Hawaii doesn't need my help to get travelers excited about going there. But the recent slew of dirt-cheap flights to Hawaii are making it even harder to say no to a trip this year or next.
Trips to Hawaii are back in full swing without any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements in place for travelers. Hawaii is always a tourist magnet, and the pandemic hasn't changed that – in fact, many locals have been vocal about overtourism in recent months. But if you're set on going to Hawaii, what has changed is how cheap it is to get there.
Get this: We've sent Thrifty Traveler Premium several alerts in just the last few weeks for cheap flights to Hawaii under $400 roundtrip … and sometimes less than $200! That includes sub-$200 fares from the West Coast, a recent deal from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to any island for just $334 or less, and flights from as far away as Charlotte (CLT) for just $197!
With airfare rising nationwide, this $195 fare from San Francisco (SFO) to Maui (OGG) and back was less than many roundtrip flights on the mainland right now.
This eye-popping deal to Maui looked too good to be true, but it all checked out! And it's not the only city benefitting from cheap flights to Hawaii – far from it.
So what else are we seeing, flight-wise? And why does it stand out so much? We're so glad you asked.
Read more: How to Find Cheap Flights
How to Find Hawaii Flight Deals
Getting a cheap flight to Hawaii is never a sure thing. Paying $600 to $800 or more per ticket can be the norm, and travelers can go months without seeing even a halfway decent deal to the islands.
But that has changed in a big way: The flight deals and fare wars to Hawaii are still red-hot right now. In the last few months alone, we've found and sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members several flight deals from airports nationwide under $400 round-trip – all for travel in 2022 and 2023.
Remember that nonstop fare to Maui? Well, it wasn't just that one route that went on sale. It was part of a landslide of cheap fares from the West Coast.
Get cheap flights to Hawaii like this one in your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
And just a few days ago, we found this deal featuring low fares to Hawaii from airports all over the American West!
While the West will almost always benefit from the absolute cheapest fares, the flight deal love has spread beyond California and Washington. We've found fares from all the major U.S. airlines under $400 roundtrip from cities across the country. That's more than $300 off normal prices!
We've seen one-stop flights to Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), Kauai (LIH), and The Big Island (KOA) nationwide at half-off or more. Now all you have to do is pick the best island to visit in Hawai for your cheap trip.
Chances are, we've found a great deal to Hawaii from your home airport in recent weeks. That includes our hometown travelers from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) recently, like this incredible deal flying Delta's nonstop to Honolulu (HNL) and onward to any neighboring island starting at just $327 – a crazy good deal!
But that's not even the cheapest Delta fare we found from Minnesota. We dug up this one a few weeks back, too. You cannot beat a $294 Delta fare to Maui.
And then the fare wars began, with American Airlines targeting the Delta hub with a crazy low fare of its own.
One of the secrets behind why we are finding so many low fares to Hawaii is because of a relative newcomer to the Hawaii flight game: Southwest Airlines. The quirky carrier has long offered cheap flights around the mainland. But they've upped their presence in Hawaii since launching service back in 2019, it's led to even more great deals.
That deal with flights under $300 included tons of cities with Southwest service – including some rare cheap fares on longer, nonstop flights from Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix (PHX).
The hotter the deal, the shorter it lasts! This deal is no longer live, but you can get the next great deal we find with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
Use Points & Miles to Get to Hawaii
Why pay cash when you can use your points and miles to get to Hawaii? On top of cheap cash flights, we've been finding some exceptional award deals to these islands and instantly alerting our Thrifty Traveler Premium members.
Flying to Hawaii on Southwest would typically run you 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. A flash sale a few weeks back could get you there for just 12,000 to 15,000 points total. It doesn't get much better than that.
At least that's what we thought. But as airlines went back-and-forth with cheaper and cheaper fares, the unthinkable happened.
That's right. Southwest slashed an already incredible deal in half, giving travelers a way to get to Hawaii and back for just over 6,000 points! We have never seen flights to Hawaii this cheap.
Don't have Southwest points? Earn the 60,000-point bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after spending $4,000 within three months for the next deal, then instantly transfer your Chase points to your Southwest account. And remember: Every Southwest fare includes two free checked bags! Pack as many swimsuit and flip flop combos as you'd like.
Prefer to fly Delta to Hawaii? The SkyMiles award rates can be astronomical, but there's a great hack to get you on a Delta plane to the islands for less. Only Thrifty Traveler Premium members got this deal alert with details on how to book. This is how you level up your thrifty travels: Rather than pay 80,000 SkyMiles or more, use this workaround to fly Delta using just 35,000 miles roundtrip!
And yes, this deal was available from nearly every single U.S. and Canadian airport with Delta service. It doesn't get much easier than that!
This is real.
Even as flight prices reach seemingly record-highs for domestic flights, airlines keep slashing flight prices to Hawaii for this coming winter and beyond. This trend has built up for months, and we hope (and think) it will continue. The savings can be enormous.
And that's your chance to capitalize: Booking one of these Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deals is the difference between paying $800-plus for your next trip to Hawaii … or less than half that.
FAQs About Finding Cheap Flights to Hawaii
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a flood of lower prices for flights to Hawaii, but many of them have stuck around. This guide is all about those recent deals.
But when it comes to finding cheap flights, it won't always be this easy. While you might find that airlines are currently slashing prices, there are some general tips and tricks to keep in mind when it comes time to book the cheapest flights to Hawaii down the line.
How do I find cheap flights to Hawaii?
We'll update this post with new deals and updates about cheap flights to Hawaii. It's a hotspot for travelers, and we're constantly on the hunt.
But if you always want to be up to date on flight deals for Hawaii and other bucket list destinations the moment they pop up, we highly recommend signing up for Thrifty Traveler Premium! Premium members get all the best flight deals to Hawaii – you'll only see a fraction of them here on Thriftytraveler.com and other flight deal websites.
What is the cheapest airline to fly to Hawaii?
Looking for the best airline to fly to Hawaii on a budget? We regularly see affordable prices with direct flights to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and WestJet – if you live in Canada, of course.
When is the best time to book a flight to Hawaii?
We always recommend booking your flights at least three to six months before you plan to travel – especially if your travel dates are flexible.
But as with all things in finding cheap flights, the key to getting a great deal on flights to Hawaii is simple: You may need to wait for a great price to come to you, then book on the cheapest dates. Flexibility is the key to getting discounted tickets.
What is the cheapest time of year to fly to Hawaii?
It depends: A great flight to Hawaii can pop up for a trip at any time of the year.
But many find that it's cheapest to fly Hawaii in January, February, April, and September through November. During the holidays and the peak travel months of June and December, you're far more likely to encounter higher prices, so it could be worth avoiding a trip over those times.
Are there Hawaii travel restrictions currently due to COVID-19?
For many months, Hawaii required a negative test for anyone coming to visit. Then, it exempted fully vaccinated visitors from testing requirements.
But in late March 2022, Hawaii dropped all travel restrictions. That means getting into the Hawaiian islands is much like it was back in 2019.
When is the best time to visit Hawaii?
If getting the cheapest flight possible to get to Hawaii is your end goal, then you might not be worrying too much about the best time to visit Hawaii – it's Hawaii, after all. However, if you're evaluating various options based on the cheapest flights to Hawaii that you've found, here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Hawaii is the warmest during the summer months, and the sunny weather is accompanied by calmer waves during this time of the year if activities on the beach are the main focus of your trip.
- For those looking to avoid crowds, aim to book a visit in January, February, September, October, or early November – all of which tend to be slower tourist seasons on the islands.
- Planning to do some whale watching? Prime viewing for these beautiful mammals occurs from February to early March.