As of 11/18/20. Today’s Southwest Hawaii updates are interesting in multiple ways. Here’s what we have learned recently in five bullet points and more below.
1. Southwest Hawaii flights from Long Beach to Honolulu have just been announced. See details below including the current fare sale starting at $99 each way, while most other routes start at $129. On the Long Beach route, Southwest will compete directly with Hawaiian Airlines.
2. Remaining Southwest Hawaii flights have resumed. See details of their complete flight schedule below.
3. Travel on Southwest to Hawaii and elsewhere can now be booked through April 11, 2021. On December 10, Southwest will open their schedule for reservations through June 5, 2020.
4. Middle seat comfort and safety update. Southwest is no longer blocking middle seats. Southwest has indicated it will advise passengers 2 to 3 days in advance if their flight is likely to be full. The airline says that based on availability, passengers can change flights within 3 days of their original flight at no cost. Also, unlike every other airline, note that Southwest does not permit passengers to buy the extra middle seat.
5. 737 MAX returns. Now that we know the problematic planes are close to returning to the skies, plans for Southwest’s Boeing 737 MAX fleet’s return to their Hawaii schedule should soon be updated. See more below.
Yesterday the FAA removed a nearly 2-year grounding of the planes following two crashes that killed 346 peopl
Latest Southwest Hawaii routes and frequencies:
LONG BEACH: Honolulu (1 daily starting March 11). Priced from $99 each way.
OAKLAND: Honolulu (2 daily); Maui (2 daily); Kona (1 daily); Kauai (1 daily)
SAN JOSE: Honolulu (2 daily); Maui (2 daily); Kona (1 daily); Lihue (1 daily).
SACRAMENTO: Honolulu (1 daily).
SAN DIEGO: Honolulu (1 daily).
HONOLULU: Oakland (2 daily); San Jose (2 daily) Sacramento (1 daily); San Diego (1 daily); Interisland: Maui, Kona, Lihue, Hilo (up to 4 daily).
MAUI: Oakland (2 daily); San Jose (2 daily); Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily), Kona (1 daily).
KONA: Oakland (1 daily); San Jose (1 daily); Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily); Maui (1 daily).
KAUAI: Oakland (1 daily); San Jose (1 daily); Interisland: Honolulu (3 daily).
HILO: Interisland: Honolulu (3 daily).
737 MAX return update.
The return of the troubled plane is near at hand although the FAA is still completing its review of the Boeing design changes and related pilot training. Yesterday the FAA removed a nearly 2-year grounding of the planes following two crashes that killed 346 people
The FAA said, “The agency will not approve the aircraft for return to service until it has completed numerous rounds of rigorous testing. The FAA will take all the time it needs. The planes will be permitted to return to the air soon, however, after which an additional period of time will be required for them to reenter regular service. That may happen in late winter or early spring.
Until then, Southwest will continue using 737-800 planes for Hawaii flights.
Will Southwest Hawaii expansion ever resume and, if so, when and where?
Further Southwest Hawaii expansion remains unsure during these turbulent times. If and when Hawaii expansion resumes, the following is our list of possible expansion cities, in the order of likelihood.
Salt Lake City.
Note that we have moved Los Angeles from likely to now be doubtful, while Orange County will simply never happen.
Photo credit: SWA.