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?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.