Get Ready For These Hawaii Airfares To Rise 250%+

These Hawaii Airfares Will Increase 250% Or More

If you love the current $39 airfares being driven by Hawaii’s relative newcomer Southwest Airlines, and largely matched by bellwether Hawaiian Airlines, here’s our best suggestion:

Get them quick and enjoy them while you can.

Your editors are taking our own advice and flying all over the state until the end of the year.

In many comments noted below, you’ve said you are grateful for the hugely reduced cost of flying interisland with both airlines. Frankly, who can complain about that?

But where is this heading? We looked around, and here’s what we can tell you. We compared the ten shortest nonstop routes that Southwest offers, both in Hawaii and on the mainland. The results are eye-opening.

$39 isn’t sustainable for any airline.

We have no insider information on the cost structures of the airlines. But it is our sense, having been in Hawaii travel for nearly two decades, that the actual cost to provide an interisland flight is somewhere closer to $75 per passenger. That is for island jaunts of from 100 to 250 miles.

The information below tells the story of just where these airfares are heading. The cheapest average airfare on Southwest’s shortest routes other than Hawaii is about 250% higher than the promotional $39 fare offered around the islands. In three of those markets, there are also short-term promotional $79-$81 airfares. Otherwise, the cheapest average fares in their shortest and comparable markets are $111.20 each way. That’s 284% higher than the current interisland sale prices. That in fact, tells you just where Hawaii interisland airfares are heading.

Dive into comparable prices on Southwest’s shortest routes.

Following are Southwest’s shortest distance routes and the cheapest price offered in each market. Those marked with an asterisk have promotional fares available in the short term.

In a nutshell, Southwest is looking for interisland airfares to be $109-$120 each way to match other routes they fly of similar distance on the mainland.

  • Colorado Springs to Denver – 73 miles; $120
  • Maui to Kona – 84 miles; $39*
  • Maui to Honolulu – 101 miles; $39*
  • Kauai to Honolulu – 102 miles; $39*
  • Grand Rapids to Chicago – 137 miles; $109
  • Houston to Austin – 148 miles; $81/$109*
  • Greenville to Atlanta – 153 miles; $109
  • Baltimore to Norfolk – $159 miles; $81/$109*
  • Kona, Hawaii (KOA) – Honolulu (HNL): 163 miles; $39*
  • Orlando to Fort Lauderdale: 177 miles; $79*

* Promotions are currently in effect.

When will the prices increase?

That is the million dollar question. As we said, this is an incredible battle between Hawaiian and Southwest. Southwest has the deepest pockets to sustain this pricing, and arguably significantly lower costs, while Hawaiian has the most at stake given that Hawaii is their be-all.

We’ll all have to wait and see. Interisland airfares had started rising again prior to the latest drop to $39. Undoubtedly the airlines will try to raise prices again soon. But whether they will stick next time, is anyone’s guess.

The current $39 promotion is set to expire on 12/31. That provides some indication of when things could change. Flights starting in January are currently listed as starting from $59, but that doesn’t mean much about what they will actually be when we get closer.

Comments get things started; add yours.

Many comments have expressed support for the hometown Hawaiian Airlines and the competitive Southwest effect that has driven down ticket costs.

Puna said, “I’m happy that we have competing airlines for our Hawaiian interisland flights. It keeps the flights affordable and helps locals fly interisland much more frequently.”

Donna said, “This local girl is going with HA.”

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21 thoughts on “These Hawaii Airfares Will Increase 250% Or More”

  1. I don’t agree the prices shouldn’t be increased at all
    They should leave them the same ways on specific holidays that are expensive

  2. Please keep the fares lower…Not all of us that need to go interisland can take yet another hit from this disaster of the last couple of years.

  3. Hawaiian Airline hands down are the best competitive rates to fly inter Island. However to travel to the mainland automatically the go to is Southwest Airlines.They are the true “budget airline” when traveling on a budget we give up quailty service & comfort for affordability. Surprisingly tho S.W. Air has become a common choice among the people since the effects of covid destroyed our economy.

  4. A lot of SWA supporters and employees getting on here trying to make a case that HA is somehow inferior….we have a name for people who move to Hawaii and start casting aspersions on the State or just try to take over “their way” …I won’t repeat. HA obviously is the better more experienced Hawaii carrier and has survived many many inter island fare wars. The market really needs two airlines and after SWA finishes breaking into the market the fares will rise. SWA is no replacement for Aloha and because they are staffed by mainland crews here for the day do have less operational expertise, but both airlines will be fine and as mentioned, competition improves everyone.

    1. C’mon John you can do away with the “Aloha” reference, in this day and age, as they say, $$$$ talks and BS walks. Yes people do want good service but not too many are paying more just for an occasion friendly hello and a smile. If Aloha is do prevalent at Hawaiian Airlines why don’t the adapt SW Airlines cancellation/change policy and bags fly free policy, after all would that not be the Aloha spirit??

      1. The reference to Aloha was Aloha Airlines. Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines were longtime competitors. The point being inter island competition is nothing new. At one point there was a Mid Pacific Airlines that went as low as $9.95! As far as your reference to Aloha that’s a very mainland perspective that Aloha spirit doesn’t mean anything. Many many people in Hawaii do think that is one of the things that makes Hawaii special.


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