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Hawaiian Airlines to Introduce Main Cabin Basic Fares

Dec. 28, 2018
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
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How would you like a flight where you can’t pick your seat, you get no free checked bag, you board the plane last, and you have zero options for refunds, changes or flying standby?

Don’t answer that until you hear this one last little detail: The plane is going to Hawaii.

The dream destination topping so many bucket lists is about to get a little closer to within reach as Hawaiian Airlines prepares to roll out its new Main Cabin Basic fares in 2019. The airline is following in the footsteps of others that, in recent years, have discovered there’s a demand for big savings from travelers willing to sacrifice certain comforts and conveniences.

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A no-frills fare

Hawaiian isn’t saying how much you’ll save. But if the basic economy offerings rolled out in recent years by Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and others are any guides, we might venture to make a few predictions.

Delta’s Basic Economy fares from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii can save you about 20% a seat in Delta’s Main Cabin. The same is true for Alaska Airlines, whose Saver fares are about 20% cheaper than the main cabin.

Seats for Hawaiian’s Main Cabin Basic passengers will be assigned by the airline at check-in. Flyers can bring a carry-on bag and a personal item for free but have to pay to check a bag — the same rules that apply to Hawaiian’s Main Cabin passengers.

HawaiianMiles members will continue to earn 1 mile for every mile flown, but Pualani Elite members, who normally get bonus miles, won’t get those bonus miles when they fly in basic. No changes to the reservation can be made after booking.

But one rare benefit of flying Hawaiian will still apply: A free meal for everyone on board. Soft drinks and in-flight entertainment will be complimentary, as well, making that middle seat headed to paradise a little more appealing.

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