Posted by William Charles on October 11, 2017
Airline Rewards

Published on October 11th, 2017 | by William Charles


Southwest Airlines Announces They Will Fly To Hawaii

Southwest Airlines have just announced that they will be entering the Hawaiian market on Twitter. They did this by replying to a tweet from back in 2008. At the moment details are extremely scarce, but we will update this post as they come in.

Things to note:

  • They need approval from the FAA for extended flights over open water [ETOPS (Extended Twin Operations)]
  • No routes announced yet
  • Plan to sell tickets starting in 2018, but first flights might not launch until 2019. ““We wouldn’t be so bold as to say we’ll start flying in October or November or July of 2018 and not go through the FAA process,” “We know we’ll get through the FAA process in time to sell tickets next year, but until the FAA gives us better indications of the authorization timeline, we’re not going to speculate and put a date out there. This has been a long time coming so there’s no particular reason for us to rush it. For us, it’s more important to do it properly than doing it a certain date.” [Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson]
  • Boeing 737 MAX 8 (175 seat plane) will be used for the service as speculated
  • According to this LA times article Southwest will fly most of its routes from California to Kauai, Honolulu and the island of Hawaii (quoting Andrew Watterson in that article again). California confirmed here again
  • We anticipate fares will drop – Andrew Watterson

Hat tip to reader @bhuynh08

33 Responses to Southwest Airlines Announces They Will Fly To Hawaii

  1. John says:

    Any guesses on RR redemption costs?

  2. P says:

    Free checked in bags?
    Assigned seating?

  3. SB says:

    They flew to Hawaii for a short while years ago. It was not profitable for them and fares weren’t crazy cheap. Interested to see how round 2 works out. I really hope they are here to stay this time

    • SB says:

      Correction they had a codeshare with another airline. That airline folded. Nevertheless, I think that was the first time I had seen Hawaii flights actually sold on the southwest website.

    • Greg N says:

      They (Southwest) have never flown to Hawaii. Southwest bought the assets of ATA when they went into bankruptcy, and ATA used to fly to Hawaii, but that’s as close as they have been. As William points out in the things to note, they don’t even have ETOPS certification yet.

  4. tribesman55 says:

    Wait so they are flying to Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii but not Maui?

    • MoreSun says:

      Wondered the same thing. Watched Hawaii fares last year from CA and the consistent sales were West Coast- Honolulu or Maui. Maybe, it’s possible Maui has reached some sort of maxed out / too much competition level compared to the other islands and wouldn’t be as profitable? Also possible they just forgot to mention it I guess. It will be interesting to see what routes they start selling next year for sure! Even slightly lower prices and free checked bag? YES PLEASE!

  5. A says:

    If only Southwest allowed you to pick seats, then I’d be all for it. Unfortunately, being stuck in a window or middle seat for a 5 hour flight makes this a complete no-go (and a no-go for other folks with back pain/injuries). Wish Southwest was accommodated folks with medical needs, unfortunately they seem to be deluded into thinking that not having assigned seats is good, which really confounds me.

    • AL says:

      They do. During ticketing you can disclose your need for medical accommodation. Also, anyone can pay $15 extra for early bird check-in.

      • tennismenace3 says:

        Or you can simply check in as early as possible. Set a reminder on your phone. You’ll always be able to get an aisle seat with no issues.

  6. Andrew says:

    Seattle, please!!!

  7. Justin says:

    Fantastic news! Too bad they didn’t give an exact date.

  8. Steve says:

    Worthless if they don’t offer a direct flight out of Chicago

  9. projectx says:

    YES! As awesome as this is, it also makes me wonder what else might be coming. South America routes on the horizon too? Let’s hope.

  10. Beth says:

    all their longer flights have the issue of bathrooms— as in there are not enough on the plane — two for 175 people for 5 hours is tough —so make sure you restrict your fluid intake

    • Jake P says:

      Several of WN’s newer planes have three lavs–two in the back and one up front.

      • Beth says:

        That’s good news, I’ve not yet seen one with three lavs. Certainly no guarantee you’ll get one. Not a big deal, but I’ve seen some cranky passengers on trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, and from east to west coast.
        Any way to find out ahead of time whether the equipment would make it handy to bring along your leg bag or pee cup?

  11. Steve says:

    @Beth, pee cups.

  12. 5150 says:

    COMPANION PASS !!!!!! Luv it.

  13. NinjaX says:

    this has been in the pipeline for a long ass time. everyone has been waiting. game changer dude.

  14. Tammy Richards says:

    I for one can’t wait, as I’m planning on taking all 11 of my family to Hawaii, in 2019, so can I just say more than 1 companion pass, YES!

  15. Ms. G says:

    That just made getting a companion pass priority in late 2018!

  16. VL says:

    That makes a CP even sweeter… $11.20 for round trip for companion, with 2 free bags per person, with fully cancellable and refundable tickets? Good luck to beat that!

    BTW – no assigned seats for families with kids are actually better then assigned – such families are always boarded between groups A & B regardless. And if you must have a seat selection then $15 extra per ticket for auto-early-checkin is reasonable.

  17. Chao says:

    Pretty sure LAX has all flights to HI since terminal 1 will be finished at renovation in 2018!

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