Updated 10/30/19. New Southwest Hawaii flights were just announced as well as a Hawaii airfare sale. At long last, there will be flights from San Diego to Hawaii. Those include daily nonstop service to and from Maui which starts on April 14. Daily nonstop service to and from Honolulu starts on April 20. Lowest prices as of publishing are $129 each way on both new routes. Remember too that many more competitive sales lie ahead on all of these routes.
Southwest executive Andy Watterson, who previously worked for Hawaiian AirlinesHawaiian Airlines said, “We’re grateful for the steadfast loyalty of our San Diego customers and we’re adding a Southwest heading to their compass of nonstop options.”
Southwest will also add more inter-island flights.
Also effective April 14, Southwest will add two additional flights to their existing route connecting Honolulu and Maui. That will bring the total to six flights in each direction.
Today’s announcement follows last month’s flight adds.
Two Southwest routes (see below) that were originally set to start in January will now commence in November. In addition, less frequent mainland service will become daily to all Hawaii islands starting March 7.
“Demand is strong for our Hawaii service and we’re not just increasing those routes to daily service for our customers, we’re also moving up our timeline on two routes set to begin in January, and instead will fly them this year. Our flights between Sacramento and Honolulu, as well as interisland service between Honolulu and Lihue, Kauai will now begin November 10, 2019.” — Adam Decaire, VP Network Planning, SWA.
Flights previously added (as of September 26) included the following.
Sacramento to/from Maui. Starts March 7, 2020. Daily.
Oakland to/from Kauai. Daily starting March 7.
San Jose to/from Kauai. Daily starting March 7.
Honolulu to/from Kauai. Now starts November 10.
Oakland to/from Kona starts January 19. 4 times weekly. Daily starting March 7.
San Jose to/from Kona. Daily starts January 21. 3 times weekly. Daily starting March 7.
Complete Southwest Hawaii routes and frequencies effective April 2020:
OAKLAND: Honolulu (2 daily); Maui (2 daily); Kona (1 daily); Kauai (1 daily).
SAN JOSE: Honolulu (1 daily); Maui (1 daily); Kona (1 daily); Lihue (1 daily).
SACRAMENTO: Honolulu (1 daily); Maui (1 daily).
SAN DIEGO: Honolulu (1 daily); Maui (1 daily).
HONOLULU: Oakland (2 daily); San Jose (1 daily) Sacramento (1 daily); San Diego (1 daily); Interisland: Maui, Kona, Lihue, Hilo (each 4 daily).
MAUI: Oakland (2 daily); San Jose (1 daily); Sacramento (1 daily); San Diego (1 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 (4 daily).
HILO: Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily).
Notes: It is currently possible to book SWA flights through April 13, including those to and from Hawaii. Southwest only allows reservations up to about six months in advance of travel. Other airlines permit reservations up to 11 months in advance. All Hawaii flights use existing 737-800 aircraft.
More Southwest Hawaii deals are clearly just ahead for fall and winter!
Southwest Hawaii News | What to Expect Next
What time do Southwest announcements and sales occur?
Okay, this is a tough one. We’ve seen them start soon after midnight, and sometimes several hours later. That is eastern time.
What are the other Hawaii routes that will be coming and when will those be announced?
San Diego flights are to be released next. That could happen at any time.
The rest of the Southwest Hawaii roll-out (beyond the flights currently operating and those indicated), including flights from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver, appears poised to re-commence in 2020, and will take considerably longer than hoped. Those flights are pending the return to flight of their Max 8 aircraft fleet.
Are there more $99 airfares ahead?
Yes, $99 fares are back and we expect ultra-low airfares to keep returning. When more flights are announced, Hawaiian Airlines will compete on mainland and inter-island routes and Alaska Airlines will join in as well. At that time, intermittent Hawaii airfares starting at about $100 each way and inter-island fares in the $30’s each way may reoccur. The next year or more will have some of best ever Cheap Flights to Hawaii.
Reminder of why aren’t flights bookable from points further east than Denver and when will they be?
That is because Southwest doesn’t have red-eye (overnight) flights. While the airline has talked about changing that, it could be many months to years away. There are logistical and staffing issues, although the airline’s reservation system has been updated to allow for them. When overnight flights start, that should make Hawaii accessible (without multiple tickets and a layover) from points further east across the U.S. CEO Gary Kelly said, “we don’t really desire to fly red-eyes right now…. for our style of operation, it would complicate things.” Red eye flights are used by other airlines flying from Hawaii to enable the long flights and up to 6 time zones between Hawaii and the eastern US.
When you attempt to book city pairs that require two separate SW tickets to Hawaii, you’ll get a message that looks something like this: “Sorry, we found some errors… Flights from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Honolulu (Oahu) are not scheduled to operate on mm/dd/yy. Please select an alternate date or choose another origination/destination.” That is your cue that two tickets are needed for now.
Southwest Hawaii flights can be changed
SWA has no change fees or cancellation fees. Also, if fares drop, you can rebook and credit the difference back to your account for future travel.
What’s next for Southwest Hawaii
✈ Flights start from San Jose and Oakland to Kauai
✈ Flights start from Honolulu to Kauai
First half of 2020
✈ MAX aircraft return to service
✈ Direct daily flights to and from all islands
Later in 2020 to 2021
✈ Flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu and Maui
✈ Flights from Phoenix, Las Vegas, non-stop to Hilo and later Denver to Hawaii may start in 2020 or 2021
Previously announced Southwest Hawaii routes
As of August 15, 2019:
Oakland to/from Kauai. Was to start January 21, 2020. 3 times weekly.
San Jose to/from Kauai. Was to start January 19, 2020. 4 times weekly.
Honolulu to/from Kauai. Starts January 19, 2020. Daily.
Oakland to/from Kona. Starts January 19, 2020. 4 times weekly.
San Jose to/from Kona. Starts January 21, 2020. 3 times weekly.
Maui to/from Kona. Starts January 19, 2020. Daily.
Sacramento to/from Honolulu. Was to start January 19, 2020. Daily.
Honolulu to/from Hilo. Starting January 19, 2020. Daily.
As of March 4, 2019:
Oakland to/from Honolulu. Started March 17, 2019
Oakland to/from Maui. Started April 7, 2019
San Jose to/from Honolulu. Started May 5, 2019
San Jose to/from Maui. Started May 26, 2019
Honolulu to/from Maui. Started April 28, 2019
Honolulu to/from Kona. Started May 12, 2019
Updated October 30, 2019.