Yes, we have been waiting, not so patiently, for Southwest Airlines to start their nonstop flights to Kauai and now the company says they are VERY CLOSE. This is good news for anyone with a Southwest credit card or who is part of their Rapid Rewards program. Because, in some cases, a traveling partner flies free.
Southwest Airlines initially proposed routes to Hawaii way back in October 2017. Southwest will operate to Hawaii from Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Jose, and will serve Honolulu, Lihue, Kona, and Kahului. They also want to run an inter-island service, which would bring some much needed competition to this market.
For over a year now Southwest has been in the process of securing all that they need to be able to fly across the Pacific Ocean. Their goal was to start selling tickets before Christmas 2018. That doesn’t look likely. The holdup is getting the ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) certificate. This allows planes to fly more than 60-minutes away from the nearest airport. Obviously with the 4 to 6 hour flight to Hawaii from the west coast, over ocean, this is essential. Southwest has applied to use their Boeing 737-800 aircraft for the route, which should have more than enough range to make the journey. “We are close, the good news is that all the planning has gone superbly,” claimed Greg Wells, Executive Vice President of Daily Operations.
Could there be an opportunity to buy tickets shortly after the first of the year? Keep your fingers crossed.
While waiting for Southwest Airlines to give us another option, here are the current, nonstop flights to Kauai:
In addition, Hawaiian Air now flies from Boston to Lihue with one stop in Los Angeles or Honolulu, bringing lots of new guests from the east coast to the Garden Island. Obviously many more airlines fly directly to Honolulu and then it is a quick 23 minute flight to Kauai.
So, however you manage to get to Kauai, it will all be worth it. Our lush, tropical island awaits you.
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