Since the announcement of Southwest planning on launching flights to Hawaii people across the country have gone crazy, which is no surprise as Southwest has some of the best ratings out of any airline in the US. Cheap fares, on time flights and comfortable cabins – what is not to like?
It was reported at the start of the month that Southwest Airlines has submitted their ETOPS licence application to the FAA.The aim of the ETOPS licence is to show that even in the event of an engine failure over water, the aircraft and crew are capable of operating the aircraft for a long period on one engine.
Once Southwest have their ETOPS licence, it will literally be a matter of days before Southwest could legally start flying to Hawaii, but more on the actual launch date further down!
Southwest plans to fly from 4 major Californian airports to Hawaii. They will also offer intra island flights:
Southwest Hawaii Departure Airports Include:
- Oakland (OAK)
- San Diego (SAN)
- San Jose (SJC)
- Sacramento (SMF)
Before intra island flights are made available you will be able to fly direct to the following airports:
Pricing of flights in cash/ as rewards:
Southwest hasn’t released any information on fares or rapid reward points costs just yet. However, we expect them to be lower than prices offered currently to get from the mainland US to Hawaii. Again, with Southwest flights to Hawaii you will get two free checked bags regards of the ticket cost and if you need to alter your flight you won’t need to pay a change fee.
Let’s talk about points:
If you want to go to Hawaii with Southwest with points, then you are in luck. Southwest Airlines a few co-branded Chase credit cards. Let us tell you about a couple of them:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card:
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card you get 40,000 points after spending $1000 within the first 3 months, you also get 3000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary date. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. You can earn unlimited miles and they don’t expire as long as the card account is open. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is perfect if you are an occasional Southwest flyer and the annual fee is $69.
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card:
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card you get 40,000 points after spending $1000 within the first 3 months, you also get 6000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary date. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. You can earn unlimited miles and they don’t expire as long as the card account is open. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is perfect if you are an avid Southwest flyer and the annual fee is $99.
What is the difference between the Plus and Premier Credit Card?
The annual fee between both cards has a difference of $30, however with the Premier card you get twice as man points on your card anniversary date which according to Nerd Wallet, 3000 extra points are worth around $30 per year, so this of sets the additional $30 in annual fees that the Premier card has. Furthermore, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees whereas the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card charges 3% for all foreign transaction fees.
Launch date for flights:
We expect tickets to go on sale towards the end of October 2018, so we shouldn’t be waiting too long at all! In terms of the flights themselves, we could see them launch as early as next month but we could be waiting until the start of 2019, so for now we all need to wait anxiously until we hear more from Southwest. We know that crew are already on the ground in Honolulu and recently Southwest donated $50,000 to a local charity in Hawaii. So it’s only going to be a matte of time!
Are you planning on flying Southwest to the Aloha State? Let us know in the comments!