Southwest Hawaii Pilot father and daughter team

New Trouble Looming for Southwest Hawaii Flights

Just as Southwest Hawaii flights are expanding, there’s a big storm on the horizon that may significantly impact your Hawaii travel plans.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 1,000 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

67 thoughts on “New Trouble Looming for Southwest Hawaii Flights”

  1. Will be my second attempt to fly to Hawaii. I had to cancel in April of 2020 due to covin and got a voucher. I am now scheduled to fly with my sister in February of 2023. I am hoping dearly that I am still going to make it I’m 72 and I had hoped in 2020 to celebrate my 70th birthday time is running out on me

  2. Southwest already has the Highest fares in the industry, they were known for low fares but those days havebeen gone for many many years now with now Premium [F Class ] product. So now its the worse product in the industry–Sad but true. We a wish them better days.

    1. I have No Idea what Your Market is nor where you get your information from but I am Constantly receiving offers and updates from SWA that Can’t Be Beat. I know that they eventually will increase but for the 2+ years I’ve been receiving the offers the prices have either remained the same or briefly increased $10. If I had the time I would be flying all over the country and further.

  3. To the CEO of SWA. You had a safe Airline at one time. You have acquired a airline company that had Cancer.You Did Not have the Pilots to cover that Acquired Airline. Incase they resigned on you after you bought them out. If they did? You would not be in this situation. Oh yea you can blame it on Cova 19. Government lies yes! Age of pilots need to step down. All lies. Bottom line! You expanded to large to fast. And no pilots to fill the seats. Now you turn to foreign pilots. It’s the last bid. Before you belly up your Airline. SWA the way it’s going. W

    1. With SWA Acquisition of Air Tran in “2014”, Yes “2014”, Southwest Gained in Several Ways. Denver Based SWA gained a foothold in Additional Markets, More Aircraft and Employees along with Precious Plane Berthing Spot at Reagan International Airport as well as others. The Search for Foreign Pilots is Not Entirely New and Many Airlines are looking into the same, the Lack of Pilots is Industry Wide. SWA is in good shape but with more Pilots could be doing much better, just like Every Airline. I prefer listening to Industry Professionals instead of individuals with little to no knowledge and apparent grudges.

  4. As a former employee of Southwest Airlines, I can confidently assure you that the inter island fares will not return to the “stratospheric” level that Hawaiian charged in the past. While the fares may increase, it would probably be a fairly modest increase.

    1. Mark, You mean like the $220-$400 dollars I just checked for OAK to BUR? (comparable to an inter island flight) I actually think competition is a healthy thing however my issue with SWA is, as their pilot union head said, they are predatory and aggressive and proud of it. That attitude gets displayed by SWA in many ways and is offensive to Hawaiian culture. Boasting about the local jobs you want to take and putting down Hawaiian to try and promote yourself is the epitome of what locals like the least about some (not all!) outsiders moving here.

      1. Even more telling was your CEO coming to Hawaii for his first visit ever this summer. He was on the morning news being interviewed by Howard Dicus and was the epitome of clueless about Hawaii while he sat slouched in his chair boosting how perfect SWA was for Hawaii….Auwe!

    2. and finally this point has been made before but needs to be repeated, when you fly Hawaiian you are supporting local jobs in all categories. SWA revenue goes to the mainland, HA revenue goes to the local economy and supports Hawaii.

  5. There is only one pilot shortage solution that creates instant relief .. raise the mandatory age 65 pilot retirement or eliminate this discriminatory age policy all-together and demand Congress bases a pilot’s retirement on their individual medical/cognitive ability .. just like Canada, Australia and New Zealand!
    The pilot unions selfishly are selling a misleading and false “Safety” opposition to raising the age so they can maintain the pilot shortage for their open contract negotiations.
    There is no data supporting this “Safety” lie!
    Just ask the 9 countries in the world and those companies that retired airline pilots fly for after 65!
    Enough said!

    1. The trouble is, as someone who’s over 65 myself, I can tell that my reflexes aren’t what they used to be, etc. So from a “safety” perspective I get the argument if you want a generalization. If you want to go with a system that is individualized, then you have to set standard tests for formative abilities, relaxes, etc. Then you have to test every pilot on an annual basis. To be “fair” you would have to test All pilots, otherwise it’s age discrimination. Then there’s the question of medical privacy. I’m sure some pilots will object to this testing saying it violates their “rights”. It’s not as easy a problem to solve as you might think.

  6. Scares me to death at the thought of hiring pilots from out of the country with all the terrorism going on in the world! Please don’t do this SWA!!!!

    1. Scares you to death well how about that look at all the foreigners that come in from other countries Singapore China Russia check Republican Vietnamese airlines and all the other ones that land in International airports on the West Coast and you’re scared to death about a foreign pilot managing A757.

  7. So…. We thought $39 interisland flights were economically sustainable for the operators, and would last indefinitely? That’s fun.

    1. Smart ppl do in fact will fly SWA in December of this year. Due to the fact they are the cheapest. Don’t believe me? Take a look. United Airlines from SFO to Pits. $ 1450.00 to 2100.00 Economy. SWA way less than that end of story.

      1. You must be looking at F Class Fares or UA, LOL. Southwest is the Highest fares in the industry with no seat assignments and flight attendants having a union meeting in the galley. Get rid of the unions and you can get real low fares. Ask Walmart and Pan Am.

      2. Huh, I just looked it up, and you can get a round trip flight SFO to PIT in Dec. for under $900, and they aren’t even the cheapest. That’s Main Cabin, BTW, so the equivalent to SWA’s seating.

  8. Hi Rob+Jeff. I have never flown Southwest. However if they cut some interisland flights, then that would free up some pilots to use for mainland to Hawaii flights. I am not comfortable with a foreign pilot flying that is on a visa in this country. I believe Hawaiian vacations are going to substantially subside into the next year. Too many uncertain events are going on. Mahalo for the update and Happy Thanksgiving to you both. Stay safe.

    1. In case you don’t know there are thousands of H1B workers in very critical industries. The pilots will also be just as capable.

      1. Yeah, and they are taking jobs from Americans even though the law says they aren’t supposed to. They are also driving down the wages of Americans in the same profession.

  9. Southwest could get a larger aircraft like the 787 which could do two 737 flights on longer routes like cross country and Hawaii routes from different parts of the country other than just the west coast. That could be done in one class which would free up some pilots for other domestic routes. That would take time to aquire and train crews tho.

  10. I am currently starting to plan a trip to the Big Island for 7 people. To fly from Sacramento and back with 2 people flying in from Kansas City. I am looking at airfare costing almost $6500 in June of 2023. That is on Southwest. The other airlines are more money, worse schedules and lots of itineraries with overnights, 16-18 hours of travel and layovers of several hours. It’s insane.

    1. Airline flight prices have increased dramatically which is what you are seeing.
      Unfortunately the “supply & demand” effect has made this happen.
      Let’s hope prices subside and you and your friends/family can take that long awaited vacation!

    2. Have you looked at Alaska?
      They have a 1 stop through Sea and if you sign up for their Visa card everyone traveling with you would get green bags plus if you are approved you would get 60000 miles.

  11. I have a good friend who’s a 25 year + pilot for Delta and my sister’s best friend is a 30 year+ stewardess for American. The Delta pilot told me that people that were ready to retire retired because of the vaccine mandate. He was able to get an exemption. There’s a huge shortage of pilots anyways, and they are flying them longer, even though they do have a forced retirement age. The American stewardess told me that there was a lot of people quitting over the vaccine mandates, she was able to get an exemption. People near or at retirement said No to an experimental still undisclosed closed cocktail of ingredients injection. Do you blame them?

    1. The mass exodus of early retirements at the airlines was prior to the vaccine mandates. It happened early days when the industry basically shut down and many took lucrative early retirement packages. I know the industry well enough not to take one persons perspective as gospel. The vast majority of airline pilots are levelheaded, pragmatic folks that know better than to fall for conspiracy theories. They all happily got vaccinated knowing full well their job exposed them to risk. But like any profession there are outliers. I saw the number at United that 7 pilots lost their job. While I believe in personal choice it saddens me that misinformed people made so by the conspiracists avoided getting vaccinated and died from Covid as a result.

      1. I wouldn’t say “all got vaccinated” if you’re looking to speak the truth.
        Not all pilots, not all flight attendants and not all employees.
        Now you know…..the rest of the story

        1. At some airlines pilot had to choose between their beliefs and their jobs. They were not given the option. Some chose to retire early rather than get jab. So yes, mandating a vaccine did exasperate the pilot shortage.

        2. Thought it was clear…I said all the level headed pragmatic one’s all got vaccinated. I’m quite familiar with the numbers at several airlines and the pilots that lost their jobs due to the mandate is minuscule compared to how many got vaccinated. The falsehood circulating that the current shortage is due to the mandate is ridiculous. As was evident in Ernie’s post some people look for anything they can to try and make a political point, not matter how untrue.
          (and that’s not just on the right either!)

    2. That is an old and proven fraudulent excuse. The vax at this point are 2 plus years old and based on technology that is more than 2 decades old and proven. The disease also is more than 3 years old and we have seen the proven impact of the vax in beating back various forms and mutations. We have also seen that the side effects are minimal and within the level and standard deviation of other vaccines, i.e. no vaccine is perfect. However, this one has had millions of users and worked very well. All the old excuses and myths have been discredited. If it werent for the vaccine the aviation industry would be DOA, oh yeah, except for the Billions US taxpayers paid to keep it alive.

      1. You are exactly right Tony. mRNA technology is not new and will likely be a factor in curing cancer going forward. Medicine was not better 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It’s better now and will continue to get better, thanks to modern technology. A lot of people died because of people like Joseph Mercola and “Americas Frontline Doctors” spreading lies for profit. mRNA doesn’t alter your DNA nor is Bill Gates tracking you if your vaxed. The mRNA vaccines saved a lot of lives, conspiracy beliefs cost a lot.

        1. The vaccines don’t work for more than two weeks. Sorry they don’t. Mandates are Illegal here in a free country. Sorry— no one cares about this anymore— my sister was a Covid Dr. And The Masks don’t work either.. Stop telling Americans what to do — we can figure this out for ourselves. Masks are never coming back and are now illegal in over 40 states…

  12. hmmm …. increased prices and fewer flights would mean fewer, “richer”, tourists in Hawaii. Isn’t that what Hawaii is looking for?

  13. I am trying to imagine an additional 30,000 more active pilots “by the end of the decade,” sitting in their planes on the tarmac each day at the current airports – on the mainland and in Hawaii – waiting for gates to open up, so they can deplane passengers and load new passengers. It seems to me adding that many pilots (and planes) will create gate bottlenecks, unless airports add a lot of gates in eight years (p.s. I get that all 30,000 new pilots will not be flying every day).

    1. Southwest Airlines will be adding more gates to its focus city, San Diego, in two years. Terminal One is undergoing expansion in its cramped quarters, where you might stand up for two hours waiting for your flight to board as passengers put their carry-ons into the adjoining seat. Terminal Two expansion for all the other airlines flying in and out of San Diego has been up and running for a few years. It makes for a much better flying experience, including seat assignments, on other airlines. Southwest is not always the lowest airfare, except for its free baggage policy as compared to all other airlines.

    2. From my experience as an airline pilot it’s not gate space it’s a personnel staffing issue. Whenever I arrive there seem to be plenty of open gates but no staffing to catch the airplanes. Ground personnel are working multiple gates at a time because we can’t get the staffing. That can cause a little congestion because you can’t get a plane off and catch one at the same time but for the most part there are empty gates

      1. Hi Trent.

        That makes a lot of sense. Quite a few times recently, one or both of us have been stuck at a gate waiting for someone to operate it.


  14. You’ve made a problem every airline is having, about one airline and one destination. It’s nothing but stirring hype unnecessarily and it’s all pure speculation on your part which is extremely poor and irresponsible writing.

  15. Is it just me, or does it seem like the airlines need to get off their 737/A32x addiction and start looking at larger birds again? It takes the same number of pilots to fly a 777 as it does a 737… and the pilot to passenger ratio looks a lot better.

    1. You have to account for also consumer demands. The larger carriers have the aircraft to scale up but doesn’t fit with consumer demand, imagine on a extreme example instead of Hawaiian flying 10 717s flights between Maui daily and upscale to 3 a330s 3 times a day to match those same 717 flights…

      Or of course more typical LAX-HNL some consumers want morning flights or redeye, some routes can’t accommodate a 777 only while they can spread it on multiple narrow bodies

    2. As long as customers foolishly pay specifically for variety in their itenerary times, airlines are forced to match their competitors’ abundance of time choices, which drives up ticket price averages.

Scroll to Top