There has been a ton of rumors about Southwest Airlines flying to Hawaii, and now they finally have moved one step closer. It sure seems like this has been many years in the making, but now it is finally becoming a reality. The mainland carrier is known for its quirky flight attends, reasonably priced fairs, and the more important no change fee policy. This is one of the first carriers that had no assigned seats and instead utilizing a first come first sat policy. This was also determined by your zone and whether you purchased an early bird boarding pass. The seats are selected by zone and number to determine who boards first and what seats they take.
When will Tickets be Available?
The carrier has not officially announced when the flights will begin, but the Chief Revenue Officer and SW airline Executive VP, Andrew Patterson, did say in a recent interview that the airline is still on track to make its maiden voyage before the 2018 close. This is, of course, determined by the FAA. There has been talk about the airline starting ticket sales as early as October 2018. These tickets will most likely be for flights in November, December 2018, and even January 2019 if the timelines remain the same.
The initial flights look to be from California to Hawaii. The projected initial routes will be:
- San Diego (SAN)
- Oakland (OAK)
- San Jose (SJC)
- Sacramento (SMF)
They are also discussing an inter-island launch between the neighbor islands, but the initial flights will be the mainland to Hawaii. The flights will all be part of the SW Airline 737 fleet, and they have already begun improving the Oahu Diamond Head Concourse.
How Much Will Tickets Cost?
The million dollar question is still centered around the actual cost of the tickets, and this has yet to be announced. The standard SW Rapid Reward Point program and credit card point systems should all be in place to start enjoying free trips to paradise. They are still projecting ticket sales to begin in October 2018 for future flights. It is a safe assumption that these flights will book up quickly if the price is right. It might be a good idea to start saving SW as a favorite portal visit on your desktop and get in the habit of checking to see when the future tickets will be released. These will no doubt move quickly once finally released.
It will also be interesting to see how this affects the local Hawaiian Airlines who has been dominant with mainland and inter-island travel for many years. I did notice on a recent flight that Hawaii is now offering 65K miles for joining the credit card program, which is up substantially from the prior 50K mileage award in years past. It sure does appear that Hawaiian is stepping up its game to stay competitive.