Classless Southwest Hawaii Review: Unique In The Market

Classless Southwest Hawaii Review SJC to LIH: Quirky, Unique

Get ready for a different ride. What we found on our first trip from the mainland with the Texas carrier. Southwest Airlines Hawaii review.

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56 thoughts on “Classless Southwest Hawaii Review SJC to LIH: Quirky, Unique”

  1. I will take Southwest because of better seats and more leg room. Can choose where to sit.
    The food offering was better that Hawaiian. Better on time record.
    The bad thing- no entertainment screens in the seats.

  2. I had switch from Hawaiian Airline to South West Air trip Hilo to Honolulu a round trip I had done 9 trips, a big difference, S.W. crew treated me like I am a 1st class passenger, that how they did on all of their customers, Hawaiian Air line crew ( has lot to learn ) if they don’t get better, they will one day go down the shoot, the crew forgets the passengers pays their bills. one day there will be more new Airlines flying Hawaii routes.

      1. Patrick, perhaps you missed your calling as a proofreader? Or better yet, you Are a proofreader. Bottom line, most folks don’t care, so you are wasting your time

  3. very very informative. Ive flown hawaiian and alaska home n hawaiian has lost its aloha. being local from hawaii i have gotten along great with the crew except one time and one flight attendant who seemed anal about cell phones being off, which it was except the homescreen stays on even in airplane mode. she just seemed to be letting people know she’s the head person. alaska was good, not too much conversations tho. met some attendants who’ve had bad hair days and i suggest anyone that has experienced this mention it in their customer surveys, aloha should be practiced from gate to gate. I’ve flown alot on Hawaiian and over a handfull of times on Alaska. I look forward to my first trip on Southwest.

  4. Hi folks.
    I wanted to note a potential Southwest slowdown in San Jose for outbound flights. We flew from SJC to OGG on Alaska on Sun., Oct. 9,’22. We arrived at the airport at about 6:45 am to find a terribly long line in the terminal just to drop off checked luggage. We were a bit panicked, only to find out that it was a SW-only line. Also, the check-in line for SW snaked through the terminal, making walking to the Alaska kiosks a challenge. We went back outside and reentered the terminal closer to the Alaska area. I love that SW has free baggage check, but that seems to make the baggage drop-off far more time consuming, at least at this time of day in SJC. Just a heads up to allow extra time flying SW for baggage drop-off. Kind regards.

  5. I used to like Southwest,, but they have gone way down hill. I thought the boarding process was a great idea for a while, but as somebody who Flys quite often, even with “status” it can be annoying. There are times you may be put on the spot and asked to give up your seat to a less prepared guest.

    1. For got to add, I live Hawaii half the year and found it annoying when SW started because they constantly say “this is such a short flight”, such as we won’t be serving anything because this is such aa short flight. Or everybody take your seats, this is such a shortflight. Not everybody is a tourist. Since the only way to travel between islands is commercial air most locals know how short the flight is.

      I like SW for island hopi g bc they were cheap, but Hawaiian Air will price match. I definitely recommend Hawaiian are for mainland to Hawaii, especially if you can redeem those points for first (which also permits 2 free checked bags, priorty boarding, a meal and unlimited drinks) or business class. Kualoa please!

  6. I fly southwest for all my domestic travel but Not to Hawaii yet.. We will be utilizing Southwest in May next year so thank you for the concise report! I’ll bring our own meal and snacks because I do not count on any frills from Southwest Airlines! They are however very nice, and easy to go with!

  7. Had bad experiences traveling as a family. We got separated because of the lack of pre-assigned seats. They won’t even try to accommodate by giving better boarding numbers so that you can sit by your kids. Never again.

    1. Southwest lets families with smaller children board between the A and B groups, which in my experience is generally enough to get seats together though they may be in the back half of the airplane. If that’s not good enough, pay for Early Bird.

  8. I have been flying Southwest for over 30 years and I have never had a problem on any flight. I have flown coast to coast many times and from Maui to San Diego recently. A usually funny and great flight crew, free baggage, no change fees, easy booking, great schedule and fantastic peanuts has made it a no brainer for all these years. Toilet paper races too, but that’s another story!

  9. Maybe useful to try flying from Hawaii to the mainland to see how that’s being handled. January this year we took our family jet (Southwest Airlines) from HNL back to Texas. At the gate there were not the line-up stanchions and the gate agent made an announcement about 15 minutes before boarding that the flight was completely full and there is open seating; whereupon there was a scrum of travellers who rushed toward him, probably about a quarter of the passengers for that flight who had absolutely no idea how it works. It’s a culture. More recent flights from there were less harried now that boarding post markers are up.
    As to meals, gate agents encourage you to bring something onto the plane as what’s served is not intended to be a meal.

  10. The southwest boarding process can be frustrating to passengers used to traditional boarding processes but by offering better seating on a first come, first served basis they entice travelers to arrive on time and be at the gate at the time of boarding preventing delays.

  11. We flew southwest recently to honolulu and had a great experience. The flight was late and there were a lot of crying kids on board, lol, but other than that no complaints !! Great way to fly and not paying for baggage is a plus!!

  12. I find your reviews to be honest and very useful. I will be going to Kauai in April 23 and will be doing some looking into southwest.

  13. hello wish Southwest airlines continue to be Affordable for low income people to be able to visit Hawaii! it’s not all about the filthy rich in cash!!

  14. What a awesomely objective review. I wish I could find more like this on the net.

    – I personally like the announcements as sometimes common sense isn’t common. Like people watching iPads without headphones.

    – I don’t worry about the food & beverage that much, airlines usually push the costs to customers wether we want it or not & the savings on the Ickes I can buy my own snacks before flight.

    – Pro tip. Southwest allows no change fees up until 20 minutes before flight departure. I always check the ticket prices every week before flight and the day of . There have been times where I’ve saved over 70% of ticket cost this way.

    1. I’d like to add a caution to your Pro tip regarding changes and pricing (which I use frequently).

      – If you purchased the EarlyBird Check-In® option this could modify your position in the 36 hour check-in queue. A SWA agent explained some of the categories that factor into your placement includes purchase date and fare type.

      1. Great caution Martha, thanks for that addition.

        One should pay attention to the numbers, too see if the savings is worth it , or maybe stop looking for better fare once that 36 hour mark hits . I don’t purchase early bird check-in as being A-list I can always board after B and for some reason and this is just my personal opinion , the Hawaii flights have an abnormally high number of pre-boarders 😐

        1. We visit the islands often and alternate flying out of SJC or OAK . We usually prefer flying Alaska out of SJC (boo for no longer offering nonstop out of OAK), but we will fly Southwest if the price is significantly cheaper or if we have the miles to cover tickets for the three of us. I prefer having seat assignments, especially since we have a 5 year old (family boarding on Southwest is crowded and stressful). And the food/beverages/tech are better on Alaska. However, Southwest tends to have friendlier flight crews and employees. The lady checking our bags recently at KOA was so friendly, and the flight captain invited our daughter into the cockpit.

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