In a highly anticipated move, Southwest Airlines began selling tickets to Hawaii today.
The airline will fly to the islands of Oahu, Maui and Hawaii from several airports in California. Service to the island of Kauai is “coming soon,” according to the airline’s website.
Even if you’re not in California, this could be a more economical option for getting to our 50th state, given Southwest’s large network of connecting markets.
Flights to Hawaii start at just $49. The carrier’s two-free checked bags policy and transparent pricing is a boon for travelers looking to save money.
Southwest Airlines begins service to Hawaii
Money expert Clark Howard has been saying for a while now that this move would be a game-changer for anyone looking to travel to Hawaii.
“We’re going to see deals to Hawaii month after month after month because everybody’s jockeying for position,” Clark said in a recent Facebook Live. Clark says that both Hawaiian Airlines and Alaskan Airlines will feel immediate effects from Southwest’s entry into the Hawaiian market.
What Hawaii islands does Southwest fly to?
Southwest is flying to several Hawaii destinations, including:
- Oahu: Nonstop service starts March 17.
- Maui: Nonstop service starts April 7.
- Kona, Hawaii (The Big Island): Nonstop service starts May 12.
The Dallas-based airline had to perform rigorous tests as part of the government’s approval process to the island state.
Southwest flew a test flight from Oakland, California, to Honolulu as part of its authorization process with federal aviation officials, an airline spokesman told Team Clark last month.
“When we pass those to the satisfaction of the FAA, we will be allowed to schedule the ETOPS procedures validation flights,” he said.
Southwest caused a stir among fliers last year when it announced in an investor report that “Hawaii remains our expansion focus, and our goal is to begin selling tickets later this year.”
If you’re looking for a tropical island vacation and have always dreamed of visiting America’s 50th state, there’s no better time than now to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii.
How to save money on Southwest Airlines
- Sign up for Rapid Rewards: This frequent flyer program can allow you to save money (and eventually earn free flights) if you accumulate enough points. You earn one point for each dollar you spend.
- Join Click ‘N Save: Southwest’s email newsletter shows you special deals. The website has a link to special deals, but it redirects you to an email sign-up page. You’ll need to subscribe to see the deals.
Here are some more travel-related articles you might enjoy from Clark.com:
- See the full list of U.S. airlines ranked from best to worst!
- The best way to get a human on the line for airline customer service
- This handy tool is what the pros use to find cheap flights
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