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It’s been no secret that Southwest has had its sights on Hawaii for quite some time.  In recent times, their CEO, Gary Kelly, has suggested that now it was no longer a matter of IF Southwest started flying to Hawaii, but WHEN.  Last week, there were reports of Hawaiian leis and other paraphernalia in the Southwest areas of some California airports, but still, no announcement.  But now we have an official Southwest Hawaii announcement

Southwest Hawaii announcement

The official Southwest Hawaii announcement can be found on Southwest’s website.  Unfortunately the Southwest Hawaii announcement is a bit lacking on details.  They mention that they are looking at selling tickets in 2018, but there aren’t really details on when exactly, or from where, or to where.

They are working on their ETOPS certification, which is required by the FAA when you’re traveling over large bodies of water (like, say, the Pacific Ocean).

Winter escape to Hawaii

Image courtesy of Jason Francisco

Southwest Hawaii routes speculation

Any speculation on where Southwest will fly to Hawaii or where you can fly to Hawaii on Southwest is still just that at this time – speculation

Of course, that never stopped me 🙂

My guess would be that California will be Southwest’s base to fly to Hawaii.  Possibly LAX but I’d put some money on one of the Bay Area airports that they fly out of (OAK? SJC? SFO?).  The planes Southwest plans to fly to Hawaii have a range of around 3500 miles, so it’s possible they may eventually fly out of places like Portland, Seattle or Phoenix, but I’d imagine Southwest will start their Hawaii flights to California

How much will it cost to fly Southwest to Hawaii?

Just like speculation on routes, it’s still only speculation to figure out how much it will cost to fly Southwest to Hawaii.  My guess is that for most miles and points travelers, Southwest will not be super competitive on price to Hawaii.  From most West Coast locations, the “best” deal is using 12,500 British Airways Avios to fly on either American or Alaska.  You can also use 12,500 Korean miles to fly to Hawaii from anywhere in the US (on Delta).  Both British Airways and Korean (and Southwest) are transfer partners from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

12,500 Southwest points is roughly equivalent to $200 one way or $400 roundtrip.  I find it hard to believe that regularly priced Southwest flights to Hawaii will come in under $400, but there will certainly be deals to had on fare sales, especially when the routes first open up.

Of course, if you have a Southwest Companion Pass, then that changes the price equation quite a bit.  You just missed the best chance to pick up the Southwest Companion Pass when the 60,000 point bonus on the 2 Southwest credit cards expired on October 4th (SEE ALSO: Is now the time to go for the Southwest Companion Pass?), but it’s still certainly possible that it will come back before too long.

What do you think?  Are you excited about this Southwest Hawaii announcement?

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