2009 Airfares to Hawaii Outlook – Some Good News


Airfares to Hawaii skyrocketed in mid-2008 and as a result, many people began suffering from severe cases of HawaiiAirfarePhobia. If you were one of the victims, I hope this news will allay your fears. Airfares to Hawaii are looking pretty darn good for 2009. January and February are particularly attractive. From looking at the airfare data in my handy dandy Kayak.com alerts, here’s an rough aggregated look at how 2009 (through November) is shaping for airfares:

Best fares: January, February, May, September, October

Better fares: March, April, August

Good, but not great fares: June, July, November

So, what kind of deals are available? Here’s a roundup of what other blogs have found:

Personally, I can report that Andy and I found deals that we could refuse and booked tickets over the weekend. We found a fare of $460 per person before taxes and fees in early February. We paid twice that much for just one ticket in October 2008.

So, if the sight of another snowflake makes you want to scream, you can escape to sunny Hawaii for less than you might think. Have you looked at Hawaii airfares lately? Did you find any pleasantly surprising deals?

  1. Hey, we are going to Ohau/Kauai in September and wanted to know when the best time to book these tickets would be. I see you guys got some great deals but are you waiting until last minute? We have specific dates that we are traveling. Any insight would be helpful.

  2. Mahalo for all the info on the good news, indeed it is!! We are seeing amazing fares as you mention over here as well, booked some folks from MCI 480.00 RT, that was last week, for Jan.18 dates, it was on United. You really have to act quick when you see something good like this. A hui hou, Bruce

  3. @ Andy – I’m resisting the urge to pack right now. 🙂

    @ Beth – There are two opposing schools of thought on when to book airfare for trips that are 3 or more months out. Personally, I tend to book in advance when I find an airfare that looks good. The further in advance you book your travel, the better your chances are to get good seat assignments which can make a big difference when you have a long flight over the Pacific. Here are some thoughts that may help you:
    1. Hotwire.com has a couple of good free tools that would help in your situation
    A) Trip Watcher allows you to set up an e-mail alert to let you know when airfare drops: http://www.hotwire.com/trip-watcher/index.jsp By the way, Kayak.com has the ability to do this as well.
    B) To help you figure out what is a good airfare and what is not, TripStarter shows you the history of airfares by month, http://www.hotwire.com/tripstarter/index.jsp
    2. If you book a ticket and the airfare drops, some airlines will refund the difference if you request it. Note that you’ll have to keep an eye on it and make the request.
    3. Orbitz.com offers a price assurance guarantee. http://www.orbitz.com/App/PerformMDLPDealsContent?deal_id=orbitz-price-assurance&cnt=OVI&type=lb_qs&ad_id=99999&ad_ch=home&WT.ac=1 If you book your flight with them, they will refund you the difference if someone else books the same flights and dates that you do and they get a lower fare.

  4. Hey Sheila-

    I’m off to Maui and Oahu on Sunday and you’re right about these airfares- they’re unbelievable. I bought my mom’s ticket in AA for $450 out of CLT. It’s funny because the ticket jumped to $700 two days later. The hotel deals are great too. We were able to book a 2 bedroom condo in Wailea for $210 per night. I also used priceline and we got the Sheraton Waikiki Resort for $99 per night. These are really crazy times. For your reader Beth- I would say if you see a ticket for under $500 for September I would book it now. I saw that AA had great fares out of DC for under $500 until the end of their schedule. I always think that getting to Hawaii for under $500 at any time is amazing!

  5. @ Bruce – Mahalo for adding that deal you found on United! We’ve got to keep spreading the word that the fares to Hawaii are good! 🙂 BTW, do you have any thoughts to help Beth with her question?

    @ Nathalie – $450 from CLT? That’s awesome! I’m glad you mentioned that you’ve found good hotel deals too. The deals are the best I’ve seen since I started traveling to Hawaii. When you get back, I’d love to hear how you like the Wailea condo. We’re wanting to surprise my parents with a trip to Maui in late March or early April, while it’s still humpback whale season and we were thinking of renting a condo. Have a great trip!

  6. Hey Sheil- I’ll definitely report back about the condo. We’ve never stayed at a condo while on Maui. I’ve usually sweet talked my husband into staying at the Four Seasons but this time because of the economy I just could not justify paying $550 per night!!!! I’m really exicted because of the washer and dryer which means I can cut the amount of clothes I’m bringing.

  7. Aloha e Shiela,
    After finding your blog last year I couldn’t wait to get back after 20 years away from the islands. My husband and 2 year old son loved their first trips. We booked in February for a week-long mid-August trip and paid just over $630 pp from Sacramento. We thought we got a great deal since the fiasco with other airlines sent airfares up after that. We stayed at the Hale Koa, and began planning our 2009 10-day trip our second day there.

    We have go the same time of year since my husband is a teacher and teaches summer school. We were looking at airfares of over $800 pp from the Bay Area and prayed for a miracle.

    My Christmas miracle came in the form of RT from San Jose CA $466 pp with taxes and fees on HA!!!! I used the affiliate screen from Kula Elementary School on Kauai for an extra 5% off. The following week I checked again the the fairs jumped $100.

    Your blog has kept me focused on always getting back and finding the best ways to get there!

  8. @ Keahi – What’s good for Hawaii’s economy is also good for the Hawaii visitor!

    @ Nathalie – We’ve stayed in a few condos across Hawaii. It’s pretty nice, actually, to have full kitchens, more room, and as you mentioned, a washer and dryer. I hope you enjoy your condo experience and I’ll look forward to hearing how it goes.

    @ Doris – You just made my day. I’m so glad that Go Visit Hawaii has helped you get back to those beautiful islands! I hope you’ll enjoy your 09 trip even more than your 08 trip! Mahalo for your kind comment!

  9. Hi, great site. We are heading to Maui in Feb, we bought three seats in December for $600 direct to Maui from LAX for United Economy Plus. We also were able to book an ocean view 2/2 condo for $250/night for 10 nights (this was the cheapest we booked a condo in either Kihei or Wailea in five years). They are smart to lower prices as we booked the trip based on us having this money budgeted or no go. We are heading back to the Big Island in July for a reunion, for the record I never have gotten good prices to Kona. Here’s to hoping.

  10. Hi Bob K – Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’ve found some Maui condo deals. I bet it would have been hard to find anything to match that deal a year ago. I’d love to hear how you end up liking your condo, too. As I mentioned to Nathalie, we’re interested in finding a nice Maui condo. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll find a good Kona fare. 🙂

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