A few months ago we talked about the big announcement that Southwest was (finally) flying to Hawaii. Of course that initial announcement left pretty much… everything still up for discussion other than they hoped to sell tickets sometime in 2018. They didn’t really say where they were flying to, where they were flying from or really anything else
Southwest announces Hawaii destinations
Now as part of their recent earnings call, Southwest at least has confirmed their destinations in Hawaii
Of course…. that is pretty much every (major) airport in Hawaii, so no real news there I suppose 😀
The exact quote from the Southwest press release was
“We continue to expect to begin selling tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, and today we announce our intent to begin service to four Hawaiian airports: Honolulu International Airport, Lihue Airport, Kona International Airport at Keahole, and Kahului Airport. Additionally, we entered into an agreement with Alaska Airlines to lease 12 slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and 8 slots at Washington Reagan National Airport. These opportunities complement our network and fit within our existing 2018 growth plans, with available seat miles (ASMs) expected to increase in the low five percent range, year-over-year.”
It is believed that the major airports in California (think LAX, SFO, OAK, SAN) will be the initial departure airports but nothing is known at this point. They are saying they’ll start service in late 2018 or early 2019 but no official dates are known yet.
Southwest companion pass and credit cards
The real benefit here will be for those folks that have the Southwest Companion Pass, which you get if you earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in one calendar year
Southwest has made it a bit harder to get the companion pass lately as now you are not eligible to get a welcome offer on a Southwest personal card if you already have a Southwest personal card or if you’ve gotten a welcome bonus in the past 24 months. You are still allowed to get a personal and a business card, though all 4 of the Southwest credit cards fall under the Chase 5/24 rule
The personal versions of the Southwest credit cards are only at 40,000 miles as a welcome offer (they’ve been as high as 60,000 miles) so I would not recommend getting those right now. The business cards ARE at a 60,000 mile welcome offer, so if you’re looking to get a jumpstart on your Rapid Rewards balance or work towards a Companion Pass, those are the ones I’d go after. You can compare those cards with other small business cards here.