Southwest Airlines has been wanting to fly into Hawaii for some time. It looks like it may be happening as early as this winter, according to a recent interview with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly.
The start date of service has yet to be announced, but according to the interview, Kelly said the airline is “ready to roll” within weeks, not months, once the Federal Aviation Administration gives the go-ahead.
The first nonstop routes will depart from California cities including Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento and directly arrive in one of four Hawaiian cities: Honolulu (Oahu), Kahului (Maui), Kona (Island of Hawaii) and Lihue (Kauai).
Passengers coming from around the U.S. will have to connect in one of the four California cities. Flights to other islands will be available through codeshare agreements.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
The “Southwest effect”
Even if passengers don’t choose to fly Southwest Airlines, they could still benefit from the new flights.
The Southwest effect describes the price-drop in tickets caused by a low-cost carrier like Southwest entering a market. With Southwest opening up space in four Hawaiian cities, there’s a possibility Hawaiian ticket prices could dip because of the additional routes.
While this is great news for travelers, it is rarely a good idea to wait to book travel. If you’re planning to take a winter vacation to Hawaii, book as soon as possible to ensure you’re getting a fair price on airfare and hotel stays.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Which Southwest credit card should I get?
4 things the Southwest Rapid Rewards program gets right
9 ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use