A Guide to United Flights to Hawaii

United flies nonstop to five airports in Hawaii from eight departure cities on the West and East coasts.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Updated

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Whether you’re looking to escape the snow or want a relaxing spring break vacation, Hawaii may be on your list for a sunny getaway. If you prefer to travel with United Airlines, then you may be wondering “Are there United flights to Hawaii?” Happily, for United Airlines loyalists, the airline operates a wide network of routes to the Hawaiian Islands, with departure options from both the West and East coasts.

Let’s take a look at the details about United’s flights to Hawaii.

The economy seats on a United flight to Hawaii. (Photo by Sally French)

Does United fly direct to Hawaii?

It sure does; you can fly nonstop to Hawaii from eight different airports.

United serves five airports within Hawaii:

  • Honolulu.

  • Hilo.

  • Kauai.

  • Kona.

  • Maui.

Getting to Hawaii on United

As we mentioned above, you can fly to Hawaii from eight different points within the U.S. including locations on both coasts:

  • Chicago-O’Hare.

  • Denver.

  • Houston-Intercontinental.

  • Los Angeles-LAX.

  • New York-Newark

  • Orange County.

  • San Francisco.

  • Washington-Dulles.

Flight times vary depending on your departure airport, but can be anywhere from just under six hours from the West Coast to more than eleven hours on the East Coast.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Nonstops from New York-Newark to Honolulu are in operation until April 2024. The route may return as a winter-only service in the future.

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United interisland flights in Hawaii

While United doesn’t operate any interisland flights, it does have an agreement with Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to redeem your United MileagePlus miles for flights.

What the flight is like

Since flights can take longer than ten hours when flying from the East Coast, United operates a variety of aircraft on these routes.

In-flight seating

The type of seat configuration you’ll find depends on your departure airport. On some of the longest routes, such as the eleven-hour journey from Newark to Maui, you’ll be able to book the much sought-after United Polaris pods. You can also find Premium Plus seating in addition to the standard Economy Plus and Economy seats.

In contrast, shorter routes, such as those taking off from California, will usually feature a two-cabin configuration with United’s domestic first class product.

In-flight refreshments

The types of refreshments you’ll receive on your flight will depend on your cabin class and departure airport.

Among the nonalcoholic complimentary beverage options is a pineapple and passionfruit sparkling water. (Photo by Sally French)

Economy class:

  • Los Angeles and San Francisco to Hawaii: The free stuff is pretty meager. You'll have your choice of the usual United snack suspects, such as chocolate quinoa crisp bars of mini fruit bars. Luckily, the flight attendants are usually pretty generous and will offer you a couple. There's also the standard nonalcoholic drink offerings for free. If you want something more substantial, alcohol and more robust snacks are available for purchase.

  • Newark, Chicago-O’Hare and Washington-Dulles to Honolulu and Maui: For these longer flights, you'll get a full entrée, including sides, a dessert and a snack. Additional food is also available for purchase.

  • Denver and Houston-Intercontinental to Maui and Honolulu: Given the medium length of these flights, you'll get something better than the packaged snacks, but not quite as substantial as a hot meal. Expect a cold sandwich and a snack. Additional food is also available for purchase.

(Photo by Sally French)

Premium cabins:

  • All flights: Entrée, salad, mixed nuts, bread, ice cream with a wrapped cookie and a pre-arrival snack.

In-flight entertainment

There are no seat back screens in the economy seats on west coast routes, but there are power outlets below your seats to keep your devices charged. Wi-Fi is available for purchase, but movies are free. (Photo by Sally French)

No matter your seat, you’ll always have access to United’s Private Screening service. This service brings movies, TV shows and other programming to your personal device as well as any available seat-back systems.

Most United flights to Hawaii also offer a power outlet below your seat (yes, that's a full outlet and not just a USB port) to keep your devices charged throughout the long flight.

🤓Nerdy Tip

United usually offers in-flight Wi-Fi, but warns that you may have limited or no connectivity on routes to Hawaii.

How to find cheap United flights to Hawaii

It’s not difficult to parse out United flights in searches. Common aggregators such as Google Flights and Expedia show United’s flights in search results.

However, you’ll want to be careful when choosing to book via a third party. In the case of changes or delays, having booked directly with an airline can make your situation much easier to resolve.

Be flexible about travel dates

Probably one of the most commonly touted pieces of advice when it comes to flights is the need for flexibility. This is especially true for Hawaii as it faces huge fluctuations in costs during its high and low seasons.

United allows you to search for flights one month at a time using the flexible dates feature. To do this, you’ll check the box marked “Flexible Dates” on your search, then choose your month of travel.

Flight costs can fluctuate by hundreds of dollars depending on the day, so you’ll want to investigate thoroughly before booking.

And consider what you're looking for in a Hawaiian vacation, whether it's whale-watching, swimming or getting in the Mele Kalikimaka spirit. Depending on your goals, there's a different best time to visit Hawaii for everyone.

Look beyond United

There are plenty of airlines flying to Hawaii, including American Airlines, Alaska, Delta and Southwest. Rates for your flights can vary depending on your departure airport and each airlines’ hub. You’ll want to check out each airline and its rates before booking, especially since competitors such as Southwest Airlines offer free checked baggage and no cancellation fees — something United doesn't.

United MileagePlus credit cards to help get you to Hawaii

United Gateway Card
NerdWallet rating 

United has a handful of co-branded credit cards that can help you get on your way to Hawaii. Along with the ability to earn United MileagePlus miles, these cards can offer benefits such as free checked bags, priority boarding and airport lounge access. Here are the available cards and their welcome bonuses.

  • United Gateway℠ Card: Limited-time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.

  • United℠ Explorer Card: Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Quest℠ Card: Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Club℠ Infinite Card: Limited-time offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • United℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • United Club℠ Business Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

With round-trip flights to Hawaii for just over 21,000 United miles, it’s easy to get you — and your friends or family — to Hawaii.

Important policies to be aware of

United’s standard flight policies are generally the same when flying to Hawaii, though you’ll be subject to additional restrictions based on Hawaii’s laws.

Pets

United will not allow in-cabin pets on any flights to, through or from Hawaii. This rule doesn’t apply to service animals, though you’ll want to be aware of Hawaii’s restrictions regarding entry for service animals.

Luggage restrictions

Most of the fresh fruits and vegetables you’ve been enjoying in Hawaii won’t be permitted back home. Here are some common items that you’re prohibited from putting in your bag:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, with some exceptions.

  • Seeds with fruit clinging and fresh seed pods.

  • Berries of any kind, including fresh coffee berries and sea grapes.

  • Soil or any plants in soil.

  • Cactus plants or cactus plant parts.

  • Sugarcane.

  • Mock orange.

  • Live insects and snails.

Which Hawaiian island should you choose?

The view of Waikiki from Diamond Head State Monument on Oahu. (Photo by Sally French)

United operates flights to four different Hawaiian islands, and the one you’ll want to visit will depend on your travel needs.

  • Oahu: The home of Honolulu, the state’s capital, is a bustling place. You’ll be able to visit major historical landmarks such as Pearl Harbor in addition to enjoying famous Waikiki beaches.

  • Hawaii: The largest of Hawaii’s islands and commonly referred to as the Big Island, here you’ll find sprawling lava fields. Nestled among the coasts are a number of resorts, including those from popular chains such as Marriott and Hilton.

  • Maui: Are you looking for the ultimate in beach relaxation? There’s a reason Maui is Hawaii’s second-most visited island. Although expensive, you can find hotels such as the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, and the Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort — a concept by Hyatt.

  • Kauai: Known as the Garden Isle thanks to its lush scenery, Kauai also features the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, as well as secluded beaches, excellent dining and plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. NerdWallet considers Kauai to be the best Hawaiian island for first-timers.

The information related to United Club℠ Business Card ($450 annual fee) has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


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