I’ve flown to Hawaii 8 times since my first trip out there when I posted and grabbed a deal paying just $87 for airfare and hotel. It’s one of my favorite places to travel within the US.
Every trip to Hawaii has involved leaving early in the morning and arriving into Hawaii in the afternoon. It’s a lot of flying and I’ve often wondered why there aren’t redeye options that would allow me to sleep on the plane.
United plans on investing $200 million into Hawaii airports and they will shake up their schedules. United is the largest carrier into Hawaii and has been expanding service there.
“The carrier is shifting schedules to make it easier to connect to Hawaii via its seven domestic hub cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, New York, Houston and Washington, Munoz said. United plans to shift scheduling at hubs so consumers can leave the mainland overnight and get to Hawaii in the morning. The carrier is expected to launch a major scheduling change at its Denver hub in February to allow for shorter connections between flights to Hawaii.”
Here are United’s current flight times from the mainland (east of California) to Hawaii on 1/6:
- Newark-Honolulu: 8:30am-2:49pm
- Washington/IAD-Honolulu: 8:40am-2:21pm
- Houston-Honolulu: 9:40am-2:23pm
- Chicago-Honolulu: 10:00am-3:30pm
- Chicago-Maui: 10:10am-3:41pm
- Denver-Honolulu: 11:30am-4:11pm
- Denver-Kona: 11:50am-4:44pm
- Denver-Maui: 11:50am-4:48pm
- Denver-Kauai: 11:55am-4:54pm
A redeye flight could work for any of those. A Newark-Honolulu flight leaving at midnight would arrive into Honolulu at 6:20am. You could then connect to any of the other Hawaiian Islands.
The real question is what will such a shift mean for their return flights. Currently the return flights head back to the mainland as redeye flights.
Will United keep their aircraft on the ground in Hawaii for a redeye return? It’s not great for aircraft utilization, but they do it in markets like South America where all of the demand is for redeyes in both directions.
Or will they have morning return flights from Hawaii to the mainland?
Personally I’d love to see redeye flights as options in both directions, but they may be too costly for United.
Could United pull off both daytime and redeye flights to and from Hawaii? It’s possible to try it from different hubs, but it’s hard to see United adding capacity like that from a far-flung hub like Newark.
Of course with Southwest joining the Hawaii market next year, we can expect more changes to come as well.
Would you prefer a daytime flight or a redeye flight to and from Hawaii?