Air Travel to Hawaii

Finding the Best Deals To & From Hawaii

The beach at Waikiki and Diamond Head (image credit: BBQMonster)

Living in Hawaii all my life, I'm always looking for ways to find the best fares to leave for a vacation. But the expensive airfares are the same no matter if you're leaving or coming to Hawaii. So USA Today reported on finding the best deals to Hawaii. By considering this information for visitors to Hawaii, residents of the Aloha State will likely find deals to destinations elsewhere.

When to go? One of the busiest times for flights to Hawaii (thus the most costly) is during the cold weather months on the mainland, so look for discounted fares in the spring and fall. Don't hold your breath for summer deals, especially not this year with oil price trends and folks holding a little extra cash in their travel budget.

How good are the deals? With fuel surcharges plus taxes and fees running as much as $500 (or more on flights to Europe, Hawaii is a relative steal if you look purely at the distance of flights. Plus, in many cases, airfare to the islands is cheaper than prices you'll find to many popular Caribbean destinations.

Pool at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (image credit: BBQMonster)

When should I start shopping? Remember that "buying" airfare is different from "shopping." Shopping means you're kicking the tires and starting early to get an overall feel for the trend in prices. The key is being FLEXIBLE enough to be able to move on a sale and ding that credit card when a deal comes along. This is why I always recommend travelers sign up for real-time price-drop airfare alerts.

There are rarely any last-minute deals to Hawaii; however, you can sometimes pick up award seats at the last minute even if you tried redeeming those miles 11 months ago with no luck. Since award tickets are based on airline capacity, your preferred carrier may release more seats for miles redemption as they get a better handle on how their bookings are going.

When should I buy? The best time to shop for domestic flights is Tuesday 3pm eastern.

Why can I be that specific? We recently conducted a three-year study that showed most airlines file a sale fare on a Monday evening, when then prompts other carriers to scramble to match those sale prices. That process is typically completed as of Tuesday, and all those newly discounted seats then hit the airline reservation systems at 3pm eastern.

In general, you should start shopping about 3 months before your departure. The only exception is when it comes to holiday travel with fares at a premium around Thanksgiving and Christmas, it can really pay to shop year round (fun fact: most airlines tickets can be sold up to eleven months in advance).

Hawaiian Airlines flight map


What else should I know about air travel to Hawaii? It can pay to fly from California: There are about 500, 000 airline seats flown to Hawaii each month from the mainland, with nearly half of them originating in two cities -- Los Angeles and San Francisco. There are only 20 cities total (outside of Hawaiian destinations) with nonstop flights to the islands.

Most popular airlines: Chances are you'll fly United or Hawaiian Airlines to Hawaii -- these two carriers account for almost half the seats flown to the islands.

Non-U.S. travel to Hawaii: Two-thirds of Hawaii travel originates in the U.S. The other third has been dominated by Japan, but expect that percentage to change in light of the ongoing post-quake/tsunami turmoil.

Travel With Kids Hawaii: The Island Of Maui & Molokai
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Cheap Travel to Hawaii

by Crymzin

I am taking a trip, for two, to Maui, HI this July (leaving approximately the 1-3 and returning between the 7-10). I was wondering what tips you all had for cheap air fare. It's odd to me that it costs more to fly to Hawaii in the summer months, which is their low season.
Thanks for all of your help!

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FAQ

Kate V
Traveling in Europe (Austria-->Greece, the Alps)?

I am going to be studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria for the month of June. I will be allowed a few "free days." The longest time I have free is 5 days, and I have the afternoon after classes end (about 5?) to start my trip.
I would love to go to Greece, but I don't know if I will have enough time to get there and enjoy my time there. How long would it take to get there? and will I have time to relax and hit the beaches?
I would also like to climb the Alps, but is it safe to be an unfamiliar climber on the Alps? I have climbing experience, but I'm not sure how much the…

You could take one of those discount flights and be there by dark. then you spend your time.

If you are in Salzburg, and you want to hike the alps, you probably don't have to hike far from your door. Salzburg is pretty much IN the alps. Really beautiful country. And not that far from Switzerland, if you want to cross the border for a weekend, that should be easy to do.

What you really need to do is set yourself up a longer program of study, like a semester or even a year, so you can REALLY get a feel for your town and the possibilities...next semester,…

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