Southwest Airlines is expected to announce schedules for its new Hawaii service this week. Brace yourselves for a fare war.
Southwest already has a dedicated page on its website for Hawaii and hints that a service announcement is imminent.
Initial service to the islands will begin from:
- Oakland (OAK)
- Sacramento (SMF)
- San Diego (SAN)
- San Jose (SJC)
Southwest will serve the following Hawaiian destinations:
- Honolulu (HNL)
- Kona (KOA)
- Lihue (LIH)
- Maui (OGG)
Southwest will also operate inter-island flights. The new routes are subject to government approval.
Earlier this week, Southwest sent a successful test flight to Honolulu.
You see that? That’s what it looks like when a Southwest bird lands in Hawaii!
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) February 6, 2019
The Coming Fare War
Southwest will go head-to-head with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines on several routes and also challenge legacy carriers operating out of larger hub airports nearby. Southwest usually introduces exceptional introductory prices, so expect prices to drop in the days ahead. In fact, prices have already dropped a bit today in anticipation of the Southwest announcement.
Thus, even if you are not looking to fly to Hawaii on Southwest we will likely see great deals on Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United in the days ahead. Start thinking about potential travel dates now.
Long-term, I don’t expect Southwest to make a permanent dent on pricing. Already we see that “I’ll just buy a cheap flight on Southwest” is no longer really a reality. On the contrary, Southwest is often more expensive than legacy carriers (though tickets come with more flexibility). But at least for now…in the days ahead…look for incredible deals to Hawaii. We’re already seeing price drops in anticipation of Southwest’s announcement. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii this year, get serious about your dates because the window of opportunity is coming.