Are These New Routes Priming Southwest’s Hawaii Strategy?

May 31, 2018

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.

Another potential clue in the unfurling intrigue surrounding Southwest’s future operations in Hawaii was dropped on Thursday afternoon.

As Southwest has been releasing intermittent updates about its foray into the Hawaii market — including the four California airports from which Hawaii-bound flights will depart, which Hawaiian airports the airline will serve and which aircraft will fly the routes — questions have swirled about what additional connection cities and direct routes might be added to serve Hawaii down the line.

So, when the low-cost carrier revealed six new routes (or frequencies) flying out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and three out of Washington, DC’s Regan National Airport (DCA), AvGeeks speculated whether this was a move setup to prime future connections from the East Coast and additional direct routes to Hawaii.

Back in April, Southwest announced that it had signed a 10-year lease on the six slots for the new and additional routes from Alaska, as the Seattle-based carrier scaled back some operations in its merger with Virgin America. But, Southwest did not reveal the new routes until Thursday.

The new LGA-based routes or frequencies will be:

  • One daily LGA – New Orleans (MSY)
  • One daily LGA – Orlando (MCO)
  • One daily LGA – Palm Beach (PBI)
  • Additional daily LGA – Dallas (DAL)
  • Additional daily LGA – Denver (DEN)
  • Additional daily LGA – Kansas City (MCI)

And the DCA-based frequencies will be:

  • One daily DCA – Oklahoma City (OKC)
  • Additional daily DCA – Dallas (DAL)
  • Additional daily DCA – Nashville (BNA)

All routes will start November 4, 2018.

While the East Coast and some Midwestern locations on this list are too far for nonstop Hawaii service, two destinations stick out on this list as possibly priming the pipeline for additional Hawaii routes — potentially connecting the East Coast with the 50th state. Both Dallas (DAL) and Denver (DEN) will be just on the edge of the range for a Hawaii destination when flying the Boeing 737 MAX 8, which Southwest plans to operate on its Hawaii service after initial launching with its 737-800s. While DAL is where Southwest is based, DEN is one of its largest airports in terms of operations.

Southwest focus cities within range of Honolulu.
Southwest focus cities within range of Honolulu.

While DAL and DEN are certainly within the MAX 8’s capacity for Hawaii, only time will tell if Southwest will add these as the first cities outside California on its forthcoming Hawaii service. For now, the carrier is focused on getting the necessary approvals to launch service to Hawaii — with its main focus, for now, on California.

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
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.