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With its lush forests, endless beaches and tropical climate, Hawaii is a well-known vacation destination. The islands have plenty of connections to the mainland U.S., so it can be tough trying to decide which flights to choose. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines offers several nonstop flights from the West Coast to a variety of Hawaiian islands, giving you plenty of options for your next vacation.
Let’s take a look at Alaska flights to Hawaii, what the flights are like and how to find inexpensive tickets to get there.
Does Alaska fly to Hawaii?
Alaska is one of many airlines operating flights to Hawaii. It serves airports on four Hawaiian islands:
Hawaii: Kona International Airport (KOA)
Kauai: Lihue Airport (LIH)
Maui: Kahului Airport (OGG)
Oahu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
Getting to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland on Alaska
As Alaska is primarily a West Coast carrier, its nonstop flights to Hawaii all depart from cities near the Pacific coast, including:
San Jose, Calif.
The length of your flight will depend on your departure airport, but any nonstop Alaska flight to Hawaii will max out at just over six hours. Of course, if you’re not departing from one of these seven cities, your flight will include a connection and the total travel time will be longer.
Alaska flights within Hawaii
While Alaska Airlines does fly to several Hawaiian airports, it doesn’t fly between the islands. Its partner airlines in the Oneworld alliance don’t either, so if you want to island hop, you’ll need to look at one of three airlines that do so: Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Mokulele Airlines.
Which Hawaiian island should you choose?
Alaska has flights to four of Hawaii’s islands. Each island has its own character and attracts different kinds of travelers. Here are some details about each of Alaska’s destinations:
Hawaii: Less-visited than Maui and Oahu, the Big Island features Hawaii Volcanoes National Park amongst its unique landscapes.
Kauai: Lush greenery and "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific" are on offer on Kauai, where the Garden Island's nickname is well-earned.
Maui: If you’re looking for high-end hotels and scenic beaches, consider heading to Maui, where well-known options such as the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria dominate the landscape.
Oahu: Hawaii’s capital of Honolulu is situated on Oahu island. Here, you’ll also find Waikiki beach, famous for the ultimate mix of busy metropolitan area and enviable seascapes.
» Learn more: How to island hop in Hawaii
What an Alaska flight to Hawaii is like
Once you’ve decide where you’ll be going, it’s good to know what to expect on your flight to Hawaii. Unlike some of its U.S.-based competitors, Alaska doesn’t operate any aircraft with lie-flat seating. This means that on the six-hour flight to your destination, you’ll at best be able to recline — even in the first class cabin.
Your seat will differ depending on whether you’re traveling in first class or economy. Economy seats are set up in a 3x3 configuration, though you can choose to book Premium Class economy seats for four extra inches of legroom if you’d like. First Class seats, meanwhile, are in a 2x2 configuration, so you’re guaranteed either an aisle or window seat.
The food and beverage service you receive will depend on your cabin. Those traveling in economy class will need to pay for their food and alcoholic drinks, while first class passengers receive complimentary meals and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks are provided.
A choice of onboard food for purchase includes tapas packs, cheese platters and breakfast sandwiches.
Some meals must be pre-ordered at least 20 hours before your flight.
Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are provided.
Food purchase options are identical to standard economy class passengers.
Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included.
Complimentary appetizer, bread, butter, a hot entree and dessert.
Alaska Airlines doesn’t provide seatback entertainment, but it usually offers the ability to stream movies and tv shows on your personal device. You’ll need to connect to the onboard WiFi in order to do so. As of June 2022, 80% of Alaska’s fleet was equipped with WiFi — so there is a chance your aircraft may not yet be connected.
» Learn more: The best airlines for in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi
How to find cheap Alaska flights to Hawaii
To find Alaska flights to Hawaii, use the airline website's robust search engine. It allows you to search for availability a month at a time, so you can easily see when flights are cheaper or cost fewer miles.
Depending on if you choose to search for award flights or not, your results will show the price in dollars or miles.
Select multiple airports
You’ve probably heard that flexibility is key when it comes to booking cheap travel. Shifting your travel dates by a few days can save hundreds of dollars, while being flexible about your departure airport can help you find better flights. This can be especially true in large metropolitan areas that have multiple airports.
Let’s say you’re flying to Hawaii from northern California. Rather than simply selecting San Francisco as your departure airport, also check San Jose. It’s only 50 miles from San Francisco, and searching departures from both airports can double your flight options.
» Learn more: The best award flights to Hawaii
Book American Airlines flights using your Alaska miles
We’ve already mentioned that Alaska is a member of the Oneworld alliance, but so is American Airlines. This means that it’s possible to use your Alaska miles to book American flights to Hawaii — and it can be cheaper than using AAdvantage miles.
Here’s an award flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Maui, Hawaii in mid-November on American’s website.
As you can see, the flight — which has layovers in both Seattle and Phoenix — features a combination of segments operated by both Alaska and American. This flight costs 25,000 AAdvantage miles.
Here’s that same flight when booked with through Alaska’s website:
This flight costs $22,500 Mileage Plan miles. The amount you’ll pay will vary by date and route, but it’s always worth checking to see if you can mix carriers to save miles on your flights.
» Learn more: How to get started with frequent flyer programs
Alaska Airlines credit cards to help get you to Hawaii
Unlike competitors, Alaska doesn’t have multiple levels of co-branded credit cards. Instead, it offers a single consumer card and its small business counterpart:
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card: Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) and receive 40,000 bonus miles with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card: Get 70,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $4,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
Although these credit cards come with welcome offers, it’s important to be aware of some of the other features these cards offer. For example, Alaska’s companion fare gives you the ability to book a flight for a companion for just $99 plus taxes and fees, making your net out-of-pocket cost as little as $121.
This benefit is offered to you every year, as long as you remain a cardholder.
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
Important policies to be aware of
Due to Hawaii’s remote location, Alaska has a variety of special policies for flights to and from the islands:
Alaska allows passengers to bring a pet with them in the cabin, as long as specific requirements are met. All animals must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate or they will need to remain in quarantine on arrival at the owners’ expense. Alaska limits the pets that it will transport to cats and dogs; no other animals are eligible on flights to Hawaii.
You may also choose to travel with your pet as checked baggage, though there are additional limitations for this depending on what time of year you’re traveling.
» Learn more: The most pet-friendly airlines
Although Hawaii is a part of the U.S., it maintains its own unique ecosystem, and cross-contamination between the two landmasses is highly discouraged.
As a result, there are strict restrictions on the items you can bring back with you from Hawaii. For example, you can't fly back with:
Fresh fruits or vegetables, with some exceptions.
Berries of any kind.
Cactus plants or cactus plant parts.
Cotton or cotton balls.
Live insects and snails.
Seeds with fruit clinging and fresh seed pods.
Soil or any plants in soil.
» Learn more: Save on Hawaii travel even as demand soars
If you’re looking to visit Hawaii on Alaska Airlines
A vacation to Hawaii is on a lot of travelers’ wish lists — and for good reason. If you have Alaska miles or are looking to use your companion fare from your Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, there are several nonstop flights from the Pacific coast that can get you there. And if you want to transfer those miles to American, you’ll have even more flight options.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card