The fight is on. The battle rages.
In March and April just past, Southwest Airlines began flying from San Jose and Oakland, California, to Honolulu and Maui. It will soon add daily flights to Hawaii from Sacramento and San Diego.
And because these routes are among the chief money-raisers for the long established Hawaiian Airlines, the terms of each airline’s fares and policies are changing almost daily as the two airlines each seek a competitive edge.
So volatile is the battle that it isn’t possible to analyze the relative offers here, since fares and policies are changing almost daily.
For one thing, Hawaiian Airlines is seeking to match Southwest’s low fare structure by instituting an even lower basic economy ticket class for which passengers give up seat selection, meals, and other perks.
Southwest responds with its usual policy that passengers can check up to two suitcases per passenger without fees.
Hawaiian Air responds by phasing out its older airplanes for these routes and replacing them with brand new, super-efficient aircraft of European manufacture.
So far, Hawaiian Airlines’ tactic hasn’t worked entirely, and that long-established airline has recently reported sharply diminished profits because of this new competition from Southwest.
But Hawaiian Airlines’ president hasn’t panicked; he has predicted further changes in the offing which will, allegedly, offset Southwest’s appeal.
The entire battle offers undoubted advantages to persons seeking to reach Hawaii from the West Coast of the United States.
If you have ever yearned for a Hawaiian vacation, this is the time to consider the competing airfare offerings of Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines.