Hawaii Flights Getting Cheaper: High-Five and Hang-Loose Sign to Southwest Airlines! Here’s What Happening And How to Take Advantage

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INSIDER SECRET: The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to bring a friend or family member with you every single time you fly Southwest. It’s not just a single-use benefit! You can read here about the Southwest Companion Pass.

The Southwest effect is in full swing in another popular destination!

Here’s a free tip for you going forward as we watch Southwest continue to increases its army of winged moneysavers. Pay close attention to the areas in which Southwest expands, even if you never fly them. That’s because any destination with Southwest’s fingerprints becomes a lot cheaper to reach with other airlines, too! For a while, at least.

Southwest is a disrupter in the airline industry. The latest example is Hawaii, where their aspirations are ever-growing. You can currently fly to three Hawaiian airports, but Southwest will expand that to five in the near future. And via the Dallas Business Journal, inter-island flight prices are plummeting, too!

Southwest has caused inter-island flights to sharply decrease. My flight from Kahului to Honolulu a couple years ago was nearly double the price. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Southwest Steals Business from Hawaiian Airlines

When Southwest expands, you win. They’ve got a knack for lowering airline prices throughout the industry, because if other airlines don’t match their prices, their business will suffer big time.

We’ve already seen super low fares from lots of airlines when Southwest first began its service to Hawaii. Now, they’re forcing inter-island fares to decrease, too. With Southwest, you can currently fly between:

  • Oahu and Maui
  • Maui and Kona
  • Oahu and Kona

This is quite a shock to the senses for Hawaiian Airlines. These are flights that they’ve virtually monopolized for years and years.

Before Southwest began service to Hawaii, these flights had decreased in price 3% year-over-year. After Southwest began service, the prices are now 16.2% lower year-over-year.

When Southwest published fares between islands for as little as $29, that set the tone for a particularly bloody fare war. It probably won’t last forever, but it’s great for you and me while it’s around!

Ride the Wave of Cheap Fares While They Last

When Southwest flights are extra cheap, their award fares are extra cheap, too. That’s because Southwest prices their award seats based on the cash price of the seat.

For example, there are MONTHS of $39 fares between Maui and Honolulu, or 2,105 Southwest points and $5.60 in taxes. I took this same flight on Hawaiian Airlines a couple years ago and paid $71 for that flight on Hawaiian Airlines. Now, it’s hard to find a Hawaiian Airlines ticket for more than $49 for this route. Thanks, Southwest!

There are tons of ways book award flights to Hawaii. Southwest is one of our favorites, though, primarily because of the Southwest Companion Pass. Literally every time you fly Southwest, you can bring a friend or family member for just the cost of taxes and fees. It’s the greatest travel perk out there, no contest.

My wife and I have the Companion Pass, which cuts our Southwest travel costs (almost) in half.

You can also earn scads of Southwest points by opening a card like Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card. It comes with 70,000 Southwest points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. That’s worth roughly $1,050 in Southwest flights based on our valuations!

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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