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

Mar 19, 2022

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.

(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 photo of Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii  by Praveen P.N/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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 after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • 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 up to 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 in the U.S., 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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
17.24%-26.24% 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.