Say ‘Aloha’ To Potential Great Deals For Hawaiian Travelers
In what could be a game-changing move for the airline industry, Southwest Airlines is on the verge of beginning service to Hawaii.
And it could happen as early as 2018.
An announcement could come at any time. It’s based on the airline purchasing and putting into service several new Boeing is the 737 MAX airplane.
According to the top travel blog JohnnyJet.com, “The new Southwest 737 MAX 8s have 175 seats in a single-class configuration, offering 32 inches of pitch and the Boeing Sky interior with LED lighting sequences. Southwest’s existing 737-800s also have 175 seats and 31-32 inches of pitch, while its 737-700s have 143 seats and 31-inch pitch.
If the seat count is the same, what’s the difference between Southwest’s 737-800s and its new 737 MAX 8s (other than the new-plane smell)? The new aircraft are quieter, 14 percent more fuel-efficient and can fly 500 nautical miles farther than the -800s.”
The new planes are initially flying traditional SWA destinations on the mainland, but industry experts are expecting an expansion to Hawaii is forthcoming, with an announcement coming in October or November.
Regarding the planes, Southwest stated in a release that “our new seats feature an adjustable headrest; it’s the widest economy seat in the 737 market with a lower-profile arm rest, advanced cushion support, a raised information pocket, and elevated rear seat beam that together allow for additional space for personal devices.”
If Southwest does start flying to Hawaii, this could have a major domino affect on other U.S. carries that fly to the islands: American, Delta, Hawaiian and, United.
For one, Southwest doesn’t charge for the first two checked bags. Secondly, passenger can book one-way fares in a combination, so you can get the cheapest fare there and then have a choice of return times and fares based on departure schedules.
PubClub.com often takes full advantage of this when using Southwest to fun destinations by combining the least expensive departure fare with the fully-refundable return, knowing that return plans can often change when at a lively place like Hawaii. There’s no change fee on Southwest for full-fare one-way fares.
Additional competition to Hawaii – particularly from a low-cost carrier – could result in some great deals for passengers.