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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Travel » » Cost effective flights to Hawaii
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Cost effective flights to Hawaii
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2013-11-15 7:05 pm   Permalink

With the most recent merger of American Airlines, does anyone have recommendations on flying to Hawaii?

Is there a website, day of the week, etc.?
I only know flying in the fall or Jan - March is cheaper.

Apparently, Southwest is not going to start flying, because of their merger with Air Tran, even though ATA (Air Tran Airways) flew to Hawaii, prior to the merger.

According to Expedia, only these airlines fly to Hawaii:

1. American (merged out TWA and US Airlines(PSA) both of which used to fly to Hawaii)
2. Delta
3. United-Continental (although I am no fan of Frank Lorenzo, who ruined Eastern)
4. Alaska Air
5. Hawaiian Airlines


 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2013-11-15 7:06 pm   Permalink

This is the article regarding delayed excitement about Southwestern:
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/2013/08/hawaiis-not-attractive-market-to.html


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nui 'umi 'umi
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Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1074
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2013-11-15 11:01 pm   Permalink

My wife and I flew with Delta (10/31 t0 11/10) to Honolulu and from Lihue (Kauai) to lax. The seating is tight -everything else was good. 25 bucks for non carry-on baggage.

[ This Message was edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2013-11-15 23:06 ]


 
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nui 'umi 'umi
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Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1074
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2013-11-15 11:03 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2013-11-15 23:05 ]


 
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bamalamalu
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Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 567
Posted: 2013-11-16 12:09 pm   Permalink

If your dates are flexible, just look at the different days around the time you want to go - most of the airline sites as well as expedia/travelocity will show the fares for the days before & after the specific dates you enter. I've never found any day of the week to necessarily be better than another - even if Wednesday is usually the least-booked (and therefore likely the cheapest), the week you're going there could be a couple big groups who happened to book. It all just depends on how many seats are available for that specific flight on that specific day. Jan-March has actually been busier in recent years - this February is looking to be really busy based on my planning. It used to be that Summer, Thanksgiving & Christmas were the busiest, but 'low' season seems to be disappearing.

Expedia, Travelocity, & the like can be good to get an idea of all the airlines' fares at once, but I always book directly with the airline. You'll be able to get the same fare directly, and adding a middle-man can be a bad idea if you run into changes or cancellations or other issues.

If you're doing more than just Oahu, you definitely want to use Hawaiian for your inter-island flights if possible. Island Air doesn't sound as bad, but Go and Mokulele have pretty awful reviews. To be fair, I haven't used them myself (I always used Aloha in the past & Hawaiian more recently) but I haven't heard much good about them.

Hawaiian uses larger planes from the west coast with a 2(aisle)4(aisle)2 seat configuration, so you can get a window & an aisle seat together, which I really like. And they do have that Hawaiian feel. Their service is pretty good and they'll actually serve you a meal for free. They now have two 'coach' fare classes - regular Coach and Coach Plus. The Coach plus includes 2 free checked bags and doesn't charge a change fee if you change your itinerary. The annoying thing was, as least as of last year, they won't let you book your mainland & inter-island flights all together in one ticket as Coach Plus. So we had to book a separate ticket from here to HNL, and then the inter-island flights on a separate ticket. Not a big deal (they'll check your luggage all the way through if you're just connecting), just kind of annoying. Since we planned to check bags anyway, that turned out to be the better price vs. booking regular coach and paying for bags. We didn't need it, but the waived change fee also gave some peace of mind. Compare both options and see what makes the most sense for you.


We'll be using Alaska next time, since they've now added a Nonstop from SD to Lihue. I'm not crazy about the 3(aisle)3 seat configuration, but being able to go non-stop is great and for our dates it was actually cheaper than doing Hawaiian with the HNL connection. I've flown Alaska a bunch to other destinations and their service is usually fine.

I think it really just comes down to playing around with the dates and seeing what's out there. When you find something that looks good, grab it.

Then book your rental car as soon as possible - maybe even quickly check on that first if you're going at a busier time. Especially on the outer islands, cars can get booked up and get really pricey. As long as you're booking in advance and not going over a holiday, you should be fine, but don't leave it til the last minute.









 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1141
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-11-16 1:00 pm   Permalink

I like Hawaiian but lots of times Alaskan is cheaper and if I remember correctly they offer a free Mai Tai with the flight.

Last time we used United and my wife was able to get a few extra days off. We called United (on my birthday) and it was a huge hassle to add 3 extra days onto our trip. I was on the phone with them for 2 hours, getting disconnected with no call back and all. The guy on the phone (in some far away country) screwed up our dates multiple times and then forgot to book the flight and when he got back to the good flight, it was sold out. Then they charged us $150 EACH to change the flights soon after we booked the flight even though there was no difference in prices on the flights. I asked if that rate could be decreased and they said no. I sent a letter and an email. I received a response stating that they would not adjust our fees. I responded by saying that I would remember this and avoid flying United in the future.

I would usually like to fly with Delta too, but they are usually a bit more expensive. I would book Delta over all other if it is only a small difference in price.


 
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nui 'umi 'umi
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2011
Posts: 1074
From: La Mirada Atoll
Posted: 2013-11-16 7:08 pm   Permalink

To add to my earlier post, I flew from Honolulu to Lihue on Island Air. Non “carryon” baggage is 12 bucks. I was satisfied with all aspects. They used what I use to call a “Turboprop” only not as noisy as I remember.
Cheers


 
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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 237
Posted: 2013-11-17 2:27 pm   Permalink

This is the perfect thread to inquire about this: So I'm in the LA area and every time I drive on the 5 South to Disneyland, I pass a giant billboard that says "Hawaii R/T $99." To boot, there's no company logo or anything on the billboard except for a phone number that I've yet to call. Does this sound familiar to any LA locals? I can't imagine its anything greater than riding cargo with chickens in crates, but I'd really like to hear the catch.
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1141
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-11-17 11:59 pm   Permalink

Yeah I drive by that billboard all the time too (today for example). I think it must be a time share thing where they try to sell you on buying stuff the whole time. I think it is a scam since it has no details or company name at all. They must have something to hide.

 
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 567
Posted: 2013-11-18 10:13 pm   Permalink

I don't know who it is, but that sounds pretty shady. There are consolidators who sell cheap, but usually for international flights and they're risky - absolutely no changes allowed. If your plans change, you just lose your money. But $99 is absurdly low, that can't be legit.

Unfortunately a $100-150 change fee (plus any additional cost for the new itinerary) is pretty standard on all the major airlines. Southwest is the only one that doesn't charge a change fee for regular coach fares. It looks like Alaska may currently allow a change without a fee, IF the change is made more than 60 days out from the booked travel date. But it's $125 within 60 days.

That was another reason the Hawaiian Coach Plus was attractive - that fare was only slightly higher than regular coach for our flights (including bag fees), so knowing it was possible to make a change and save a few hundred dollars was worth it. (Wow - I just checked and it looks like Hawaiian's change fee for regular coach is now $200 per ticket!)


 
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tikilongbeach
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1334
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-11-19 08:20 am   Permalink

I checked the Honolulu International Airport website and these airlines fly into HNL, obviously some won't do us any good since we live in the US.

Air Canada
Air New Zealand
Air Pacific
Alaska Airlines
Allegiant Air Lines
ANA/Air Japan
American Airlines
Asiana Airlines
China Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
go! Mokulele
Hawaiian Airlines
Island Air
Japan Airlines/Jalways
Jetstar
Korean Air
North American
Omni Air International
Pacific Wings
Philippines Airlines
Qantas Airways
United Airlines
U.S. Airways
WestJet

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kkocka
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 237
Posted: 2013-11-19 11:06 am   Permalink

Well I finally had the time to research it myself (I'm taking care of a newborn...so help me God) and it seems the $99 deal is by Allegiant Air. I've never heard of them, and their site looks pretty low quality. Might be worth checking out though if you don't give any fucks.

http://www2.allegiantair.com/

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/07/09/allegiant-air-announces-99-flights-between-los-angeles-and-honolulu/
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2013-11-19 11:26 am   Permalink

Allegiant has gotten horrible reviews. One review said their last three flights had 10 hour delays. Take a look at Yelp for the horror stories. What you save in fares you make up in grief.
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LoriLovesTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 873
From: NJ
Posted: 2013-12-04 11:48 am   Permalink

We flew United nonstop from Newark NJ to HNL in August. I had opened a couple of credit cards from Chase and had accumulated miles so we flew on points thanks to a supersaver award on our outbound flight. It was coach but since it was a 2-4-2 configuration my husband and I were alone in our section but I found it impossible to sleep.

I wanted to chime in on the rental car thing. We rented a total of 5 times through discounthawaiicarrentals and found them to be very helpful. We always picked on of the major car rental places through them and got the lowest prices and decent service.

Have a great trip!
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2013-12-04 12:04 pm   Permalink

Allegiant has delayed my flights from East TN to Fort Lauderdale every time. Last time was during Hukilau and I was 28 hours late! Time before I arrived so late my little hotel was closed. It's a cattle car. Not sure I will fly them again, except they gave me credit to use...
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