Update 8/15/19: See today’s announcements and $29-$99 Southwest Hawaii deals.
As of August 14, the clock is ticking, and we are awaiting the imminent release of new Southwest Hawaii flights. About a week ago there was another reshuffling of plans for more Hawaii routes, and the company said that they would be announcing more routes this month!
Read on for what is definitely going to happen tomorrow, what may also happen tomorrow, and which mainland and inter-island routes are next.
Beat of Hawaii’s thoughts on August announcements:
1. Tomorrow’s (August 15) announcement will include availability to book flights from January 5 through March 6 including those to and from Hawaii. (Note: Southwest only allows reservations up to about six months in advance of travel. Other airlines permit reservations up to 11 months in advance).
2. The date for release of the next Southwest Hawaii flights could be tomorrow. We don’t know that for sure, but it has been rumored. Read on for more on that and what time of day that could happen.
2. Two new Hawaii inter-island routes are expected next. Flights to Kauai and Hilo will be extensions of flights to and from Honolulu only. No direct flights expected at this time.
3. Two new Hawaii mainland routes are also expected next. Those being San Diego to Honolulu and Sacramento to Honolulu.
4. These new Hawaii flights will be added using their existing 737-800 fleet.
More Southwest Hawaii deals are clearly just ahead for late summer and fall!
Sales on their existing routes as well as the about to be announced routes will be happening soon.
Southwest Hawaii News | What to Expect
What time will the Southwest announcements occur?
Okay, this is a tough one. We’ve seen them start soon after midnight, and sometimes several hours later. That is eastern time. We’re confident about tomorrow’s schedule release occurring as planned (with or without new Hawaii routes). And, it’s a great time to buy tickets for winter travel, including two holiday weekends.
What are the other Hawaii routes that will be coming and when will those be announced?
The rest of the Southwest Hawaii roll-out (beyond the flights currently operating and those indicated above), including flights from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver, appears poised to re-commence in early 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, we expect ultra-low airfares to return, even as soon as this month. 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
August to November 2019
✈ Announcement of next new flights (perhaps as soon as tomorrow, August 15) together with Southwest global schedule update for flights through March 5, 2020
✈ Flights from Sacramento to Honolulu
✈ Flights between Honolulu and Kauai
✈ Flights between Honolulu and Hilo
✈ Flights from San Diego to Honolulu
First half of 2020
✈ MAX aircraft return to service
✈ Additional inter-island routes and direct flights to and from all islands
Later in 2020 to 2021
✈ Flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu and Maui
✈ Flights non-stop to Kona and Lihue
✈ Flights from Honolulu and Maui to Hilo
✈ Flights from Phoenix, Las Vegas, non-stop to Hilo and later Denver to Hawaii may start in 2020 or 2021
Updated August 14, 2019.