Samantha Bomkamp of the Associated Press writes:
…. You’ll have to know the right time to look. There are "sweet spots" in which to get the best deals this year…
Actually this week is the best time to start. If your flying from the Mainland to Hawaii around Thanksgiving it would pay to do some intense price checking NOW. Why? Because within a couple weeks of Thanksgiving fares on the Mainland are going to start going up, up. Everybody’s going "across the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house." If you’re coming to Hawaii, you’re probably not going to Grandma’s house, but if you wait too long to purchase tickets you might get caught in the airfare cross-fire of mainlanders that are.
Buy Your Cheap Tickets Now
The consensus among experts at Expedia and Travelocity is to buy now rather than later; especially if you don’t have flexibility on travel dates. But even if you are flexible don’t expect the airlines to post a "desperation" sale at the last minute. Flight reservations are getting a lot of pressure, so although the complicated matrix used by the airlines may squeak out a few bargain seats at the last moment, don’t expect a big drumroll about it.
What a little Research for Cheap Airfares will do
It took me about 5 minutes to look up the following fares. All are for round trip single passenger coach, Denver to Kahului, Maui, and don’t include taxes, etc.
Dep 10/19—Rtn 10/26 $621.00
11/30 12/7 $542.00 (going down, down!)
12/15 12/22 $683.00 (Going up,up!)
But, here’s one right off Alaska Airlines website:
12/1 12/8 $557.20 (Not too bad! Connections weren’t too bad, either. Leave Denver 12:05 pm, Arrive Kahului, Maui 4:40 pm)
So What’s the Bottom Line for Hawaii Airfares During the Holiday Season?
If you have ironclad travel dates, don’t take a chance, buy now. If you’re really flexible, let the dice roll.
Off subject, but will Make Nevadans Happy
Hawaiian Airlines just announced a non-stop schedule from Las Vegas to Maui. Flight 31 departs Las Vegas on Sundays and Wednesdays at 6:25 pm, arriving Kahului, Maui 9:25 pm. Return Flight 32 departs Kahului on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:00 am, arriving Las Vegas 4:35 pm. Way to go, Hawaiian Airlines
Keep your sights on this site. More good stuff coming soon. a hui hou
I certainly don’t want to discourage you from searching out cheap tickets to Hawaii, but times a wastin!
Some of the airlines have scheduled major increases and surcharges to the Islands of Hawaii.
Case in point. HURRY ON THIS ONE!
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCES NEW SURCHARGES. Effective May 27, Hawaiian is raising one-way inter-island fares by $10, raising its lowest fare from $54 to $64, the airline said. Actually that’s just early morning and late night flights. Minimums on normal daytime flights will be either $74 or $84. And that’s just minimums. Remember, these are one-way prices.
Fuel surcharges to the Mainland, USA will increase $35, from $65 to $100; to Sydney, up $40 from $120 to $160; to Pago Pago, up $45 each way from $65 to $110; to Papeete, up $55 each way from $65 to $120; and to Manila up $35 from $115 to $150 for Honolulu to Manila only. Again, that’s EACH WAY.
Island Air … still good reliable service, and holding their present fares.
Go! … Cheap, but are looking at bankruptcy.
Pacific Wings … Fares remain steady.
American Airlines Puts Premium on Luggage.
American Airlines’ will now charge a $15 fee for the FIRST checked bag; that’s in addition to the $25 fee already charged for a second bag. $40 for two bags … each way! Skinny down to one piece of luggage stowed, and get creative with your carry on.
OK, that’s it for this post. will double up on News Flash and Fun Facts About Hawaii in the next post.
Now, get out there and hunt down those cheap airline tickets to Hawaii!
… provide easy access to to all the major islands and airports.
Wait a minute! Does it seem like I’m giving waaaay to much attention to air travel? Ok, OK, this’ll be the last post … for a little while … about airlines, cheap airline tickets , and stuff like that. Except for updates.
Last post I talked about the demise of Aloha Airlines, but neglected to note the passing of another great airline service to Hawaii,ATA Airlines. Bruddah, did I love those guys. ATA, for me always delivered the goods. I took numerous trips out of Maui, and later from Hilo on the Big Island when ATA resumed service there in … ummm, I think it was 2006. They had a great connection with Southwest in Oakland, then on to Albuquerque (my second home). Why is it that so many of the good guys get cut?
Moving on, below is a list of the airlines that provide service to Hawaii from the Mainland (that’s the really big island called the “lower 48″). Not all airlines fly to every major airport in Hawaii, so check your schedules.
- American Airlines
- Continental Airlines
- United Airlines
- Northwest Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Delta airlines
Don’t forget you can island hop to any of the Hawaiian Islands by using the services of the local airlines. Again, not all go to each island.
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Island Air
- Pacific wings
- Mokulele Airlines
Yeah, I know, airfares are going up due to fuel costs, etc., but shop around, you’ll be suprised what you find. Remember, you’ll always find great airlines that fly to Hawaii.
Aloha a hui hou
As a passenger carrier is just that … history. And, also, a big hunk of Hawaiian history. On March 31, 2008, 11 days after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Aloha Airlines flew its last scheduled passenger flight , Flight AQ 261, from Kahului, Maui to Honolulu, Oahu.
If your connection to Hawaii wasn’t very strong, the announcement of Aloha Airline’s demise probably didn’t arouse your radar, or at the most only raised a “oh well, another airline bites the dust” thought.
For many citizens of the State of Hawaii, and expatriates, it was a sad day. Aloha Airlines and bankruptcy had been flirting with each other for several years, so it wasn’t any big surprise locally when the final flight was announced. But that didn’t make it any easier for the airline’s employee’s and their families. Of the 3,482 employees an estimated 1,900 retained employment to continue the cargo and ground services divisions … which are up for sale.
Aloha Airlines was founded by publisher Ruddy Tongg and his partners as Trans-Pacific Airlines. According to aviation historian Peter Forman:
“When Aloha first came in, they were responding to the prejudices of the time. They created an airlines that a person of any ethnicity could fly on and feel equally welcome. There are many old timers who still support Aloha for this reason.”
In the old days of Aloha Airlines, it was known as “the Peoples Airline,” and that feeling pretty much stuck through it’s history. Old timers tell of good times on the flights, with Flight Attendants (they were called Stewardesses in those days) serving pineapple juice, singing Hawaiian songs, even dancing the hula and playing the ‘ukulele.
And the equipment got improvised, too. When the airline still flew the unpressurized DC-3s, holes were put in the fuselage so that passengers could poke a camera through and take photographs. That’s called “island ingenuity.”
Bruddah, I’m going to miss Aloha Airlines. It always seemed they took off and landed a little faster. Kind of a hot express; didn’t fool around much taxiing to the terminal. I think when all the security measures hit the terminals and airlines there were a few folks who “make grumble,” but that was kind of universal.
So, if there’s any good stories out there, and you care to share them, we’ll do a little post with snippets of your stories. Be patient with me, ’cause I’m not the swiftest of formatters. We’ll call it Aloha Airlines history II.
Mahalo nui loa Aloha Airlines for all the great years of service. Tanks, eh.
If it looks like there’s a little raindrop sized puddle on your screen, it’s just me.
Aloha a hui hou
… 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