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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, 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®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% 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.