More Southwest Hawaii Details Revealed in Employee Memos

Oct 15, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Southwest dominated the travel news space last week with its announcement of Hawaii service. This is huge news for TPG readers especially — once Southwest begins flying to Hawaii, likely in 2018, Companion Pass holders will be able to score two tickets for the price of one, even when traveling on an award.

Southwest’s new Boeing 737 MAX fleet will also offer a far more modern — and, in some cases, comfortable — interior compared to the aircraft legacy carriers fly to and from the mainland today. For example, here’s what you might find on a Delta 757-200 from Los Angeles to Maui:

Legacy carriers typically fly their oldest planes to and from the mainland, such as this Delta 757-200.

And this is the seat and cabin you can expect on Southwest’s new 737 MAX:

Following the Hawaii announcement last week, the airline sent a memo and “questions and answers” document to employees, which airport agents, flight attendants and other representatives can reference when customers ask about Southwest’s Hawaii plans.

Many details have yet to be worked out, but so far we’ve learned:

  • Service will launch with the 737-800 to avoid further delays, but “the MAX will be [Southwest’s] Hawaii aircraft.”
  • California is clearly the top priority at launch, but specific airports remain to be announced.
  • With the Love Field expansion and international service launch out of the way, and with 737 MAX deliveries finally underway, Southwest decided it was time to announce Hawaii service.
  • Analysts are evaluating the feasibility of inter-island service, which is on the table as well.
  • Tickets should go on sale in 2018, but the launch is entirely dependent on ETOPS approval.
  • Free bags, Companion Pass, award redemptions and other perks will carry over to Hawaii service.
  • Southwest is working to bring Wi-Fi and live TV to Hawaii flights.
  • Once the MAX is ETOPS certified, it’s easier to add regional approval for transatlantic flights, but there are “no plans to serve Europe at this time.”

Beyond what we already knew, the biggest takeaways here are the fact that Southwest will begin service with the older 737-800, and will focus on California at launch. While other Western cities could eventually offer nonstop Southwest flights to Hawaii, we’ll likely see the first flights depart from the carrier’s existing California focus airports, perhaps including Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Orange County (SNA), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC) and/or Sacramento (SMF).

Featured image by Adam-Springer/Getty Images.

Which airports would you like to see Southwest serve first?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.