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Top Southwest News You Need to Know: Wi-Fi, New Planes, SNL…and Hawaii?

Top Southwest News You Need to Know: Wi-Fi, New Planes, SNL…and Hawaii?

Go to Travel GalTop Southwest News You Need to Know: Wi-Fi, New Planes, SNL…and Hawaii?Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Lyn writes about Southwest on her GotoTravelGal.com blog and has written a free guide that walks you step-by-step through how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  Right now is the BEST time to earn the pass that lets someone fly nearly free with you because you can do it with just 2 credit card sign-ups AND it will be good until the end of 2019!

I’ve asked Lyn to share the latest Southwest news!

Lyn:   Southwest had a busy 2017, adding new planes, new destinations, and announcing they would begin flying to Hawaii – news that I know has all of us excited!

Southwest News February 2018
Here’s the Hottest News About Southwest! Will You Be Able to Fly to Hawaii This Year?

I’ll share with you the airline’s latest developments over the last month or 2 that impact frequent travelers.

Southwest News February 2018

Last year, Southwest introduced new destinations like Turks & Caicos and Grand Cayman, added gorgeous new Boeing planes to their fleet, implemented a new reservations system, and did you know all Southwest planes are now Wi-Fi enabled? (Of course, if the Wi-Fi is working is another story.)

Here’s what’s new and upcoming!

1.   Flights to Hawaii

Last fall, Southwest announced they would officially fly to Hawaii.  That was music to many an ear!  But we were subsequently disappointed to learn last December that it would not be happening in time for spring or summer travels in 2018.  I think many of us had envisioned our summer vacation hula dancing. 😉

Southwest News February 2018
Yours Truly on My First Trip to Hawaii in 4th Grade

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has been sharing information about Hawaii plans bit by bit.  And just last week, he indicated the goal is to fly to Hawaii by the end of the year, but that it hinges on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval.  Hurry up, FAA!

I’m super excited at the prospect of using our Southwest Companion Pass to fly 1 person free with us to Hawaii.  I was lucky enough to visit as a child, but haven’t made it back since.

We also know the first flights will be from the California coast.  In that area, Southwest currently flies from San Francisco, Oakland, Burbank, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.

Southwest also announced this month they will add Everett, Washington, a Seattle suburb, as a new destination.

2.   Lots of New Planes

Have you flown on one of Southwest’s new MAX 8 planes?  I haven’t been lucky enough to fly the MAX 8 (I have flown the MAX 7), but several of my readers have sent me photos!

The airline added 14 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes to its fleet in 2017, retiring some aircraft that needed to be sent to greener pastures – you know the ones. 😉  These new beauties have LED lights inside that set quite a lovely mood, and they will be used for the upcoming Hawaii flights.

Southwest News February 2018
The LED Lights on the New Southwest MAX 8 Planes Are Gorgeous!

After the tax cut was announced late last year, the airline announced plans to invest in even more Boeing MAX 8 planes in the next several years.  That means more brand new planes for us to enjoy!

Also, with these additions, Southwest now officially has a fully Wi-Fi-enabled fleet.  Hooray!  Here’s how to use Southwest Wi-Fi.

And here’s a video about the new planes:


 

3.   New Reservations System Problems

In the spring, Southwest put a new reservations system in place to help increase their flight flexibility, change fares, and improve rebooking.  But it seems as with everything technical, there are some glitches.

A Dallas Morning News article said there had been 5 technical outages since August, and Southwest is demanding that the vendor correct the issues.  The outages apparently kept customers from accessing Southwest’s reservations system online.

4.   Best Time to Get the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   These Increased Public Offers Could Cut Your Southwest Travel Expenses in Half!

Right now is the BEST TIME to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!  With the current Chase Southwest card bonus offers, you can earn all 110,000 qualifying Southwest points you need to get the pass with just 2 card sign-ups – 1 personal and 1 small business card.

Southwest News February 2018
Right Now Is the Ideal Time to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

Plus, the pass is good from the time you earn it until the END of the following year, so the earlier you earn it, the longer you will be able to use it.  Early in the year is a GREAT time to secure the pass, because that makes it valid for almost 2 FULL years!

5.   SNL Gets the Last Laugh

Did you happen to catch the Saturday Night Live skit last weekend about Southwest flight attendants? If not, enjoy:


 

Bottom Line

With new planes, plenty of Wi-Fi, and our eyes set on Hawaii, here’s to a great 2018 flying Southwest – especially for those with the Companion Pass.  And now is a great time to earn it if you don’t already have one!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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IT YOU JOIN THE KOREAN AIR PROGRAM AND SEND YOUR CHASE MILES OR WHAT EVER YOU HAVE TO THEM. . . YOU CAN BOOK A ROUND TRIP TO WHERE DELTAR FLYS (THEIR PARTNER) FOR ONLY 25,000! WE COULD MAKE A FIT FOR OUR HOTEL DEAL WE HAD BUT THEY PUT US ON ALASKA FOR ONLY 30,000! SO TIL ALL OUR DREAMS COME TRUE. . AND SW STARTS TAKING US WHERE WE WANT TO GO. . JST GET A FLT FROM KOREAN AIR. AND I’LL TELL YOU I JST GOT BACK A WEEK OR SO AGO. . AND WE LOVED IT. . IT WAS THE SECOND TIME WE BOOKED THROUGH KE. AND THE PEOPLE IN HI ARE REALLY WANTING SW TO HURRY AND GET THERE CAUSE THEY ARE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT SERVICE THEY ARE GETTING FROM THE LOCAL AIRLINES!!!

I have been a loyal follower of MMS for years and have referred countless people. I can’ t figure out why the writer of this article thinks that a tasteless SNL tirade against religion has anything to do with Southwest flying to Hawaii. All it does is insult the 70% of the population that believe in God. Please stick to travel and keep your personal politics to the proper venues.

The delay in SW getting their Hawaii service has pretty much scrapped my plans for celebrating my wife and I’s 10th Anniversary.

Plan B is likely to spend a few days in a couple different cities. The Companion Pass will come in handy either way…

> I’m super excited at the prospect of using our Southwest Companion Pass to fly 1 person free with us to Hawaii.

Yep – why they really had better get it working by the end of the year, since I have the companion pass for this year and not after that, at least not yet. Be pretty ridiculous if they don’t, since that was originally the whole point, it seemed like.

I agree! I’m a little frustrated because I got the Southwest card for the instant Companion Pass for CA residents, with the hopes of going to Hawaii in August. So that just changed my birthday plans. It seemed like the whole point of that promotion was to use it for Hawaii.