Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Southwest Airlines now offers flights to Hawaii. This move has been anticipated by industry insiders for years, and it’s nice to finally see Southwest hauling people to paradise over the Pacific.
New routes have already been announced and will eventually depart from San Diego, Los Angeles, Ontario, Long Beach, Orange Beach, Oakland, Burbank, and San Jose. However, only a handful of the itineraries are running so far, with the rest launching in late April and early May. Of course, there are also interisland flights being offered, which will make getting from one spot to another easy and cheap if you have miles with Southwest.
The thing is, I will never fly Southwest Airlines to Hawaii. Okay, never say never…but it’s extremely unlikely. I love Hawaii, and especially Maui and Kaui, but I think I’ll skip over this option unless it becomes dirt cheap. Here’s why:
1. I have grown to hate the Southwest boarding process.
Recently, I flew Southwest Airlines out of the hell that is the Orlando Airport on a trip home after our spring break cruise. Even though we checked in for our flights exactly 24 hours ahead of time, we were still in the middle of the B boarding group. Worse, about half of the plane was made up of family boarding with a gaggle of screaming kids. We barely got seats together at the back of the plane.
I don’t want to imagine the mayhem that will unfold when C group passengers find out they’re stuck in a dreaded middle for a 5+ hour flight. I would have to pay for Early Bird boarding if I flew Southwest to Hawaii, but I’m guessing a lot of other people will, too.
2. I despise the 3-3 layout on Southwest planes.
There are four people in my family, so the 3-3 layout on Southwest planes is really annoying. I usually sit with the kids and put my husband on the aisle across from us, but that would be pretty crappy on a 5+ hour flight.
3. Southwest isn’t offering meals, even for flights that last up to six hours!
As of right now, Southwest isn’t offering any meals on their flights to Hawaii. Instead, they’re planning to offer an upgraded selection of snacks.
That’s not a huge deal to me since I can always eat before I board the plane, but I can just picture a ton of people bringing fast food from the airport into the cabin. One time I sat next to a lady who scarfed down three chicken fingers, a bag of pork rinds, and a club sandwich during a flight to Aruba on Southwest and that was enough to make me cringe. I don’t want to fly 5+ hours with 49 different food smells in the cabin!
4. I’ve flown the real thing.
Finally, I’ve flown on Hawaiian Airline’s First-Class product on the A330 three different times now. If I go to Hawaii again, I would be inclined to book it again. Their premium cabin has gourmet meals, unlimited drinks, giant movie screens, and lie-flat seats.
Fortunately, a round-trip Saver Award in First will only set you back 80,000 miles.
Would I trade that for 5+ hours on a long-haul Southwest flight? I think not.
Are you planning to fly Southwest Airlines to Hawaii? Why or why not?
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Source: frugal travel guy