HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - We often see this frame as a battle between Southwest and Hawaiian. When reporters ask random people what they think, they accuse Hawaiian of overcharging, and indicate they’re looking forward to buying cheaper tickets. Consumers like to think they’re loyal to local companies but in reality any bargain pricing by a mainland player triggers an immediate belief that whatever the previous price was, was excessive.
Some airline analysts point out that the greatest overlap between Southwest Airlines planned routes and any other carrier is actually not with Hawaiian but with Alaska Airlines. Alaska thinks it can remain competititive in pricing on those routes. The main concern is commodity pricing, on sites like Travelocity or Expedia, where the lowest pricing often gets the booking even if the difference is pennies.
What intrigues analysts is another possibility – that the bulk of Southwest traffic will come from people who don’t normally come to Hawaii at all - regular customers of Southwest, frequent fliers who were burning off their miles flying to resort destinations Southwest already served – like Cancun, or the Caribbean. Southwest service will mean these people have a new place to go to on Southwest miles.