In early 2019, Southwest Airlines added Hawaii routes to it’s growing list of destinations. These flights all originated from a few airports in California. As a Budget Traveler with a Southwest Companion Pass, I got onboard fast with the idea of planning a trip to Hawaii.
We live in Michigan, so we are in the Midwest region of the United States. When I started booking our trip, I found that Southwest did not allow me to start from my home airport (DTW) with connections through California to Hawaii. Instead, I had to book 2 completely different flight segments. Because of the huge overall cost savings, I was still ok with that. That is, until I discovered how hard it was to line up the itineraries for those 2 flights.
On the way there, we were on the good side of the time zone changes, so we made it work with a 5 hour layover at OAK. On the way back, we weren’t so lucky. Our HNL flight got in to OAK around 11pm and there were no flights to DTW until the next day. My solution was to book a room at a nearby hotel that offered a free airport shuttle (and breakfast) to get us to and from the airport. Although our flight itinerary was a bit complicated, it worked and we only spent $55 total (for the taxes and fees) for the 2 of us to fly from DTW to HNL and back. Winning!
This week Southwest announced 3 new routes to Hawaii from LAS, LAX and PHX. At first I just thought good for them. When I punched a potential flight into the Southwest Low Fare Calendar, I quickly saw that it was good for me too! We are now able to book flights from our home airports if we live in Eastern or Midwest locations. That’s a huge plus. No more struggling to line up the connecting flights or long layovers. Now if we book from DTW to HNL, it has one stop in LAS with just over an hour layover. If you are booking fro ATL, you can choose a short layover stop in either LAS or LAX.
These new Southwest routes definitely make it much easier to get cheap flights from the Eastern and Midwest areas of the US. Since they want to book these first flights up quickly, the prices are currently low. I expect that those prices will climb as the flights begin to fill up. If you are thinking about Hawaii for the fall, you should look at booking ASAP for the best rates on these new routes. Otherwise, you could wait and take advantage of one of their frequent fare sales down the road. Either way this is great news for Budget Travelers who are considering a trip to Hawaii.
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