Skip to content

Hawaii deal alert: Score flights from the West Coast to Hawaii from $238 round trip

March 19, 2022
5 min read
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.

We found another killer flight sale to Hawaii. This one has fares to Hilo that start at $238 round trip. While not as flashy or as big a tourist magnet as other parts of Hawaii, this laid-back city on the east end of the Big Island has a well-deserved reputation for its relaxed vibe and plentiful outdoor activities.

Whether you want to hike, swim or simply chill and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, you can't go wrong with Hilo. Especially not with this sale. Most of the fares we are featuring are for economy but note that United's cheapest seats don't allow you to bring a full-size carry-on. It will likely cost you between $50-$80 round trip to upgrade and get overhead bin space.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Photo taken during sunset In Hilo, Hawaii. (Photo: Stefano Pucci/EyeEm for Getty Images)

Deal basics

Airlines: Hawaiian, United
Routes: JFK, LAX, PDX, PHX, SAN and others to ITO
Travel dates: March — May
Cost: From $238 round trip

Thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights for letting us know about this deal. They offer deals up to 90% off via its Premium membership, which users can try for free for 14 days and then for $49 per year. You can upgrade to the Elite tier for $199 per year and also receive premium economy, business-class and first-class alerts. TPG readers can use promo code TPG25 and save 25% off a Premium membership through March 31.

Related: 7 fun things first-timers should do when they visit Hilo

Sample flights

Search for flights via Google Flights by entering your departure city and the travel dates you prefer. As always with these deals, flexibility is your friend. The greater your travel window, the better chance you have of scoring a sweet fare.

Below is a flight from LAX to Hilo (ITO) in late April for $238 roundtrip, which is more than 50% cheaper than the usual price. You get a free carry-on bag, but if you like to travel with more, your first checked bag is $60.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

There are lots of great deals to be found if you live in San Francisco. We found this great itinerary on Hawaiian Air for $310 round-trip in May. That's half what that ticket usually costs, and it comes with a free carry-on. The best thing about this one is it only has one stop. Most of the cheapest fares we found from SFO-ITO involved two stops.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

If you want to plan your fall getaway, you can book a nonstop basic economy seat on United for a late September visit to the Big Island for just $318 round-trip. You'll fly to Kailua Kona (KOA) on the west side of the island, which is about 90 minutes from Hilo.

The sale extends to the Pacific Northwest, as well. Portland (PDX) to Hilo can be booked on Hawaiian Airlines for $412 roundtrip, a significant discount from normal prices.

We found a rock-bottom fare from San Diego (SAN) to Hilo on Hawaiian Air in May that was less than $300. This itinerary usually sells for more than double that price.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

If you're in New York City, you can get a round-trip ticket to Hilo from Kennedy Airport (JFK) for under $500, which is practically unheard of for spring travel. Again, Hawaiian Airlines had the lowest fares we saw for travel from the East Coast in April and May. United also had some discounted tickets, but they were more expensive and basic economy, so you'll incur the added cost of either upgrading or checking a bag if you want to bring luggage.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Related: Book this, not that: Hawaii resorts edition

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel), on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.