… really aren’t hard to find, but it is surprising how many people accept low rack prices (list prices from the airlines) as being the only cheap airline tickets to Hawaii available…Not so.
Many of you are probably old hands at going online and working out the cheapest airline ticket, but, again, it’s surprising how many travelers don’t. Where that shows up is when you do a little shopping online.
Here’s an example I looked up on 4/21/08: San Francisco (SFO) to Kahului, Maui (OGG). Rack price for major airline was $1561.46; best price through Orbitz was $634.00. All other details were approximately the same, elapsed travel time, number of stops (one in this case), departure date and day of the week, roundtrip, etc. The major airline sites wouldn’t keep those prices listed unless somebody was buying.
Whew! The difference could pay for several dive trips to Molokini Island (technically, Islet).
Look, if you’re new at this, remember airfares are determined by a rapidly changing mix of three elements: Competition (between airlines), Inventory (how many seats are available), and Demand (people seeking those seats). Figuring this all out would make an MIT whiz return to Remedial Arithmetic.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do the math. There are excellent online sources available that use powerful computer programs to sort this all out … and present you with cheap airplane tickets to Hawaii. It’s knowing where to click that counts! The process is really not that hard. But, before you start viewing the sites, get organized.
- Make a list of what you need from a "flight site"(ex: flight availability, special services, handicap avail., how to contact, method of payment).
- I should have put this first. Don’t be afraid to scroll and browse around in these sites. There’s no commitment until the site actually asks you for payment. Until then, you’re pretty much incognito.
- Be flexible as possible on departure and return dates. Here’s why:
- –Fly mid-week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are best. Why? Less demand. Airlines, by offering cheaper fares on those days, try to encourage you to plunk your money down and fill up those seats.
- –Stay overnight Saturday (well, that’s a no-brainer if you’re flying to Hawaii.) But,why? Because that puts you into an excursion class which receives a greater discount.
- –Travel on the actual holiday day (ex: Christmas [well, Christmas has been a good choice in recent years], Easter, Mother’s Day). Hey, why not?
- Airlines often put time restrictions on discounts. That is, you have to purchase 7, 14 or even 21 days BEFORE you travel. If you’ve missed the cut-off date, don’t panic. Look for other possibilities, but keep checking that original flight you wanted. The airline might just open the discount again closer to flight time.
- Can’t emphasize this enough. If you’re on a very tight budget, being flexible is absolutely essential…Save your money to have fun on the beaches of the Big Island or Maui.
Here is a partial list of online sites where you can apply the above suggestions:
- Orbitz.com—This site was originated by several large airline companies. The site is fast and powerful.
- Expedia.com—One of the pioneers in the online travel business
- Travelocity.com— One of the big hitters in the travel business.
- Priceline.com—This may be your best bet for low airfares to Hawaii. You can make an offer or bid on
- And, don’t forget your local, friendly Travel Agent for cheap airplane tickets; especially if you’ve had a good money-saving relationship with them. Even then, check your online sources for comparison.
And, just for your convenience, here are the Airport Codes for all the major airports in Hawaii:
- Lihue (Kauai)=LIH
- Honolulu (Oahu)=HNL
- Kahului (Maui)=OGG
- Hilo (Island of Hawaii, Big Island)=ITO
- Kailua-Kona (Island of Hawaii, Big Island)=KOA
OK, get online and find those cheap flights to Hawaii! Aloha A hui hou