Southwest announced today that they have applied to connect the following mainland airports:
- San Diego/SAN
- San Jose/SJC
With the following Hawaiian airports and islands:
- Honolulu, Oahu/HNL
- Kahului, Maui/OGG
- Kona, Hawaii/KOA
- Lihue, Kauai/LIH
Southwest hopes to start service later this year and I’d expect to see some great introductory prices when that happens. Somewhat surprisingly, Southwest will not be serving Los Angeles to Hawaii, at least initially. Then again, LA already has a lot of Hawaii service and Southwest probably wants to avoid a massive fare war there.
Southwest also said that they will continue to build up their Hawaii network and they would love to start offering interisland service by the end of 2019. Currently, Hawaiian Airlines has a near-monopoly on most interisland routes, so adding Southwest service should cause those prices to plummet.
Southwest flies nonstop from Newark to Oakland and San Diego and from Baltimore and Orlando to all 4 of the mainland cities above, so hopefully connections there to Hawaii will be possible.
The launch of Southwest service to Hawaii is a great thing. They offer 2 free checked bags per passenger, which is perfect for kosher travelers who bring their own food with them. They also allow free changes and even offer refunds if the cost of your flight decreases. You can transfer Chase points to Southwest instantly and you can cancel tickets and redeposit your points without any charge!
Best of all, if you earn 110K Southwest points in a calendar year you’ll earn a companion pass that allows you to bring a companion with you for free whenever you fly Southwest, even if you are flying on a free ticket! There is no limit to the number of free companion flights that you can take and the pass is valid until the end of the following calendar year.
Earnings from credit card signups and credit card spending (though not point transfers) count towards that, so you can open a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card to earn 60K points to get you more than halfway there. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
Chase no longer allows you to signup for a consumer Southwest card if you already have one, but you can signup for a business Southwest card even if you have a consumer Southwest card open.
The signup bonuses for the consumer cards are back down to 40K from the 50K limited time offer, though if you do apply you can ask to be matched to the 50K offer.
Will you fly Southwest to Hawaii?