Just one month ago, on August 5, we announced that 10 Southwest Hawaii flights had been dropped. Those included popular routes from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, and San Diego. That set of cuts represented a mainland-to-Hawaii service reduction of 38% from their peak.
This week, however, Southwest released its schedule of flights that are now bookable through April 10, 2023. Hidden in that announcement was the return of four popular routes. Now Southwest says, not so fast, we aren’t going anywhere. At least on those routes. We’ll have to see how it shakes out, including:
- Are these going to be seasonal flights only operated at certain times of the year? We noted these are returning for the Spring Break season.
- Less than daily routes? Many airlines are moving to operate flights from two to four times weekly instead of daily. Hawaiian and Alaska are two examples of that type of schedule. Could Southwest go the same way with some of these routes that are in demand, but not enough to warrant daily service?
While their flights in Hawaii are expanding, Southwest is cutting back significantly on its flight schedule between the US mainland and Hawaii. They will operate just 23 daily flights, which is down from their previous high of 37 Hawaii flights.
Four Southwest Hawaii Routes Starting March 9.
- Los Angeles to Kauai starts March 9. Daily. Currently priced from $159.
- Los Angeles to Kona starts March 9. Daily. Currently priced from $415.
- Sacramento to Maui starts March 9. Daily. Currently priced from $415.
- San Diego to Maui starts March 9. Daily. Currently priced from $179.
The two routes priced from $415 will get re-priced soon, so check again if you are looking for those.
Six Southwest Hawaii Routes Not Returning.
- Phoenix to Kauai. Not returning.
- Phoenix to Kona. Not returning.
- Sacramento to Kauai. Not returning.
- Sacramento to Kona. Not returning.
- San Diego to Kauai. Not returning.
- San Diego to Kona. Not returning.
Southwest hopes to raise interisland fares $20 starting in January.
When Southwest said they’d cap all seats on all interisland flights at $39 through the end of December, that was unprecedented. That has largely been matched by Hawaiian Airlines.
Starting in January, however, the two competitors hope to raise rates on interisland flights by $20 each way. If that sticks, and it is too early to say if it will, that will bring the lowest cost interisland ticket to $59.
- 5 flights a day, each way, from Honolulu to Hilo.
- 6 flights a day, each way, from Honolulu to Kauai.
- 6 flights a day, each way, from Honolulu to Kona.
- 11 flights a day, each way, from Honolulu to Maui.
- 1 flight a day, each way, from Maui to Kauai.
Hat tip to Patrick K.