again for what you do! Re: the airline rankings, there is no way on God’s green earth that United is better than Hawaiian. In the years I’ve flown Hawaiian, (usually two or three times a year) I’ve not had an unpleasant experience. A short flight delay, perhaps. Seats are comfy, attendants are friendly, plane is clean. I’m not crazy about that breakfast sandwich thing, but at least they feed us! I love Hawaiian!

    1. Hi Claudia.

      Thank you. It just goes to show how everyone sees it differently. It’s a good thing that we have so many options.


    2. If only Hawaiian could match the rest with more legroom they would be my choice. They are the leaders in cramping people in. Not too bad inter island, but on a long flight it’s really hard.

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