Looking for an affordable flight to Hawaii? The search will get a bit easier starting next year.
Low-cost airline Southwest is expanding its service to Hawaii in 2018, the carrier announced Wednesday, a move that has been speculated on for years by customers and industry-watchers alike.
Southwest’s decision to fly to Hawaii could have an impact on overall ticket prices to the state, according to the company’s executive vice president, Andrew Watterson.
“On average, our fares will be lower than theirs or bring down the market price. That’s called the ‘Southwest Effect,'” he said, according to Hawaii News Now. “Low costs come from very efficient operations. We pay our people well, but we work them hard and we work the airplanes hard. So that leads to low costs so we have lower than our competitors so we’ll be able to bring lower ticket prices.”
The airline has yet to announce any exact pricing or routes, but did say that the first flights will leave from the West Coast, specifically California. The company is also considering the possibility of inter-island flights.
Southwest allows customers to check up to two bags for free and does not charge fees to change flights. That affordability comes at a cost, though: the carrier only serves snacks, so make sure you pack a meal for the ride. The average flight time from Los Angeles to Honolulu is just under six hours.
Southwest is the world’s largest low-cost carrier. It’s also the only one that’s part of the United States’ “big four” airlines, along with Delta, United and American.