Flights To Hawaii Could Soon Be Much Cheaper

If you’re planning (or hoping!) to take a trip to the Aloha State in the near future, then you’ll be happy to know that flights to Hawaii might soon become much more wallet-friendly.

Just this month, United Airlines announced that it is increasing service to Hawaii on 11 routes from the U.S. mainland. The expanded flight options are scheduled to begin his December. Service to Hawaii will be increased from United’s hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in Hawaii this year, today’s announcement carries a very special significance for our customers,” United’s Vice President of Sales, Jake Cefolia, said in a statement. “Our customers have asked for more ways to get to Hawaii, and by adding these flights we are thrilled to make Hawaii more accessible than ever for our customers travelling from the Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions.”

united airlines photo
Getty Images | Alex Wong

Cheaper Flights Coming Soon?

The real upshot of more frequent United flights to Hawaii is that other airlines could be forced to lower their fares in order to compete. The folks at Travel + Leisure say that while it’s still too soon to say for sure, cheaper flights could be on the horizon.

And United isn’t the only airline hoping to meet the demand for travel to Hawaii. Just last month, Southwest Airlines announced plans to expand flight options to the islands. And now that Alaska Airlines has acquired Virgin Airlines, the combined company has a large West Coast presence, and plans to provide more choices for customers, which could also contribute to increased competition.

Currently, the published prices for United Airlines flights to Hawaii, departing from San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or Denver, range anywhere from $517 to nearly $900.

So here’s to hoping that the predictions are right, and that airfares to Hawaii will soon start dropping. If we’re lucky, maybe they’ll even go as low as the $265 round-trip flights from San Francisco to Hawaii that American Airlines offered last year. Mahalo, indeed!

hawaii photo
Flickr | Scott Hudson *

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How To Fly Like A Pro

While you’re waiting for the price of all those flights to Hawaii to come down, you should freshen up on how to travel like a pro.

1. Remember The 24-Hour Window

Don’t forget that most airlines have a 24-hour window during which you can cancel or modify your flight without a fee. This is good if your plans change or if the price drops right after you buy your ticket, which is always super annoying.

plane photo
Getty Images | Bruce Bennett

2. Subscribe To Flight Alert Emails

Websites such as Scott’s Cheap Flights can help you take advantage of mistake fares or flash sales so you never miss a beat. And if you’re flying to a specific destination, use Google Flights to set up an alert—you’ll receive an email every time the price of the flight goes up or down, so you know when to buy at the lowest price.

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Getty Images | Stephen Brashear

3. Take Advantage Of Layovers

Some airports offer free city tours and other perks during long layovers. This is an awesome way to extend your travels without breaking the bank. Or, even if you’re stopping in a city that doesn’t offer this perk, consider extending your layover so you can add an extra destination to your trip.

airport photo
Getty Images | Win McNamee

4. Follow Airlines On Social Media

Airlines often post discounts and promo codes on their Facebook and Twitter pages. You may not get a follow back, but your feed will fill with deals. JetBlue even has an entire Twitter feed devoted to cheap fares.

jetblue photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

5. Watch Out For ‘Basic Economy’ Fares

These are new fares offered by airlines such as United that are super, super cheap. But they come with some weird caveats that could end up costing you or making your trip miserable. With United’s basic economy tickets, you can only bring one personal item on board for free (think a small purse). If you try to bring an actual carry-on with you, you’ll pay the $25 check bag fee, plus an additional $25 handling charge to check the bag at the gate. So, to recap, in order to bring a carry-on with you, you could end up forking over an extra $50! Plus, with basic economy, United says you won’t be able to sit with your travel companions or pick your seat. These tickets are nonrefundable and you board the plane last. You also can’t make any changes to your reservation.

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united airline photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan