Getting what you pay for-Southwest tickets as low as $49


Southwest plane during test flight over Honolulu, Hawaii Photo Credit: @southwestair

Serena Randazzo, Staff Writer

Southwest recently released flights to Hawaii with tickets as low at $49 and a lot of people quickly purchased the tickets.

Southwest isn’t known to be the comfiest flights. On the other hand, although Hawaiian Airlines has higher ticket prices, it might be the more comfortable choice.  As Hawaii is a top travel destination, a vacation to Hawaii costs a lot, which can range from $400 to over $2,000 round trip according to A lot of us, especially college students, don’t have that type of money at our fingertips.

But U.S. airline Southwest might have changed the game, with some flights to Hawaii starting as low as $49 and flights taking off on March 17, 2019. Southwest quietly launched the ticket sales with no official announcement but not soon after they did it was trending on Twitter and people were quickly purchasing flights. According to a USA Today article published on March 4, the cheapest tickets were available Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As of Tuesday, March 5 by 12:30 in the afternoon, EST, the tickets starting at $49, were already sold out.

The USA Today article said that consumers hope that Southwest’s low fares will lead competitors like Hawaiian Airlines to lower their prices. But other airlines like Hawaiian don’t seem to be threatened by Southwest.

There are different speculations about why Southwest is now offering cheap flights to Hawaii. When you begin looking for flights to Hawaii you wouldn’t typically think about booking with Southwest. Southwest is mostly known for shorter flights that on average are less than 1,000 miles. Flights from California to Hawaii are a roughly 2,500 mile trip, according to investment advice website, published on Feb. 17. Between Southwest and their newest competitor, Hawaiian Airlines, they are both known for their exceptional customer service, as stated in an article on

Yet, when it comes to flying to Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines might have the advantage. As stated on a article published on Nov. 9, 2018, “For years, Hawaiian Airlines has relied on its island roots — the Aloha spirit — to carve out a reputation as a customer service leader.” Some of the major differences between Southwest and Hawaiian is the flight experience; flight attendants offer the guest “Pog” juice while in-flight videos play clips of Hawaii’s beaches on Hawaiian airlines flights. On different Hawaiian Airlines flights, the Hawaiian languages are presented through row numbers and lavatory signs with men and women wearing aloha attire, according to, published on Nov. 9, 2018. Consumers pay attention to the little things that will make them feel more comfortable and relaxed when on a longer flight to further destinations, such as Hawaii.

Southwest’s planes aren’t typically known for having many features. They will be using a new Boeing 737 Max 8 to make these longer routes to the Hawaiian islands. But will this plane offer the right amenities for a six hour flight? Well, if you buy a ticket with Southwest don’t forget to bring your some of your own food, as they will only be offering a “snack bag” since the galleys on these planes are small, according to Fool also states that Southwest is promoting features of the new plane, like having a generous 32-inches of pinch (legroom) at each seat, while other competitors offer economy seats with extra leg room and typically have 34-inches of pinch.

If you don’t mind being a little uncomfortable on a longer flight to Hawaii, at least make sure you sit next to someone you like since Southwest does offer open seating. There are still some Southwest flights available but the lowest prices are now ranging around $300 one-way and can exceed to $600. With all the $49 tickets sold out, Southwest’s prices aren’t looking much different than Hawaiian Airlines. Which airline would you choose?