Flights to Hawaii Are Plummeting by $200 or More — Book Now

Southwest Airlines appears to have triggered a price war.

With its warm weather, clear-water beaches and breathtaking sunsets, it’s no wonder that Hawaii is one of the top vacation spots in the world. It’s especially appealing to dream about an island escape during these chilly winter months. In fact, the island of Maui has been rated the No. 2 best destination by travelers in a recent Trip Advisor survey.

But for those who have been anxiously waiting to plan a trip to the Rainbow State, now’s the time.

Be Prepared: You’ve Got Less Than 48 Hours to Book a $200 Flight to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines Is Back in the Hawaii Game and Making Prices Drop

Although tickets are still not on sale, Southwest Airlines is closer than ever to selling flights to Hawaii after completing critical Federal Aviation Administration tests over the week of Valentine’s Day. The airline’s efforts to get FAA certification for its Hawaiian flights had temporarily been suspended thanks to the government shutdown, according to USA Today.

The Las-Vegas Review Journal reported last week that the Southwest CEO considers flights to Hawaii from California the company’s top priority this year; direct connections from Las Vegas to the island chain are also reportedly in the works. With such a famously affordable airline about to enter the Hawaiian market, the added competition is already making prices drop. In what Dallas News is calling the “Southwest effect,” round-trip tickets from San Francisco to Hawaii for seven-day trips have just dropped by over $200:

“On Monday, flights from San Francisco to Honolulu started at $358 round trip for seven days of travel. Google’s flight price history shows flights reaching more than $600 for a similar trip in February. Air fares also were lowered at several Bay-area airports from which Southwest plans to fly to Hawaii.”

GOBankingRates independently confirmed connections between San Francisco and Honolulu in a similar price range. And the good news doesn’t stop there.

Check Out: The 10 Best and 10 Worst Deals in Hawaii

Hawaiian Airlines Isn’t Letting Southwest Win

If you live on the East Coast and have been dreading the thought of multiple layovers on the way to living out your Hawaiian dreams, you’re in luck. Travelers in the city of Boston will finally be able to fly to Hawaii in one stetch in what will be “the longest direct flight within the United States” according to Afar. Hawaiian Airlines recently announced that it will host nonstop flights from Hawaii to Boston Logan International Airport beginning this April. That adds up to about 500 passengers in the skies from Boston to Hawaii on any given day.

“Hawaiian Airlines has been an important partner in making a Hawaiian vacation accessible to people from all over the world,” Hawaii Tourism Authority President George Szigeti said in a press release. “The greater Boston market currently brings some 60,000 visitors to the island each year, who will now be able to fly nonstop to Hawaii aboard an airline that exemplifies our gracious local hospitality.”

Read: The Best and Worst Airlines for Cheap Flights

If you do end up booking your trip to the island, you should consider also booking a stay at the upscale Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently unveiled its $46 million renovations, also according to Afar. And for travelers who want a real taste of Hawaii, make sure to get a permit and soak up a breathtaking sunset on the famous Mount Haleakala.

Click through to read more about uncommon sightseeing spots in Hawaii that will help you save money.

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