Are you ready to luau? Southwest Airlines now has flights to Hawaii, which means getting to paradise just got a little easier.
While service is currently limited to Honolulu, Maui, Kona, Hilo and Kauai, this is still great news for fans of Southwest’s amenities and budget-friendly ticket prices. We’re taking a closer look at all the details of Southwest’s Hawaiian flights so you can start planning your next vacation.
Cities with Routes to Hawaii on Southwest Airlines
Because the service is so new, all of Southwest’s Hawaii flights connect through either Oakland, San Jose or Sacramento, California with Lihue (Kauai), Honolulu (Oahu), Kona (Island of Hawaii), Kahului (Maui) and Hilo (Island of Hawaii) as destinations. Southwest also features Hawaiian flight packages connecting through Oakland, San Jose or Sacramento from these cities:
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Ontario, California (ONT)
- Orange County (SNA)
- Long Beach (LGB)
- Burbank (BUR)
- San Diego (SAN)
If you’re traveling from outside of California, you can check out this helpful tool to see how you can connect your flights.
Affordable Inter-island Travel
If you were really hoping to do a little island hopping during your trip, Southwest also offers inter-island routes for as low as $29 one-way. Cities included are:
- Honolulu (Oahu)
- Kona (Island of Hawaii)
- Kahului (Maui)
- Lihue (Kauai)
- Hilo (Island of Hawaii)
Best Ways to Book Cheap Hawaii Flights
Southwest initially offered one-way tickets to Hawaii for just $49 as a way to drum up excitement, but while that special is no longer available, there are still ways to save on your Hawaiian vacation.
Signing up for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program before your trip may one of the best ways to lower your ticket price — especially if you travel Southwest frequently.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is quite generous and redeeming points is easy. There are no blackout dates and you can redeem your points on any flight to Hawaii. Better yet, your points don’t expire.
Here are a few ways you can earn Southwest points:
- Sign up for the Rapid Rewards Dining program: Earn 1,000 points in your first 30 days of joining the dining program. Earn three points for every $1 spent on dining. Earn 10 bonus points for completing a restaurant review after eating.
- Shop through Southwest: Do your regular online shopping through Southwest’s shopping portal to earn bonus points on every dollar spent.
- Stay at a partner hotel: Book your hotel through one of the airline’s partner companies for bonus points.
- Shop Southwest Points sale: Sometimes buying Southwest points through one of their promotional sales can save you money. Just be sure to calculate how much you are paying per point through the sale versus how much it can save you on your flight.
- Earn points through credit card spending: All Rapid Rewards credit cards offer bonuses when you sign up, but you’ll have to weigh the cost of any annual fees with the sign-up bonus if you’re interested in getting a Rapid Rewards credit card.
For the second year in a row, Southwest tops TripAdvisor’s Flyers’ Favorite Airlines list. With many airlines cutting amenities these days, Southwest seems to be dedicated to making travel just a little easier and more comfortable. Top amenities include:
- Free inflight entertainment: Access free movies, live TV, and music.
- Gate-to-gate WiFi for $8 a day: High-bandwidth applications and website are prohibited.
- Free messaging: Send free messages with WhatsApp and iMessage.
- More legroom: The most legroom in their fleet.
- Two free bags: Take advantage of this freebie and pack an empty bag for your souvenirs.
- No hidden fees: No change fees to switch your reservation.
With all of that said, there are two important things to note when it comes to Southwest Hawaiian flights. First, they don’t fly pets. Customers with disabilities and emotional support dogs and cats are the exceptions, but they do require prior paperwork. Second, you will not be able to charge your devices on the flight, so make sure to do so in the terminal.
Additional Tips to Make Your Hawaiian Vacation Amazing
First time to the islands? Vacationing in Hawaii is truly a tropical paradise, melting your worries away the second your bare feet hit the sand. Here are a few savvy tips to keep in mind when planning your trip:
- Expect a long flight: From the west coast, it takes five to seven hours to get to the islands. Flying from the east coast can mean a 10+ hour trip, not including layovers.
- Food is pricey: Whether you are eating out or shopping for groceries, food in Hawaii is expensive. If your hotel room is near a Costco, take advantage of their low prices. Even in Hawaii, you can find $4.99 rotisserie chickens and $1.50 hot dog combos.
- Build your trip around free experiences: Many of the best island experiences are free. Pay your respect to Pearl Harbor with a free ticket to the USS Arizona Memorial or stroll the black sand beaches of Waiʻanapanapa State Park in Maui.
If this news has you ready to pack your swimsuit, set a Deal Alert for Southwest to get notified of flight sales and point deals to save the most on your upcoming trip.