Southwest Announces Their Initial Mainland-Hawaii Routes; Interisland Service On The Horizon As Well!

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Southwest announced today that they have applied to connect the following mainland airports:

  • Oakland/OAK
  • Sacramento/SMF
  • 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.

Read more about Southwest and these card offers in this post.

Always a good day in Maui #MauiNoKaOi

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Will you fly Southwest to Hawaii?

HT: shaulyaakov, via DDF

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30 Comments On "Southwest Announces Their Initial Mainland-Hawaii Routes; Interisland Service On The Horizon As Well!"

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John

Secure windows to HNL?

Ha

Curious what in flight services they’ll offer as far as entertainment for a long haul flight. Their current flights use personal device (over WiFi) but the question is, whether they’ll still be available over the ocean with their current WiFi capabilities

@therealtruth

Aren’t you curious if the windows will stay intact ?

YB

This the much better question. You can’t really rerouted over the pacific.

farmbochur

Seems weird that they’d choose those cities over MDW or LAX

@therealtruth

New Service : Convertible Planes all through Northern America – you can finally fly with a breath a fresh air.

Aaron

How long does a SW consumer card have to be closed for before reapplying?

Mell

Any speculation when the flights will start?

Also is there any info on additional flights to Mexico and Caribbean?

Work-for-ur-muny

What’s the story with the SW business card in regards to counting toward and/or subject to 5/24?
Thanks

DaveC

Dan, one of my coworkers saw you at Andaz Maui last year. She said her husband talked to you quite a bit in the hot tub! LOL

Jacob

“They also … offer refunds if the cost of your flight decrease”

Isn’t this in the form of SW credit?
Not exactly a “refund”…

SREPW

“Best of all, if you earn 110K Southwest points in a year you 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!”

Pls make clear that this is a CALENDAR YEAR and not 365 days. I unfortunately made that mistake

PM

Competition is always welcome here. Good for us in the SJC area.

Ari

Any guesses as to when they will start selling tickets? Going to Lihue in January and I am anxious to book.

RAFI

You said there fly EWR-SAN. As far as I know that is seasonal, during summer travel. Has that changed to full service around the year?

reb yid

Still no advance seat selection, even for long flights, huh?

Jeremy

While I completely understand WN not flying out of LAX because of competition, I don’t understand why they chose 2 Bay Area Airports and none in the LA area. While LAX is certainly their largest destination in the area, they fly to ONT, SNA, and BUR. I imagine they could probably get quite a few incentives out of ONT. Obviously routes to ONT are much more limited than LAX. Also, I would’ve thought LAS would be a better choice rather than SMF, because SMF to OAK isn’t too bad a drive. LAS has pretty limited flights to Hawaii, and it’s already a WN hub. The same argument could be made for PHX.

Bob

It’s obvious that Southwest does not want to compete on Hawaii routes with American, United, and Delta. Most passengers will choose cattle-car service on long-haul flights only if the fare is significantly lower, or the only alternative is a connection.

Competing nonstop airlines to Honolulu from:

Sacramento: Hawaiian
San Diego: Hawaiian and Alaska
San Jose: Hawaiian and Alaska
Oakland: Hawaiian and Alaska

Southwest figures it will not get into a fare war with Hawaiian and Alaska. Those airlines will offer better service; Southwest will offer lower fares and maybe better timetables. My guess is that Southwest might start LA-area service from Ontario, where landing fees are 24% lower than at LAX. There are no nonstops from HNL to ONT.

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