Southwest Airlines has been working toward flying to Hawaii for quite some time. According to The Points Guy, the first test flight from Oakland to Honolulu is happening today. This is an important step in making Aulani vacations for more affordable for a few reasons.
1) Flying on Points
Southwest Rapid Rewards are easy to earn and relatively valuable.
Earn – For one more week, the Southwest credit cards are offering a sign up bonus of 30,000 points and free companion pass (a buy one get one program). Buy one get one for a flight to Hawaii would be really valuable. And, they let you use points for the flight you’re buying, making it even cheaper. AND, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest Airlines. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer a sign up bonus of 50,000 points.
Value – Southwest Rapid Rewards are worth about 1.5 cents each. So, the 50,000 points you’d get signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred would be worth about $750 in flights.
2) Airline Competition
As a low cost carrier, Southwest is going to create competition for flights to Hawaii that will cause the average cost to decrease. So, even if Southwest isn’t your best option for flying into Honolulu, you should see the cost on other carriers decrease on average.
3) Free Checked Bags
If you’re going to Hawaii, you’re likely not traveling with a carry-on. You’re probably going for a full week and checking your bags, which is going to cost you at least $50 in most cases round-trip with other carriers. If you’re traveling as a family, it can start to add up.
With Southwest, bags fly free. It could easily save your family a couple hundred dollars.