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Southwest Airlines will officially provide flights between Oakland, California, and Honolulu starting on Sunday, March 17th. Introductory fares as low as $49 for one-way tickets were available this morning, but sold out extremely quickly due to high demand and the fact that they only operate these routes one to two times a day each way.
Even if you missed out on the lowest rates, there's still cause to celebrate as the popular Wanna Get Away fares from Southwest are surely going to return again this year as they open up additional locations flying to Hawaii. Soon you'll be able to fly from San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento with destinations including Kahului, Lihue and Kona.
Not to mention, other airlines are going to have to compete with even Southwest's full-price tickets, which looks to land around $170 one-way from Oakland. A 2017 study from the University of Virginia found that average one-way fares drop $45 in markets where Southwest provides non-stop service. It's called the "Southwest Effect." That means we could start seeing lower prices from competing airlines that service Hawaii (like Alaska and Hawaiian).
Additionally, Southwest plans to offer intra-island flights by April 28th. Travelers will be able to fly from Honolulu to Kahului (and Honolulu and Kona by May 12th) for as little as $29.
This is especially great news for those who earned a Southwest Companion Pass for 2019. Even if you miss out on the big initial discounts, you're still getting a two-for-one deal with the Companion Pass. In fact, one lucky traveler in our forums used 20,000 points plus their companion pass to get two roundtrip flights for only $40.
Slickdealer neo22999 summed up the impact of this news perfectly, reminding us that "this is only the start of southwest deals... [o]nce they open up more routes/times and locations these deals will continue."
Get Free A-List Status from Southwest
Southwest is also offering free A-List status for some Rapid Rewards members (it's free to sign up). If you qualify, all you have to do is take three round-trip flights or earn 8,750 tier qualifying points by May 31st, 2019.
A-List offers travelers perks like a dedicated member phone line, priority boarding and a 25% rewards earning bonus. Check out all the benefits and details here.
To find out if you're eligible, go to the "My Rapid Rewards" area of your account and check the "Promotions" section. You should be able to activate the offer from there. It's a total no-brainer if you fly Southwest even semi-regularly.
Lastly, set a Deal Alert with us to keep up with the best travel deals from Southwest and others!
Special thanks to neo22999 for posting the original deal thread.
Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant’s site before making a purchase.
Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at time of publish, and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant’s site before making a purchase.